It is a common practice to worship Silver God idols among Hindus. They not only look attractive but are considered auspicious. Silver Lakshmi idols and Ganesh idols are popularly worshipped, especially during festivals like Diwali, other festivals, and auspicious occasions. Be it silver God idols or silver decorative idols, the purity of Silver is essential for its natural shine and makes the silver idol look attractive. Pure silver tarnishes faster than general silver with impurities.
The most refined silver available is of 999.9 purity grade, which is also written as 99.9 or .999. Pure Silver, by nature, is a soft metal. The best purity grade or fineness for Silver God idols is 925 purity, which is known as 925 Sterling Silver, also written as 92.5 Sterling Silver as it is 92.5% pure silver, the rest are other metals that increase the tensile strength, decreased softness, and malleability.
As silver God idols often pass down generations, it is recommended to ensure the purity grade of the idol. Buy silver Lakshmi idols from a reputed and trustworthy dealer who is licensed to sell pure silver with specifications of quality and purity grade. Hallmarked in the idol so that you don’t end up buying a silver-plated idol and get value for money.
What are 925 Sterling Silver Idols?
Devotees should have a silver God idol of the highest purity grade for worshiping. Still, silver God idols are primarily available in 925 Sterling Silver, which means the silver comes with impurities of other metals like Copper, Zinc, Nickel, etc. It is 925 or 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals. Though it contains impurities, 925 Sterling Silver is perfect for making idols because of its metal strength. The copper present in 925 fineness silver makes it strong and, at the same time, does not hamper the luster of silver.
Thus, 925 Sterling Silver has impurities along with pure silver that makes it stronger & durable than silver which is 99.9% pure.
Silver God idols are usually intricately carved in detail to make them divinely appealing. 925 Sterling Silver is malleable and, therefore, easy to shape or cast, whereas 999 silver is too soft to work with. 925 Sterling Silver tarnishes slower than 999 silver because of the presence of other metals as impurities that react with the air and leave dark marks on the surface of the silver. The higher the purity grade of silver, the softer it is, and jewelers find 925 Sterling Silver the most suitable to make silver Lakshmi idols and other silver God idols.
Though there are silver Lakshmi idols and other silver God idols found in the purity of 800, 835, 900, and 970, it is ideal to buy 925 Sterling Silver God idols as mentioned above.
While buying silver, God’s idols ensure that it is Hallmarked with the purity of the silver embossed in it and the hallmark sign so that you get the purity of silver you pay for. This also ensures the durability of the silver Lakshmi idol and Ganesh idol. However, maintaining the silver God idol by cleaning it regularly and storing it correctly, if it is not routinely used, goes a long way in preserving the 925 Sterling Silver God idols. Storing your silver Lakshmi idols or not using them often may not be the best idea for retaining the shine and luster of the idol.
How to know the Purity of Silver?
It is essential to buy silver Lakshmi idols and other God idols with Hallmark to ensure that you are getting genuine fineness of silver, which is mentioned in the idol. In the past, customers who bought silverware and silver God idols were often cheated by the dealers who sold silver of less purity at the cost of high-purity grade silver, and silver-plated idols were sold as pure silver God idols. Hallmark accurately determines the content of pure silver and other precious metals in the product. It is best to buy silver idols and other products from jewelers or dealers with a license to sell silver products with hallmarks.
Previously purity of Silver was measured in Carats, like Gold. The fineness of silver is measured in the millesimal system, which is the value of purity of silver in parts per thousand.
The Bureau of Indian Standards, BIS, is the Indian regulatory board for the standardization, quality, and certification of the purity of silver and other precious metals. If silver God idols have the BIS hallmark, you can be assured that the fineness or purity grade of the silver specified is genuine.
Check for the BIS mark logo in the silver God idols, which is a triangle with a dot in the middle, or you can find the small number 925 engraved on the idol at certain spots. No matter how small or big, the silver Lakshmi idol is, the BIS mark will surely be present in the idol if you buy it from a recognized trader/jeweler. If the idol is small, you can insist the dealer show it to you with a magnifying glass.
The fineness or purity grade is embossed/stamped in the hallmarked silver God idol, which mentions whether it is 99.9 pure silver or 925 Sterling Silver. This rules out all doubts about the purity grade of the silver Lakshmi idol you buy.
The name of the jeweler or trader is also a part of the BIS mark, which confirms the genuinely of the silver God idol.
How do we get the purity of Silver God idols checked?
Getting any old silver Lakshmi idol or silver God idols checked for purity is advised to get it done in a licensed laboratory. Many unauthorized places claim to test silver accurately at a lesser price, but it is better not to get trapped in it. Purification test of silver from an adequately licensed laboratory is recognized in the market and justifies the resale value. The best practice is to source Silver Idols from a trusted, reputed dealer.