Most people do not know that silver jewelry we know is most likely made of sterling silver rather than pure silver.
Sounds strange? Keep reading through the following article, and You might learn some important things about this fascinating ancient metal.
Sterling Silver, What is it made of?
Sterling Silver is an Alloy, and This is an alloy with a purity percentage of 92.5%. The percentage of pure silver in that alloy is only 7.5 percent (%)
Where have all the other 92.5 percent gone, you may ask? The full Alloy holds many other substances. The most common substance of this alloy. The most used due to its unique qualities is usually copper, which is added to pure silver to make it more suitable for jewelry making.
Sometimes the silver is combined with alloys from other metals such as Zinc or Platinum, but as long as the silver content of the alloy is preserved, it will still be considered sterile silver. The helix earring, for that matter, is known for its level of quality in order NOT to cause infections in the earlobe.
Silver metal is inherently soft, so it is much more difficult to process for jewelry making in its pure shape. However, creating an alloy and adding other metals that differ in quality increases the degree of hardness of the silver and makes it more durable and suitable for use with jewelry such as silver rings or charms and even household silverware.
The process also creates a unique signature of the Silver we all know, which is usually bright, shiny, and metallic.
For a metal to be classified as sterling metal, the silver inside the silver product must be purified at least 92.5%. Since the degree of purity is truly a matter of millimeters measured in milliseconds. It is marked with a number. In the case of sterling silver, the number would be 925. Therefore the name: 925 sterling silver. The 925 stamp on the silver product indicates that the piece of jewelry in your hand was made of Sterling Silver.
Silver has several degrees of purity.
The degree of purity is the percentage of precious metal in the alloy and is measured in words. Thus, for example, in the pure silver alloy, the percentage of silver will be 99.9%, and the purity of silver will be described in mark 999.
When the percentage of silver in jewelry is 92.5%, as in sterling silver, the degree of purity will be described in mark 925.
The next degree of purity goes down to 835, which means about 83.5%.
The fourth and final tier describes an alloy in which the percentage of silver is 80% and, as you probably figured, is marked by the number 800.
According to the degree of purity, the price of the jewelry will also be determined. Therefore, it is advisable to purchase any piece of jewelry, earring, rings, and so, to show up with some knowledge in the level of purity.
Not All Alloys are Sterling Silver
Metals that contain less than 92.5% silver are not sterling silver, and it is essential to keep this in mind when buying silver jewelry. The quickest way to recognize that this is indeed 925 sterling silver jewelry is to look for a stamp or mark on the jewelry itself. Professional jewelry shops WILL keep only stamped Jewelry, and so once you do get to see that, then you’re all good.
As said, the real sterling silver piece of jewelry should always be marked with the 925. However, in some cases, the sterling may appear in words (without the 925 number) in the following ways: STER, SS, STG.
Suppose you do not see any of the above marks on the jewelry. In that case, we recommend that you go somewhere else, especially if you are looking for the real thing and not a cheap imitation or plating of another metal made of sterling silver.
I hope you know now how to find your next ‘real’ Sterling Silver Jewelry!