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Melting point of silver

The melting point of pure silver is 961.8 degrees Celsius (Centigrade) and 1,763.24 degrees Fahrenheit. Though silver has nowhere near the highest melting point on the periodic table, it is still relatively high. This resistance to heat is key to a number of silver’s uses in the electrical and mechanical industries.


Melting temperature of silver

As stated above, the melting temperature for pure silver would be 961.8°C, but pure silver is quite soft and is only really used in bullion such as silver coins or bars.

In order to harden it, most silver items are made from silver alloys. Jewellery, for example, is almost never pure silver, and older, circulating silver coins were also alloyed in order to prevent damage. One such silver alloy regularly used is Sterling silver; which is 92.5% silver, and 7.5% copper or another metal.

The presence of these other metals changes the melting point depending on their own. The melting point of Sterling silver for example is a few degrees lower than pure silver at 893 °C.


Melting temperature of silver alloys

Below is a table showing three of the most common types of silver, with their according melting points:

Type of silver Fineness Melting Point
Sterling silver 925 890 °C
Britannia silver 958 940 °C
Fine silver 999.9 961.8 °C


Melting silver

An extremely strong heat source is needed to melt even a small amount of silver, and requires specialist equipment to safely handle the molten silver, such as crucibles and tongs.

For qualified jewellers, silver is a simple metal to melt and work with, but because of the high temperatures required it is not advisable for amateurs to attempt melting silver at home.

As part of the UK Coinage Act 1971, it is illegal to melt any British legal tender, bullion or circulation currency. Although silver has not been used in circulating currency post-decimalisation, some Royal Mint coins are considered legal tender, so the melting of these would still fall foul of this law.

Pouring melted silver


Smelting silver

Melting and smelting sound very similar but refer to different processes. Silver melting is used to produce silver products and shape the raw materials, often by pouring liquid silver into moulds.

Smelting however is the process of refining and removing impurities from metals. To smelt silver ore or a silver alloy the metal is first crushed and mixed with other materials. The mixture is then heated until it melts. When the mixture becomes liquid, impurities from the silver ore or alloy bond to the materials which were added. These then rise to the surface and can be skimmed off to leave pure silver behind. This process can also be dangerous due to the toxic fumes given off when heating the chemicals added for the smelting process.

At BullionByPost we can buy your scrap silver back at highly competitive prices. Call our helpful support staff on 0121 634 8060 or email us at support@bullionbypost.co.uk for more information.

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