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Silver is the first metal of which cutleries were made of and the material has the reputation to possess bactericidal qualities. A sterling cutlery of massive silver is even after decades an object of great value. Depending on the execution real silver objects are not made out of pure silver, but material silver (Ag) are mixed with copper (Cu). The proportionate mass of this alloy is specified in thousandth. So the 800th silver contains 80% of silver and 20% of copper, the 925th silver – also called sterling silver – 7.5% of copper and so on. Therefore, the color of the silver also differs slightly, depending to the percentage of copper in the alloy. Mainly for optical reasons massive silver is galvanized often with a layer of pure silver. Silver is marked with the punch which refers to the punch law of the country of origin. In Germany the imperial crown and the half moon has to be beside the brand of the manufacturer together with the thousandth number as a token for the real silver. In France, however, the head of Minerva in an octagon beside the punch of the manufacture is the juridically correct sign.
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