Sterling Silver Jewelry Complete Guide

Sterling Silver Jewelry Complete Guide

Sterling silver ranks among the top favorite metals when it comes to a choice of materials for jewelry. Silver was once a symbol of wealth but now, it has more widespread uses around the world. From making timeless and statement pieces to other numerous benefits, in this article we will discuss everything you need to know regarding sterling silver.

What is Sterling Jewelry?

Silver in its purest form is an extremely soft metal. Molding into jewelry is not possible, which is why manufacturers have to mix it with another metal for creating an alloy. This mixture of silver and another metal creates sterling silver, with a ratio of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of the other one.

Due to this mixing process, there are many scammers in the market who try to pass lower quality of sterling silver pieces to customers. It is important to go with prior knowledge of the mixture to know how to identify high quality sterling silver.

The alternate metal is usually nickel or copper, hence, you will find a degree of durability, strength and even an added luster in the silver. The right composition will always result in a strong variety of sterling silver, which you can judge when you hold it in your hand.

But even if you do not have a trained eye to identify low quality and the best one, you can always look for the hallmark that marks pure sterling silver. There are several hallmark versions, including .925, which is usually stamped on the silver.

If not that, then you can look for alternate words, such as sterling silver, STG, Sterling or STER.

Sterling Silver vs. Silver: What’s the Difference

In appearance, the average individual will never be able to spot a difference between sterling silver and silver. The fact is that both materials are utterly beautiful and equally eye-catching. The main difference is in the level of purity and also the monetary value of the materials.

Sterling silver jewelry will usually have a bright white look because they receive a fine polished shined in the end before they go up for sale. Silver is typically 99.99% pure, meaning you will only find about 0.01 percent of impurity in it, if other metals from the periodic table affect its chemical properties and appearance.

Another thing with silver is that it usually bears a purity stamp when you go to buy it. In fact, commercial silver objects bear one or more hallmarks of silver that update the buyer of its purity. On the other hand, sterling silver is in reality an alloy, combining 92.5% or pure silver while other metals make up the remainder of the composition.

This lends the material more weight, strength and durability and also makes sterling silver more suitable for jewelry pieces. It is also highly workable due to the fact that it can withstand force and pressure far better than pure silver.

What Lasts Longer: Silver or Sterling Silver?

One cannot doubt the durability of sterling silver. If fact, it has also proved time again to outlast gold and regular silver. This is the primary reason why sterling silver is the first choice of jewelry makers who sell a line of silver jewelry.

It is true that sterling silver has no fixed tarnishing period: even if it does begin tarnishing, one can clean it in simple ways or maintain few simple practices to prevent tarnishing. In fact, quite a surprising historical tidbit about sterling silver that this material’s name originated from a kind of silver coin.

The latter was no ordinary coin: it was an original minted one by King Henry II of Great Britain. The reason behind the extraordinary coin’s minting was the durability and steady value of the material. People say that the coins, ranking at 92.5% in purity were first popular by the name of ‘Easterling Coins”.

As more and more artisans started working with it, the name shortened to sterling from Easterling.

Sterling Silver Jewelry: Should You Wear it in the Shower?

It is true that sterling silver is highly durable but it can still begin to tarnish in as earlyas two months if you expose the surface to body oils and more elements. When these start accumulating on the surface of the sterling silver jewelry items, it can accelerate the tarnishing process.

This is why we recommending removing your sterling silver jewelry prior to stepping into the water. Removing all your sterling silver jewelry before showering or swimming will preserve and maximize its appearance.

It is also beneficial to keep the jewelry items away from your other household chemicals, onions, wool, latex items and even those containing sulfur. It is also best to keep your jewelry out of contact with lotions, makeup and other cosmetic products.

How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry

You can keep your sterling silver jewelry brand-new looking all the time with a few simple cleaning practices.

Clean the jewelry pieces with a silver jewelry cleaner. Apply a small amount of it on a soft cloth and gently buff the pieces a few times. Gently wash with warm water later of to get rid of the cleaner.
You can purchase special polishing cloths for silver. When you use those on your sterling silver jewelry, make sure to rub the jewelry items back and forth instead of in circles. If you do the latter, it might accentuate any scratches the pieces may have.
Soak your sterling silver jewelry items in a silver cleaning dip for a few minutes. Remove and rinse of with warm.
Take your sterling silver items to a professional jeweler for cleaning.
Final Thoughts

Sterling silver is the more popular material for the eye-catching and elegant silver jewelry pieces people love. Sterling silver is a more workable, highly durable and strong material in comparison with pure silver, which is why it is a better option for jewelry production.

It requires only a few simple cleaning practices to stay shiny and lustrous and holds a steady value. At Y. Jewelry, we have a range of fabulous sterling silver jewelry products waiting for you!
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