What is sterling silver? It is a beautiful precious metal, used in jewellery and silverware, that has a luminous white colour. 925 jewelry This article explains how sterling silver is made, and what you should look for when shopping for sterling silver jewellery. Yes, sterling silver is considered one of the finest silvers. It is very popular in jewellery, as well as fine cutlery and tableware, because of its high sheen and substantial, luxurious feel.
What is silver?
Silver is a precious metal that has a luminous white colour. Because pure silver is way too soft for use in jewellery, it is mixed with other metals, such as copper. The alloys make it more rigid, and consequently, suitable for wearing as jewellery.
So what is “sterling silver”?
Silver that has other metals mixed into it is called a silver alloy. “Sterling silver” is a name for a very high-quality silver alloy that contains a large amount of pure silver and only a small percentage of other metals.
Why is sterling silver sometimes called “925 silver”?
Sterling silver contains 92. 5% pure silver. This percentage – 92. 5% – can also be expressed as a fraction of a thousand: 925 out of 1000. That’s why the number 925 is often used to refer to sterling silver. Similarly, fine silver bullion which contains 99. 9% silver is often referred to as 999 silver.
Is it real silver?
Yes, sterling silver is considered one of the finest silvers. It is very popular in jewellery, as well as fine cutlery and tableware, because of its high sheen and substantial, luxurious feel.
How do i know my jewellery is sterling silver?
In the uk, the way you can verify if a jewellery item is made from sterling silver is by checking its hallmark. In great britain, by law, any retailer selling an item of jewellery above 1 gram in weight and calling it sterling silver, must have it hallmarked as such by a UK Assay Office.
What does a UK sterling silver hallmark look like?
The uk sterling silver hallmark is an oval mark with the number 925 in it. Other legal UK silver hallmarks are 8oo silver, Britannia 958 silver and fine 999 silver. Older, or foreign sterling silver hallmarks, might say ‘sterling’, ‘ster’ or ‘925 ster’.
What does the word “sterling” mean?
The origin of the term “sterling” silver is much debated. Some say it comes from the Old French word esterlin, referring to an early Norman silver penny.
The Oxford English Dictionary offers a theory that it comes from the Old English steorling meaning “little star” – because some ancient Norman silver coins were stamped with a small star.
Other sources say the word comes from the time when North Eastern merchants, called Easterlings, paid English traders in Pounds of the Easterlings – often shortened to “sterling”.
Benefits to consumers
From the consumer’s perspective, silver is a valuable and beautiful precious metal that’s very affordable when compared to the price of gold or platinum. It has a beautiful, luminous sheen that’s almost impossible to imitate. As opposed to cheap costume jewellery, which is plated with a thin layer of precious metal that chips away easily, sterling silver has lasting value and can endure a long time if maintained and worn with care.
Can sterling silver tarnish?
Over time, sterling silver jewellery may tarnish. It’s primarily the other alloy metals in sterling silver, like copper, that can cause it to take on a black or green hue. The speed of the tarnishing depends on the water (including bathing, perspiration and air moisture) and chemicals (sulphur pollution in the air, soaps, detergents and cosmetics) that you come into contact with.