What is the purity of your silver?

What is the purity of your silver?

Each precious metal hallmark contains at least three symbols. The maker's mark and the town (or assay) mark are two of the three mandatory symbols. The metal and fineness (or purity) indication is the third.

There are four purity symbols associated with silver. The first symbol you may come across is 800, which is a number that is solely used for silver and denotes that 800 pieces in 1000 are silver, or that the silver is 80% pure.

Moving up in fineness, the following sign is 925. This value denotes that the metal is silver and is 92.5% pure. Sterling silver is silver that is stamped with the number 925.

Because of its durability, sterling silver is often used in jewellery, cutlery (such as silver spoons), and other products. Pure silver is quite rare since it is readily broken, but silver can be used without worry of shattering by adding a small quantity of alloy.

Then there's 958 silver (actual fineness is 958.4), which is little over 95.8% pure. This quality, known as Britannia silver, temporarily supplanted Sterling Silver in the late 17th century when silver supplies were scarce. However, Britannia Silver was more difficult to work with, and after manufacturer protests, Sterling Silver was re-introduced as the standard purity. Britannia Silver did make an official comeback between 1997 to 2012, when it was utilised to create the first edition of the new Royal Mint Silver Britannia coin. Later variants of the coin were struck in 999 pure silver.

999 silver is considered as fine or pure silver. It is also known as "three nines fine." This form of silver is typically found in bullion bars as well as numerous bullion coins.

The purest silver usually available is 9999 or "four nines fine," which is utilised by some manufacturers and mints, most notably the Royal Canadian Mint and The Perth Mint. While not a 'hallmark,' 9999 is used as a 'fineness' mark on some bullion items as 999.9.

What Is the Purity of Silver Bullion?

The table below lists some typical varieties of silver bullion and their fineness:


Type of silver Fineness
  • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf 999.9
  • Australian Silver Kangaroo 999.9
  • Britannia Silver (2013+) 999
  • Austrian Silver Philharmonic 999
  • US Silver Eagle 999
  • Britannia (1999-2012) 958
  • Sterling Silver 925

Some silver bullion is exceptionally pure, as shown above. The Perth Mint Kangaroo coin, for example, has a fineness of 999.9, which implies that 9999 parts of every 10,000 are silver, or that it is 99.99% pure.

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