2014 - Sterling Silver U.S. Patent Review

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2014 - Sterling Silver U.S. Patent Review

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Silver and silver alloys have been used for thousands of years in ornaments, coins and jewelry. 92.5Ag7.5Cu sterling silver became a European standard in the twelfth century. It has always been understood and expected that sterling silver is fairly soft and that in time it exhibits dark tarnish. The developments in metal processing, mass production and mass market retail imposed new demands to increase the resistance to firescale and tarnish, as well as to enhance the strength. They led to a surge in patents on sterling silver between 1926 and 1940. The second surge (beginning in 1989) coincides with some key Santa Fe Symposium® presentations on sterling silver tarnish phenomenon. This presentation reviews practically all U.S. patents that are related to sterling silver. It also considers the most and the least critical elements that are listed in these patents and reviews those patents that have influenced the jewelry industry.

Author: Grigory Raykhtsaum

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