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The Difference Between Silver And Sterling Silver Jewelry

By Expert Author: Alexis Pascal

Silver And Sterling Silver Jewelry

When you go shopping for silver jewelry, you might think that silver and sterling silver are one and the same material. However, one needs to know that there is a difference between the two. Sterling silver is an alloy of silver with other metals. The fine silver jewelry is usually denoted by the percentage of pure silver that it contains. When you buy jewelry of sterling silver, it is usually comprised of 92% of silver and the rest is of other metals. The jewelry made of pure silver will consist of 99% or more of pure silver metal. Usually, the high content of pure silver in jewelry items make them malleable and cannot be used for tough or durable designs. Pure silver has properties that do not allow strong and resistant items to be designed out of it.

What Is Sterling Silver

Metal experts often combine other metals like iron, steel or copper in place of silver or along with it but these other metals will make up only eight percent or less of the entire alloy. That allows the silver items to retain their shape and be more resistant to outside pressure. If one adds on other metals to silver in order to stabilize the shape, that is akin to creating sterling silver jewelry. Sterling silver is used in making utensils such as coffee sets, spoons, knives, forks and others besides jewelry items.

How To Recognize Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is used to add strength and durability to silver items but they are prone to lack in luster over time. In case of pure silver items, there is no tarnish of the surface over time. If you have alloy metal mixed then only the tarnish is more apparent. You need to rub your finger tightly over a small area of a silver item in order to know if it is made of sterling silver or pure silver. When it is sterling silver, you will find that dull smudges are left on the surface. You need to keep them shiny by regularly using a soft cloth to clean and polish their surfaces.

Pure Silver And Its Distinct Properties

Pure silver is known to be a lustrous and ductile metal and hence, it finds uses in creating fine jewelry and other delicate items. Even though this metal remains stable to oxygen and water, it does react to sulfur compounds and that can lead to sulfide formation on its surface. That results in a black layer forming on such items. As a summary, here are the reasons to differentiate between silver jewelry and sterling silver jewelry:

• Silver items will have more worth than sterling silver items

• If you wish to buy fashion jewelry you can opt for sterling silver items

• Pure silver items do not tarnish easily as sterling silver items do

It is important to know the difference between such jewelry in order to understand their worth and the way such items need to be care for.


About Author :

Alexis Pascal has authored this article on silver jewelry and sterling silver jewelry. You can find useful resources at:arzshop.com.

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