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Good to know

The Precious Metal Articles Act applies in the Republic of Estonia. An undertaking entered in the commercial register concerning which a registration has been made in the register of economic activities that indicates the right to engage in the manufacture or import of or wholesale trade or retail trade in articles of precious metal may manufacture, offer for sale on a wholesale or retail basis and import articles of precious metal. Article of precious metal means jewellery or another article containing as the base metal a precious metal: gold, silver or platinum. Articles coated with gold or silver, i.e. imitations do not require marks.

The manufacturer or importer of articles of precious metal must be registered in the state register of sponsor marks. An article may be offered for sale as an article of precious metal if the article complies with the requirements of legislation in force and, at least, compulsory marks specified in the law, i.e. sponsor marks and fineness marks, have been affixed to the article. Sponsor marks are pressed into the article or made with a laser. A letter, combination of letters or a symbol (also a trademark) that is clearly distinguishable from other sponsor marks used in Estonia may be a sponsor mark.

Metals that conform to the standard of fineness specified in the act must be used for the manufacture of articles of precious metal and compulsory fineness marks must be affixed to the article. Precious metal used for the manufacture of articles of precious metal conforms to the standard of fineness, if the pure gold, platinum or palladium content thereof is equal to or greater than the standard of fineness.

The standards of fineness of articles of precious metal are:
1) 375, 500, 585, 750, 916 or 999 in the case of articles of gold;
2) 800, 830, 925 or 999 in the case of articles of silver;
3) 850, 950 or 999 in the case of articles of platinum;
4) 500, 950 or 999 in the case of articles of palladium.

The undertaking importing, manufacturing or selling the articles of precious metal is responsible for the conformity of these articles.

Silver is a delicate metal compared to other commonly used metals for jewellery, tableware, etc., products. Pure silver is very soft, 925 stamped silver with a 92.5% silver content and 7.5% content of other metals that make the fusion longer lasting is mostly used. Due to incorrect usage, spots, scratches and dullness are easy to occur, the latter resulting from coming into contact with air. Silver is easy to keep bright if polished regularly with a cotton cloth. Silver that has stayed unused long needs a special cleaning paste in order to restore its shine. Clean softly and use a soft cloth! You can try the following:

Put a piece of aluminium foil on the bottom of the sink and fill with water. Add a bit of salt and soda, a few teaspoons of each. Put the silver jewellery in the water so the articles are in contact with each other and the aluminium foil. Keep it in the water up to 5 minutes, rinse and dry.

You can also use special-purpose towels for cleaning silver that can apply shine without paste or liquids. It is very important to be sure that dust and grains of sand are cleaned from silver. Suggestion: silver is meant to be for wearing; body oils can prevent silver from becoming dull.

Alpaca consists of 55% copper, 20% nickel, 20% zinc and 5% tin. Alpaca comes from China and is a cheaper substitute for silver. Alpaca’s advantage compared to silver is its easier maintenance. A fusion of alpaca covered with silver is also very common. This type of combination makes the metal stronger than just silver and keeps its shine. Alpaca-silver is a durable and quality metal, very common in jewellery production. Alpaca-silver can be maintained similarly to normal silver. You can try the following:

Mix a few drops of dish cleaner with a few drops of lemon juice in a cup of warm water. Put the jewellery into the cup for 1-2 minutes. Rinsing is not needed, just lay it on a clean, dry towel. Suggestion: if possible keep everyday jewellery separated in order to avoid disorder and scratches. Jewellery boxes bolstered with velvet are ideal places for storage.