If you’ve spent some time shopping for jewelry, chances are you’ve seen the term “sterling silver” and wondered what makes a piece “sterling" silver rather than “regular” silver.
Silver is a softer metal, so on its own, it is generally not ideal for long-lasting pieces of jewelry and other items. But way back in the 12th century (during some downtime between Bubonic plague outbreaks), someone figured out that an easy way to strengthen silver for practical use while preserving its ductility, malleability, and appearance was to mix it with another, stronger metal.
Sterling silver is considered a precious metal, and consists of 92.5% pure silver. (Which is why sterling silver is sometimes referred to as “925 silver.") The other 7.5% of the alloy is usually copper, which strengthens the silver without compromising its appearance.
It’s possible that your sterling silver could tarnish over time due to a natural chemical reaction that happens when it’s exposed to air. Luckily, sterling silver is a solid metal, so unlike gold-fill jewelry (which has a jeweler’s brass core), you can polish and clean it to your heart’s content and have it looking just as good as when you first got it without worrying about removing the outer layers of precious metal.
Note: When you receive your piece, you might notice that there’s not a “925” stamped on your jewelry like with most sterling silver pieces—this is because all of our jewelry is handmade and doesn’t require a stamp of authenticity. But rest assured: We only use the highest quality, authentic sterling silver in our pieces.
For more information on sterling silver and how to care for it, click here.