Shoppers looking for silver watches have to know exactly what they are doing if they want to avoid disappointment. This article will explain why this is so by reviewing some basic facts about watches and the uses of silver in jewelry in general and watches in particular. Buying a silver watch is not a no-brainer, so forewarned is forearmed.
The use in jewelry of silver at 99+ % purity has a long history because of its beauty, rarity, and easy malleability. However, the downside of its malleability is that it also lacks strength, making it susceptible to deforming and scratching. One result was the development of “sterling silver” that today consists of about 93% silver and 7% from a strengthening metal element such as copper or zinc.
Sterling silver is widely used in certain jewelry, but still has drawbacks. Most important, it naturally tarnishes because of silver’s chemical reaction with oxygen and other environmental factors.
Silver used in jewelry is “silver plate”, which is a very thin coating of silver over a common metal such as steel, brass or copper, and therefore very inexpensive compared to sterling, much less pure silver. Unfortunately, for its use in jewelry, the silver plating is highly susceptible to flaking and wear.
This stainless steel chain bracelet gets you started with Disney charm bracelet featuring a heart-shaped charm with the script engraved as “Dreams Do Come True”. The chain is snake style, while the clasp is of lobster claw style. Interestingly, the bracelet is available in a small/medium size for most girls and large/extra large size for adult women. This is how flexible this beaded bracelet is!
Further, there is a small crystal on both sides of the charm. The crafting is so beautifully done that the crystal looks the same either way you turn. While the Disney charm bracelet is 8.25 inches long, it can fit well on a 6″ wrist with charms, provided you choose a small one. Because there two lengths, ensure that you choose the correct length considering that adding beads will make the fit a little tighter. The charm and spacers are not cheap or flimsy at all.
The Disney charm bracelet has the Mickey head dangling by the clasp along with two stoppers, which can really add up to the wearer’s joy. Although the build is stainless steel having a blackish color as compared to the sterling silver charms, the build and look are certainly commendable.
Silver use in watches dates back to the 1700s when silver (as well as gold) was widely used for the cases of watches worn on chains around the neck or in a pocket. However, because silver was also important for a country’s currency, restrictions on its ornamental uses began to emerge. Combined with silver’s malleability problems, the proportionate use of silver in watches and other jewelry drastically declined.
Today, online searching for “silver watches” typically results in about one-third the number of hits compared to “gold watches”. Most of these watches are sterling silver (at prices up to $2000) but some are silver-plated (at prices as low as $13). In addition, it is all too common to find watches whose only silver is in the watch dial or a watch accessory. For example, the recent auction of the 46-watch collection of swindler Bernard Madoff included three models whose auction description included the word silver. But two merely had silver dials (at prices of more than $6000 and $10,000) and another was an antique women’s model with a silver storage case (price about $4000).
Another potential concern is that silver watches today are not particularly favored by collectors of fine watches. Searching one-watch collectors’ website resulted in only 18 hits for silver case watches compared to almost 1300 hits for gold case watches. Therefore, if you are interested in buying a silver watch, it might be a mistake to do so for its collectible value.
Nevertheless, silver jewelry, including watches, seems to be making a comeback lately, perhaps due to the comparatively more sharply escalating price of gold. Sterling silver watches are attractive, reasonably priced compared to other precious metals and widely available online and from retail outlets. If you do not mistake sterling silver for pure silver, or plated silver for sterling, and you do a reasonable amount of comparison-shopping, then you should be more than satisfied. If in doubt, use a certified appraiser.
Finally, you never know when or where you might find the right silver watch. Recently a silver watch was recovered by a diver searching a shipwreck off the coast of Wales. It had been owned by the ship’s captain who went down with his ship 130 years ago.