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Question about the durability of silver

Aedin

Rough_Rock
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Joined
Oct 23, 2009
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38
I'm a little tired so I'm not sure exactly how to phrase this. I always hear silver isn't very durable, but I've never heard why. I know it's supposed to scratch easily, and it tarnishes, but they don't seem like a big deal. So clearly I'm missing something. When silver is scratched, does it wear away like gold? Also, the reason I ask this, is there's two rings I'm looking to get, I could get them in silver or palladium (or possibly 10k white gold I guess) and I'd like them to be durable enough for every day wear, but I'm not fully sure if palladium will be in the budget, so I'd like cheaper options if possible. I keep hearing how gold wears away, so I feel like 10k gold wear away too. And I know platinum and palladium don't, so my choice would be palladium if it wasn't for finances. But no matter how hard I look, I can't find out whether or not silver wears away, I can't find any answers as to what it's durability issues are, or why they exist. Does anyone have any answers?
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 20, 2005
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11,879
silver develops a patina with daily wear/use. this is not to be confused with being tarnished.

if you're wanting a metal that will continue to be shiny, silver may not be for you..... however, if you like a less shiny look to metal, you'll be happy with silver.

i wear 22k gold, 18k gold and silver.
 

Aedin

Rough_Rock
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Honestly, I don't really mind if the ring starts looking less shiny or not. Every metal eventually loses it's shininess right? At least that's been my experience. My main concern is I don't like feeling like I'm slowly destroying the ring, or the thought I'll make it break or something. How long does it usually take for silver and gold to wear out? I posted in another topic what "every day" is like for me, I'll repost it here.

"And to answer Chrono's point, I would not be doing things like yard work and house work with the ring on. I actually posted what "every day" is like for me, but that was a while ago, so I'll repost it. I work in a computer shop (which sometimes there's a lot of work with your hands, but for us most of the time it's just typing and figuring out virus problems and software issues) and at a grocery store, where I wash windows and stuff, and sometimes lift boxes and package things. None of which seems (to me anyway) really strenuous or damaging to a ring. And then at home I mostly just watch tv, clean a bit, read, play games, stuff like that, nothing too bad, that I know of. "
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
the only ring i wear 24/7 is my very thin 18k gold wedding band.

in the work environment you describe i'd wear my rings but i'd take them off and have them in a safe place if i was doing anything in which they got caught or would knock around and make the job difficult to accomplish....and those same rings i'd take off while washing windows. however, i do wear my wedding band while doing everything.

unless you're talking about rings with very fine stones, rings with very intricate and fine detail, rings that are very thin, well, you should be fine.

rings are to be worn. sometimes we get so hung up on protecting them that we forget to enjoy them!
 

Aedin

Rough_Rock
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Oct 23, 2009
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Generally, at my work, there's not much "knocking around" and nothing really gets caught, and I've had no experience with my rings making worker harder. I generally like really low settings. I'll link the two rings I'm talking about.

http://www.stuller.com/products/71276/1954353/?groupId=36441

and

http://www.stuller.com/products/r7049/?groupId=51072&series=R7049

both with some slight modifications. The mods don't matter for this subject though.

And I guess it's like, with silver it wouldn't be a big deal cause I probably wouldn't spend that much (relatively) on them, but with stuff like gold, I just hate feeling like I spent all this money on it, and I'm slowly destroying it. And from my experience (which isn't much, hence me coming here asking questions) it's really hard to find a timetable on how long a ring will last, since it's all so subjective depending on how you wear it, what it rubs against, all that stuff. I hate the feeling that I'm slowly destroying it and have no idea how long it will last.

And I'm curious, why is it that the only ring you wear 24/7 is your wedding band>
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
either ring would be nice in silver.

i do not wear rings 24/7....never have. my wedding band is small, very thin. it can hold up to abuse despite that. i garden with it, wash dishes with it, etc. i don't worry about it.

18k gold is tough. here is another thought, though:

http://ezinearticles.com/?14K-Or-18K-Gold---Which-Should-I-Choose-For-My-Wedding-Band?&id=1511271

however, i read an article re 24k gold and while it is soft, it will dent before it will scratch and therefore loss of gold via "wear and tear" is not as much as one would think.

don't over think it......or stick with silver. designers are using it more and more as the price of gold goes up.
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 26, 2007
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8,087
Generally, the concern is that prongs will bend back or tear away, or that thin shanks will distort, as silver is a very ductile metal (less so than pure gold, but much more so than gold that is adulterated with any other substance, i.e. 18K, 14K, etc). But since you're considering either bezel set or channel set? You'll be FINE with silver. BTW, I adore the first option you posted - very elegant!
 

Aedin

Rough_Rock
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Oct 23, 2009
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I don't really care what designers use, I just go with what I want lol.

Some of the changes I'm making to the rings, are the bands will be wider. Also, I don't really know all the details, but the actual metal will be like a silver/platinum mix (though apparently there's only 3.5% platinum in it, so I don't know what the rest is) so do you think the platinum will help or hurt the durability issues?
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
it won't hurt durability!

you're really worrying too much!

i love wider bands and you'll be fine. you just don't want silver prongs holding a stone into a setting. neither of the links you provided will have a problem with durability.

go for it!
 

Aedin

Rough_Rock
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Oct 23, 2009
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I forgot to ask about this. I found out there's 3.5% platinum in the mix. So I'm assuming the rest is copper. Most, if not all, sterling silver rings I've had in the past, have turned my fingers green. As well as most gold-plated rings. I can wear 14k gold no problem though. Is there any way to know whether or not this silver/platinum alloyt will turn my fingers green before I have it in person? I guess I was wondering if anyone had experience with this silver/platinum mix.

Thanks.
 

HollyS

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2007
Messages
6,099
I wear some sterling every day. The more you wear it, the shinier it gets; it isn't sitting around oxidizing somewhere. It looks good, and cost is minimal when compared to other 'real' jewelry.

Now, having said that, I have to say this: sterling is for more casual pieces. It will become marked up over time by scratches, nicks, dings, and if it is a ring, a bit less round. I would not use sterling for a wedding set or ring, if I could afford something else.

My husband's ring is palladium, which has been a great choice. It wears like platinum more than gold or silver; and at the time, I was able to buy it for far less than gold.
 
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