Why did nickel once contain silver?

Tibetan silver

A lot of costume jewelry is being made these days Tibetan silverproduced. Silver sounds good at first, but is Tibetan silver really silver? The term "Tibetan silver" describes a number of precious metal-free alloys that are mainly used for jewelry production. These alloys often have a resemblance to ancient silver.

The history of Tibetan silver

In the past, silver was mainly imported from parts of what is now Iran, from China, India, Mongolia and Siberia. There were also some silver mines in Tibet, but they did not mine enough silver to meet the entire country's demand. In addition to the production of coins, silver was also used in handicrafts in Tibet for so-called "driving work". Originally, "Tibetan silver" actually contained some silver, and old jewelry made from this material may even consist largely of silver.

Tibetan silver - Modern use

Nowadays, "Tibetan silver" refers to, among other things, copper-tin and copper-nickel alloys, zinc alloys and others. An X-ray examination of jewelry made of Tibetan silver bought on the Internet shows that over 85% of the jewelry consists of alloys, which mainly contain copper, nickel or zinc. So there are some health risks such as nickel allergies associated with Tibetan silver. The reason for this is that there is often no or imprecise information on the composition of the alloy.