|O Silver that has been fully work-hardened, either by rolling
or forging, gradually recrystallizes, even at room temperature. This greatly softens the metal, making it susceptible
to scratching and marring. To maintain hardness, therefore, other metals are added to form alloys that are harder,
stronger, and less prone to fatigue.
O The best-known copper-silver alloy is sterling, which
is 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. (In England sterling silver is traditionally identified by the hallmark
of a lion passant.) Coin silver is an alloy of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. For jewelry and ornaments,
85-90 percent silver (and the balance copper) is frequently used.
O Silver as a medicine - It was observed that those ancient
families who ate from silver utensils rarely were sick and had few infections. This knowledge passed on to kings,
emperors, sultans and their families and members of their royal courts. They ate from silver plates, drank from
silver cups, used silver utensils and stored their food in silver containers.
O Generations ago, pioneers trekking across the Wild
West in the US faced many hardships. Keeping safe drinking water was one of them. Bacteria, algae, etc., found
a fertile breeding ground in wooden casks, which were carried by the wagons. They placed silver coins in the casks
to retard the growth of the spoilage organisms. They also placed silver coins in their milk to keep it fresh.