Silver is shiny and bright with the signature metallic glimmer we all know and love. It’s timeless, trendy and universally used in jewellery making worldwide.
Silver will never go out of style as it’s been cherished for centuries, with origins of discovery in Greece and Turkey dating back to 3000 BC. Pure silver is precious but too soft to use for jewellery. Add a little alloy to the mix and voila, you’ve got sterling silver! There’s also silver plate, fine silver, pure silver, nickel silver, and 925 silver.
With so many silvers available on the market, how do you know which silver to buy? Are all silvers equal? And what’s the difference between sterling silver and 925 silver?
Sterling Silver vs 925 Silver
Sterling silver is an alloy made from 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent alloy. An alloy is a mixture of two (or more) elements taken from the periodic table. The alloys can include zinc, copper or nickel. The copper makes the silver harder, more durable and therefore much better to work with and use, but without compromising on the colour. These percentages are the reason why sterling silver is often hallmarked with the numbers 925.
So, that leaves the question: what is 925 silver? Ultimately, it’s the same thing as sterling silver! Sterling silver and 925 silver are both made from the same silver alloy blend, with the only key difference being the name.
Durability and Purity of Sterling Silver
The reason sterling silver requires the mixture of other metals is because pure silver is naturally soft and by adding other metals to the silver you can increase the hardness. This process gives sterling silver the bright, shiny, metallic & beautiful silver we love. The only downfall is that it can tarnish, so it’s important to regularly clean and maintain your sterling silver jewellery.
The purity of silver lands on a numeric scale, or rating system, based on 1,000. Pure silver gets a 999 rating. For silver to be classified as sterling silver, it must meet at least a 92.5 purity, AKA 925. So, as you can see: 925 silver is sterling silver.
How to Identify Sterling Silver
The easiest way to identify sterling silver is to look for a mark or stamp, called the “hallmark.” According to international standards, all sterling silver should be marked with a quality or fineness stamp, which clearly indicates the precious metal content of the jewellery.
Certified sterling silver will be stamped or marked with the word “925” or “sterling.” You may often come across other hallmarks labelled with “STG” “SS” or “STER,”. These are all authentic notations of sterling silver.
Look for the mark in an inconspicuous place, such as on hooks, clasps or closures. If your product is fine silver, it contains 99.9 percent silver — the quality stamp should say .999, 999 or 99.9. Typically, you can rely on the mark to tell you the exact silver content of your piece and if you don’t see a stamp, rather shop elsewhere!
Why we love Sterling Silver?
Sterling silver has stood the test of time, which means it will always be in style. It’s darling and durable and we can’t get enough of it! Keeping in mind: –
It’s also Hypoallergenic
Yes – hypoallergenic! It’s much less likely to cause an allergic reaction than nickel or brass, which means you can wear pieces of sterling silver jewellery without risk of infection or irritation.
It has Increased Strength
Sterling silver is considerably stronger than pure silver. Sterling silver jewellery will hold its shape even with daily use, which makes it the perfect go-to option in your jewellery collection.
It’s Incredibly Versatile
Like grey is considered a neutral colour, silver is a well-established neutral metal. Silver also works when worn together with other metals.
Browse our online collection and find a sparkling and inspiring piece for every occasion. Be Beautiful – always!