Why Buy Sterling Silver Jewellery?
We all know that when you’re looking to buy quality silver jewellery, sterling silver is the hallmark that you look for.
Not ‘pure’ silver, not just plain old silver, but sterling silver, with its implied promise that your jewellery will last forever, resist tarnishing and stand up to a little bit of rough handling from time to time.
Despite this, you’re definitely not alone if you’re still a bit unsure of what exactly sterling silver is. So we thought we’d share some facts on our favourite metal, what it’s made of and why exactly it has become the standard for jewelers worldwide.
IT’S NOT 100% SILVER
Pure silver is 99.9% silver, but this precious metal is never used in jewellery making. Why? Because it’s simply too soft – chains would break and earrings be crushed if they happened to be sat on, if they were made of pure, unalloyed silver. Sterling silver is in fact about 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper – a much lower proportion of copper than is in 9ct gold for example (at around 65%). The copper gives it strength and allows it to be more easily worked into sterling silver jewellery.
IT’S MORE RESISTANT TO TARNISHING THAN PURE SILVER
Pure silver is lighter, and whiter yes – but it tarnishes much more easily than sterling silver. This is an inherent quality in the silver which is reduced by the addition of copper. There is a material known as ‘fine’ silver which has only a tiny fraction of copper added, and this is quite tarnish-resistant, but it is too soft for making larger pieces of jewellery.
YOU CAN TELL YOU’RE BUYING STERLING SILVER BECAUSE…
It’s a good idea to look for proof that you’re buying the genuine article when shopping for silver on holidays overseas, or in a new store which you aren’t sure is 100% trustworthy. Look for the following commonly used ‘quality marks’ to ensure the jewellery you’re buying is the real deal: sterling, sterling silver, ster and .925.
A guide to less common quality marks for silver can be found by clicking here.
Check out our sterling silver jewellery range by clicking here, or for more styles pop into one of ours stores at Westfield Miranda, Westfield Bondi Junction or Wollongong Central.