Thursday, September 25, 2008

Introduction of Sterling Silver Jewelry (Sterling Silver Jewelry)

Sterling Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver jewelry is enjoying an unprecedented popularity with today's fashion conscious public. You know how beautiful sterling silver jewelry is and how brilliantly it shines. Now here is the rest of the story. Silver has been used since ancient times, but has not survived as well as ancient gold because it tarnished and decomposes. There have been times, however, when silver was "in"; we are going through such a vogue today.

Silver is the commonest of the precious metals. Fine silver is pure silver, which is seldom used for jewelry because it is too soft. Sterling silver is 925 parts silver to 75 of copper, the alloy most often used. Silver weighs about half as much as gold, has greater flexibility, but is not as malleable, it has always been less expensive as well. A comparable piece of gold jewelry might cost four or five times that of a piece of sterling silver jewelry.

The current fashion trend toward black clothing has made silver jewelry more popular than ever. Silver likes to be worn; it stays cleaner & shinier through movement and friction. So sterling silver is a perfect accessory for today's fast paced lifestyles. Much like gold, sterling silver needs to be cleaned.

What the Heck Does "Sterling" Mean?

We hear and see “sterling silver this” and “sterling silver that” almost every day, yet many shoppers do not understand what it really means. Does “sterling” mean “pure”? Does sterling silver jewelry come from a certain part of the world? Is sterling better or worse – or the same – as pure silver? And what does that stamp on the back of my necklace mean when it says “.925”?
By definition and international agreement “sterling” silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% some other material – usually copper. The 92.5% is why jewelry is often stamped with the numbers 925 or .925.

Why Mix Copper with Pure Silver?

Now you might think, “oh, well that means sterling silver is not as good as pure silver”. Well, yes and no. It certainly isn’t pure, but sterling silver is mixed to this exact ratio for some very good reasons. Have you ever seen pure silver after a few years in the open air? If not, take a look at your grandmother’s silver spoon collection. Silver tends to oxidize (tarnish) quickly, leaving it a yucky brown color. The 7.5% copper or other metals used to make sterling silver slow down the tarnishing process.

Secondly, pure silver is a very soft metal. It can bend or break easily. Adding another, more durable, metal to the mix ensures that your silver jewelry will last a lot longer, and look a lot nicer down the road. So really, sterling silver – although not pure – is usually the better option when choosing jewelry.

And last but not least, adding another metal – and thus making the silver more durable – makes the substance easier for metal-smiths, jewelers and craftsmen to handle and manipulate into those intricate rings, pendants and necklaces we so adore.

So there you go… next time you’re shopping for some new jewelry, or buying an anniversary gift for your girlfriend / wife, you will understand exactly what the salesperson means when they say “This is sterling silver”… even if they don’t.

Sterling Silver Jewelry

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for defining sterling jewelry so well.I like all the designs including rings and earrings.Earrings are creatively designed.They look very fashionable and trendy.Gives you a descent and classy look.