Silver content in Children's Jewellery

A few months ago, Tibetan silver charms and other jewellery were found on ebay at very low prices.  A test was done on some of these pieces and they were found to have as little as 1% pure silver.  This debacle has maligned real Tibetan silver which can contain as much as 99% pure silver (but is very expensive.)  Generally though, Tibetan silver contains approx. 30% pure silver, mixed with a copper alloy as a hardener.

So what is Bali Silver, Mexican Silver, Miao Silver etc.?

Bali silver is generally very safe to buy though unscrupulous sellers on ebay have done a "Tibetan" on Bali silver as well.  If prices seems ridiculously low, then it's probably not Bali silver at all, which is generally good quality sterling silver.

Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver.  It is the most popular type of silver used in baby jewellery and children's jewellery.  This is because pure silver is actually too soft for the treatment often dished out to children's bracelets, etc.  So harder metals are added, usually, but not exclusively copper.  

In the past I've purchased Miao Silver jewellery.  This is a traditional craft in Northern China and countries nearby such as Kyrgyzstan. Traditionally, it contains approx 30% pure silver.  Miao is beautiful but affordable.

Recently Mexican suppliers have been emailing me regarding Mexican baby bracelets and children's earrings.  I had no knowledge of the content of Mexican silver, but from my research, it is dubious.  Mexican silver *can* be sterling silver, or it can contain only 30% (same as regular Tibetan silver) or it can be made from as little as 10% silver.

For the moment, I am avoiding Mexican silver until I know more about it, though some of their designs are very tempting!

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