Silver is a beloved precious metal that has been adored by many for its elegance and timelessness.
But, what makes this metal so unique?
What exactly is sterling silver and how does it compare to other precious metals like gold or titanium?
What is Sterling Silver?
What is Sterling Silver?
Pure silver (99.9%) is highly malleable and since it is too soft to use in jewelry, other metals are introduced into the composition to give it strength and durability.
For jewelry, the most widely-used silver alloy is sterling silver.
Sterling silver, also referred to as 925 silver, is composed of 92.5% silver. The remaining 7.5% is made up of other trace metal alloys to give the silver structure and rigidity.
999 Pure Silver vs 925 Sterling Silver
999 Pure Silver
999 silver is the most pure form of silver. It consists of 99.9% silver with the remaining being impurities. In its natural state, fine silver is too soft to have any practical uses.
925 Sterling Silver925 sterling silver is a high-quality silver alloy that is made up of 92.5% silver. The residual 7.5% is a mix of other alloys, such as copper or nickel. Other materials must be introduced to increase the durability factor of the highly pliable silver metal in its natural state.
The naked eye is not able to distinguish the physical difference between sterling silver and pure silver, as they look virtually the same.
The small amount of non-silver material added to sterling silver is so insignificant that it does not affect the silver’s original colour.
Nickel is a common non-silver material added to sterling silver because it is a white metal that gives sterling silver its durability, but will not affect its tone.
Pure silver is too soft and malleable to have any functional purpose.
Sterling silver, on the other hand, looks identical to pure silver. But is strengthened so that it can be withstand everyday use, making it the perfect option for everyday jewelry.
You guessed it, pure silver is much more expensive than sterling silver.
Sterling silver is alloyed with other cheaper metals allowing it to be much more affordable.
Like pure gold, pure silver does not react with oxygen or water. Therefore, it does not tarnish easily.
Sterling silver on the other hand, is laced with other metal alloys, and as a result is more prone to tarnishing.
Tarnish is a natural chemical reaction that occurs gradually over time with the exposure to air and moisture. Accumulation of tarnish on the silver jewelry will cause it to lose its original brightness and shine.
It is generally the other metals mixed into the gold or silver composition that reacts with the elements to cause tarnish.
Luckily, tarnish is very easy to clean. If your sterling silver jewelry is showing signs of tarnishing, simply clean with anti-tarnish liquids, or a cleaning cloth.
Sterling silver is much more practical than its malleable pure silver counterpart, and will require a little more attention to keep it in tiptop condition.
Now that you know a little bit more about sterling silver, here are 15 reasons why you should buy sterling silver jewelry if you aren’t already doing so.
15 Reasons Why You Should Start Buying Sterling Silver Jewelry
Pure silver is extremely soft and malleable on its own.
However, with the addition of 7.5% of other durable metals, the resulting sterling silver alloy is much stronger and has a much wider application.
It is even stronger than gold.
Sterling silver is also much more scratch-resistant than other precious metals, like titanium, making it an ideal choice for everyday jewelry.
- Necklace: Because of its scratch-resistant characteristic, necklaces made of sterling silver is strong enough to last everyday usage, while remaining lightweight.
- Earrings: Earrings made of sterling silver are hypoallergenic, meaning it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction to people even with sensitive ears.
- Rings: Sterling silver is a great option for rings because they are lightweight and will hold their shape regardless of how thin or thick they are.
#2 Timeless Metal
Historically, silver has been used by ancient civilizations for decoration and adornment.
Even to this day, silver is a popular choice for jewelry.
Thanks to its beauty, elegance and magnificence, the latest jewelry trends will always include silver.
#3 Numerous Options
Artisans and jewellers like to use sterling silver in their designs because of its strength, durability and relative affordability.
Because it is such a great metal to work with, there is a wide range of sterling silver jewelry in the market.
Whatever your style is, whether it is subtle, sophisticated, or extravagant, there will always be a sterling silver option available for you.
Thanks to the longevity of sterling silver, it make a great choice for new jewelry additions or as a daily staple with your other everyday pieces.
#4 Creative Designs
Because of sterling silver’s practical applications, some designers like using this metal to create some of their most creative and innovative designs.
You can find a range of interesting designs or simple studs made of sterling silver
Silver is a hypoallergenic metal, meaning it does not cause any reactions.
Hypoallergenic means “below average” or ”slightly” allergenic.
Wearing jewelry labeled “hypoallergenic” means that it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction since little to no potentially-irritating alloys are used to create the earring.
While pure silver is a hypoallergenic material, it is not used in the making of jewelry because it is too soft.
For the alloy to take shape, 7.5% of the composition is made up of other metals - any metal can be added into the structure.
Because the concentration of other potentially-offending metals is negligible, it is unlikely that a reaction will be developed.
#6 Easy to Maintain
While sterling silver can tarnish, it is very easy to remove.
Tarnishing is a natural process that is inevitable.
It occurs when the metal is exposed to certain types of elements like oxygen, water and moisture.
Proper care and storage are some of the many ways to effectively prevent and slow down tarnishing.
Taking proper care of your sterling silver jewelry will allow it to last for many years.
Sterling silver is one of the lighter precious metals.
This makes it a practical choice for simple everyday jewelry for people who don’t want to be weighed down by heavy platinum or gold pieces.
#8 Pairs Well with Other Jewelry
The subtle and understated tone of silver jewelry makes it an excellent choice to pair with other jewelry.
To make your jewelry stand out more, choose an anchor colour like a silver-toned necklace or bracelet and introduce a few bright and contrasting colours into you look.
#9 Most Affordable Precious Metal
Sterling silver is one of the most affordable precious metals.
Its affordability makes it a great high-quality jewelry option without an exorbitant price tag that comes with other precious metals.
#10 Large Selection and Variety
Thanks to its popularity, designers are met with a high demand for silver jewelry.
This causes more designers to use silver in their creations - allowing a wide range of silver jewelry to be readily available in the market.
#11 Great Way to Build Your Collection
Due to the large selection of sterling silver jewelry available, you can easily create a new collection of silver jewelry pieces or add to your existing collection.
#12 Always Trendy
Even with changing designs and trends, silver has never failed to show up in the latest designs.
In the recent 2020 spring and summer fashion shows, the latest trends included bright colours.
Bold jewelry with colourful gemstones had been showcased by several designers.
Whether it was mismatched colours, or large beaded pieces in an array of colours, these beautiful coloured stones were set in a sterling silver setting.
#13 Long Lasting
Because of the durability and strength of sterling silver, jewelry made from this alloy is designed to withstand everyday use.
With careful usage and proper storage, your sterling silver can easily last a lifetime.
Sterling silver jewelry can be crafted in a variety of different styles - from simple and classic studs and drops to large flashy statement pieces.
Wear your sterling silver jewelry to coffee with friends, Saturday date night, school and work too.
#15 High Workability
The natural characteristics of sterling silver jewelry make it a metal with great workability.
Sterling silver alloy is a great choice for adding a little bit of personalization to your jewelry - engrave a loved one’s name, a special message, or a memorable date. Engrave a name, a short message or a special date on it for your loved one!