Saturday, May 30, 2009
What is Silver?
Pure silver is soft, too soft to create durable jewelry, so it's mixed with other metals to enhance performance. One popular silver mixture (an alloy) is known as sterling silver.
Do you like to buy Silver Jewelry?
When shopping for Silver Jewelry don't be fooled by the imitation, plated, costume, or fashion jewelry that simply looks like pure silver, there is a difference.
This guide will show you the steps of discerning what is real, pure sterling silver, to buying and caring for your new sterling silver jewelry.
When buying sterling silver jewelry, make sure there are no visible blemishes or imperfections on the piece. Look the piece over carefully to make sure that fasteners, clasps and catches work properly and are secure. Check pin backs and earring posts for strength and durability. Lay silver chains flat to make certain their links don't kink or bend.
Sterling Silver is silver with a purity of 92.5 %. This means that in every 100 grams of sterling silver, there are 92.5 grams of pure silver and the remaining 7.5 % is made up of the other metal alloys.
When making a silver purchase, always look for the mark 925 or SS. The mark is proof that the silver piece you are buying is at least 92.5% pure, rather than containing a lower percentage of silver, being an imitation made with other alloys or being plated with only a thin layer of silver.
Having a lower silver content might cause your silver jewelry to darken, or tarnish, even with the slightest exposure to humidity. If the content of silver is higher than 92.5%, the piece might be too soft and won't stand up to everyday wear.
So, good quality silver jewelry will always be made form sterling silver.