Another important factor to look at when buying silver bullion is the weight of the silver you are purchasing. Bullion is measured by Troy Ounces with the most common for small investors being the One Troy Ounce Bar, Coin, or Round. As with the 999 Fine Silver hallmarkh… Troy Ounces is the industry standard.
Sterling silver jewelry is often plated with a thin coat of .999 fine silver to give the item a shiny finish (called “flashing”). Silver will tarnish unless an anti-tarnish coat is added. Rhodium is sometimes used for this thin coat because it is very shiny and never tarnishes. However, rhodium is a very expensive option compared to the silver finish.
The relationship between .999 fine silver and Metal Clay is more important than most metal clay artisans realize. Due mostly to a lack of availability, most metal clay artisans will use sterling silver or SV980 silver findings and components with their metal clay creations. While Metal Clay is .999 pure silver, this presents a twofold problem.
The second problem using sub-.999 components with silver metal clay is the reduction of the silver rating of your entire creation. For instance, you create a fine hand-crafted metal clay charm for an earring drop and then hang it from a sterling silver ear wire. You now have to legally declare your creation as a .999 fine silver earrings with sterling silver ear wires .