If you're looking to add a timeless piece to your jewelry collection, check out this article that details certain pieces that you must have. Let’s break this down. Silver is one of the elements on the periodic table with the symbol Ag. As a metal for jewelry, it is very soft and malleable, easily losing shape and wearing out. When most people hear the words silver and sterling silver, they think these terms refer to the same kind of metal. This allows it to be used to make a number of other things including: Notice that last use of silver-plated items listed above. Sterling Silver. However, the difference in price is slight. Sterling silver can be identified by several different hallmarks, with the most common being 925. When 92.5% of pure silver is mixed with 7.5% of other metals (often copper, nickel or zinc) the resulting alloy is called sterling silver. Repairing and resizing sterling silver is also cost effective and relatively easy. The metals used in sterling silver alloys are not valuable and do not add to the overall worth of the metal. With a required purity of at least 92.5%, it’s a bit more valuable than coin silver. On the other hand, sterling silver consists of approximately 92.5% silver, and the remaining 7.5% (or even more) is of other metals. We're going to answer all of these questions and more in this sterling silver vs silver guide. Because pure silver is much too soft to be used in jewelry, it is often … Pure silver. Always check whether the silver is genuine prior to buying. You may require a jeweler’s loupe or microscope to see these stamps but they are the quickest way to check if your silver is actually silver. Is there one that's better in the sterling silver vs silver debate? However, sterling silver tends to tarnish when exposed to moisture and air and requires frequent polishing. Pure silver is not durable in the use of jewelry, although it can be used in jewelry such as earrings and pendants (i.e., items that don’t get much exposure to rough wear) without issue. Fine silver has a higher purity percentage of silver, which will make it more expensive compared to the less pure sterling silver. (Text continues below ad.) Tree of Life – What Does This Symbol Mean and Should... What is the Boho Jewelry Style and How to Rock It, The Difference Between Sterling Silver and 925 Silver, 16 Stunning Double-Sided Earrings You’ll Fall in Love With. This number is known as the hallmark and denotes the percentage of silver purity in the alloy. This can cause irritations, which people then wrongly attribute to the silver. Always inquire about the percentage of the silver if in doubt, especially when buying from overseas. Which should you go for the next time you want to buy a "silver" item? It will contain very few trace elements (only 0.01%), but it's essentially pure silver (hence the name). However, sometimes sterling silver can contain nickel, which is a common allergen. Because of this, pure silver is not generally used to make fine and delicate jewelry items. Silver plate is not valuable, unlike sterling silver and fine silver, and over time wears off. To identify it as such, the number 925 is stamped upon the silver, often in a hidden part of the jewelry. Silver items have long been known as symbols of wealth and prosperity. This stamp is usually "999" or ".999" or "99.9" to indicate that it is 99.9% silver, as fine silver must be to be considered fine silver. The mark for fine silver is 999. Jewelry made of genuine silver should carry certain stamps, known as hallmarks, that help to identify the silver. These stamps are usually "925" or "92.5" or ".925" to indicate the purity of the silver within it. Some other hallmarks for sterling silver are STER, STERLING, STG or Sterling Silver. Overall, sterling silver has much more in the way of value than plated silver. Fine silver also doesn’t tend to tarnish even when in contact with moisture and air. This 7.5% is usually made of copper or zinc. How to Keep Your Jewelry Looking Good. Fine silver is also usually stamped with a marker to indicate that it is indeed fine silver. Sterling silver and 925 silver are different names for the same silver alloy. Silver can also tarnish. They're actually two distinct materials with different make-ups, care techniques, lifespans, and prices. German silver and sterling silver may be the same color and have a similar shine and gleam, but that doesn’t make them the same. One such alloy is sterling silver, which comprises 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals, commonly copper, nickel or zinc. You can also check out our selection of 925 sterling silver chains. Sterling silver contains 92.5 percent pure silver, while German silver contains no silver … Pure silver is much softer than sterling silver, and is often not used for jewelry. Sterling silver is more easily tarnished than pure silver. Pure silver is hypoallergenic and does not irritate skin. Sterling silver is much more durable compared to fine silver because of the added metal alloys. 1. Often, sterling silver and silver are described as the same thing, but in reality, sterling silver is only an alloy of silver. However, the difference in price is slight. Inquire from the vendors whether it is in fact sterling silver and ask any questions about the alloys. The copper content in the alloy, which oxidizes and reacts with elements, informs this. However, sterling silver still looks just as good as fine silver, which means you can get affordable, timeless pieces for a lower price. In other parts of the world, such strict standards do not exist for sterling silver. That's because the added durability that sterling silver has means it won't be damaged or dented by everyday use and wear and tear like fine silver is.
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