What Is Sterling Silver (92.5% Silver)?
Sterling silver, typically made of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals like copper, adheres to a standard requiring a minimum fineness of 925 millesimal, establishing its quality and purity. Yippee!
Overall, sterling silver strikes a balance between durability, beauty, and affordability, making it a popular choice for crafting quality jewellery.
Discover the pros and cons of investing in 925 silver jewellery below (FYI, there's not many cons!).
The higher the purity of silver, the less likely it is to cause allergic responses in individuals who are sensitive to other metals.
Although silver plated jewellery might look like 925 silver, the base metal might not be hypoallergenic.
Unlike certain alloys that contain nickel, standard sterling silver typically avoids including this allergenic metal, greatly lowering the risk of allergic reactions.
May Trigger Allergy In Some Individuals
Although 925 silver is generally considered hypoallergenic, some individuals may still experience allergic reactions to sterling silver due to the presence of other metals, such as copper.
Certain skin types may be more sensitive to metals or react differently based on factors like sweat, pH levels, or other environmental elements.
While it can tarnish over time due to exposure to air and moisture, regular care can maintain its luster.
925 sterling silver jewellery, composed of 92.5% silver, tends to tarnish less or at a slower rate compared to pieces with higher alloy content and less silver. Plus a quick clean easily restores its shine!
Resistant, But Not Tarnish-Proof
It's very normal for 925 silver to tarnish, which is why it requires a little TLC now and then. Actually, it's a sign that your purchase is indeed authentic 925 silver.
Occasional green skin discoloration may occur due to the presence of copper in 925 silver. The green residue results from a chemical reaction when the copper alloy in sterling silver comes into contact with acids in the skin or lotions.
Just give the silver a good polish to make it shine again, and apply a polymer barrier inside the ring every few weeks to stop those green fingers!
925 silver is both durable and inexpensive compared to other precious metals, such a platinum or gold. Affordable doesn't mean inferior—925 silver jewelry is both luxurious and an ideal choice for a meaningful gift.
With the right care and storage, your 925 silver jewellery could last decades, if not forever!
It's also stronger than pure silver, making it more resistant to damage or deformation, ensuring longevity. The addition of other metals, typically copper, enhances its strength and durability without compromising its appearance.
Unlike silver-plated items, 925 silver pieces won't wear away because they are solid silver!
Sterling silver should meet established industry standards, ensuring a level of quality and purity.
Silver's shiny look comes from how its atoms are set up. The electrons in silver are kind of loose and when light hits them, they pick out specific colors to reflect. They reflect blue and violet shades, which gives silver its special shine that catches the eye.
Sterling Silver Shopping: Red Flags & Tips
Hallmark or Stamp: Look for a hallmark or stamp indicating "925" or "Sterling" on the jewellery piece. It signifies the silver's authenticity and quality. Oh, by the way, the Hallmarking Act 1973 says that sterling silver items below 7.78 grams don't require a stamp.
Seller's Reputation: Before you buy, check out what other customers are saying and their ratings to be sure the website or brand you're eyeing has a solid rep and is legit.
Silver Plated Is Not 925: Online sellers often claim '925 silver' without specifying if it's plated, misleading buyers. On Amazon or eBay, scrutinize descriptions and check product features such as 'Metal Purity' or 'Base Metal'. A base metal like brass or stainless steel means that it's plated!
Silver in Name Only: Exercise caution when 'silver' and not '925' is provided in the title or product description—often it refers to the colour, not the metal.
Not All Silver Is the Same: Always verify the silver's purity, indicating the percentage of silver present. Anything below 92.5% indicates it's not sterling or solid silver, compromising its quality. Conversely, a purity level above 92.5% signifies higher silver content, which can be a desirable feature depending on your preferences!
Approach Reviews with a Grain of Skepticism: Reviews are very useful, but some customers might not have all the facts about a product. Take tarnishing, for instance. Even though it's natural for 925 silver, some folks might think it means the piece isn't legit and leave a negative review by mistake.
Tarnished? Don't Panic: 925 silver tarnishes naturally because it's made up of 92.5% silver alongside other metals like copper. Exposure to elements, especially sulfur, triggers a chemical reaction causing a darkened layer on its surface. Tarnishing confirms its purity rather than indicating inauthenticity. Cleaning silver is simple, and storing it in an airtight container prevents tarnish buildup.
Nickel-Free: It's always good to check the specific composition or inquire about the presence of nickel if you have concerns about allergies or sensitivities.
Return Policies and Warranty: Check the seller's return policy and warranty period to ensure you can return the item should anything be wrong with the item you are buying.
Price Consideration: Sterling silver is valuable, but excessively low prices might indicate inferior quality or fake silver. Be cautious of unusually cheap offerings.
Cleaning and Care Instructions: Ask about proper cleaning and maintenance methods for the specific piece to ensure its longevity and shine.
Whew! I think we've just about covered all the essentials. Now, go ahead and treat yourself to some stunning 925 silver jewelry!