What is Sterling Silver Made Of? What is the Difference between Silver and Sterling Silver?
Silver jewellery (or jewelry!), being my life and my industry, I thought it might be a good idea to answer the question on my blog that I get asked more often than any other, which is:
What is Sterling Silver Made Of? What is the difference between silver and sterling silver? What is sterling silver 925? What is in .925 sterling silver? Sterling Silver vs. Pure Silver: What Is the Difference? How much is sterling silver worth?
First, sterling silver is known by many different names. Some people call it solid silver (technically incorrect), 925 silver, .silver .925 and sterling silver. These are all talking about sterling silver which I shall go on to explain now. Sterling silver is the name given to the alloy produced using a heavy mix of silver (minimum content 92.5%) and another metal (the best choice being copper) to formulate a strong and durable material suitable for coinage, jewellery and other implements such a cutlery and drinking vessels. This silver sterling alloy originated in continental Europe and was being used for commerce as early as the 12th century in the area that is now northern Germany. At the time, nobody could have known that they had just produced sterling silver, the metal made famous for centuries for it's fabulous ability to look and stay beautiful.
Fine silver, for example 99.9% pure silver, is relatively soft and is useless on a practical level. Jewellery cannot be made from fine silver so it usually alloyed with copper to increase its hardness and strength. Sterling silver is prone to tarnishing, which is simply a microscopic layer of oxidisation that can form over the surface of the silver. This can easily be removed with one of our amazing polishing cloths (20 million sold and counting...).
As for how much sterling silver is worth, well that is a much more difficult question to answer as the value of a handmade piece of artistry that produces an amazing piece of jewellery will vary, depending on how long it took to be produced. We are specialists in the field of handmade, hand crafted jewellery as we know that there is nothing quite like an amazing hand made bangle on your wrist, or a handmade silver necklace around your neck.
If you have any questions pertaining to jewellery or how to look after your jewellery, don't hesitate to get in touch on our contact page.
Bye for now,
Jason and Jamie.