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The name "argent" and the chemical symbol "Ag" come from the Latin "argentum". Its even more distant origin means "brilliant white, milky and clear". This precious, malleable and highly ductile metal (the ductility refers to the ability of a material to deform without breaking) has exceptional whiteness and brilliance after polishing.


To make finely worked parts, the rigidity of pure silver must be increased by combining it with other metals (especially copper). In fact, pure silver (1000 thousandths) is extremely soft (at the time, the authenticity of silver coins was checked by biting them!). In France, an alloy made of 925 thousandths of pure silver (also known as first-stage silver or sterling silver) is traditionally used. It consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metal (usually copper). MIKADO works only 925 thousandths silver (sterling silver), because it is the noble metal used for centuries in French jewellery, a guarantee of purity, quality and longevity. MIKADO silver jewellery includes the brand's signature, the hallmark (which identifies each piece of jewellery made in France), the 925 hallmark and the "Minerve head" state hallmark for pieces weighing more than 30 grams.


Silver is the most accessible precious metal. It allows to manufacture jewellery of quality, finely crafted for a much lower cost than gold. As a result, it offers designers the opportunity to design parts of a larger volume that would be inaccessible in gold (such as the napkin ring MIKADO MIAM or the egg cup MIKADO COCO).
On the other hand, silver has two main disadvantages: it oxidizes with time and is more easily scratched than gold. It can of course be cleaned and repolished. Like white gold, silver used in jewellery is very often covered with a thin layer of a rare metal, rhodium, which also slows oxidation. The rhodium plating, which gives silver a slightly greyer shade, is available as an option.