Humans have always been enchanted by the dazzling gleam of silver. Its beauty is sometimes likened to the moon’s. Silver jewellery has undisputedly taken its position in the category of modern era jewellery. Turn your head and you will undoubtedly find someone wearing a piece of this glossy metal, from the red carpets to the runways to the streets.
Silver used to be far more valuable, and silverware was a status symbol in European society. It was employed as coinage and, of course, for decoration. Silver is the traditional metal used to commemorate one’s accomplishments, milestones, and rituals in numerous civilizations.
But how much do we know about this gleaming metal? What exactly is sterling silver? Is sterling silver made of real silver? Why does silver jewellery tarnish, and how should we care for it?
We will help you through all of your questions and assumptions since we have been designing and making silver and sterling silver jewellery for many years. Let’s get this party started:
What exactly is silver?
Silver’s composition and properties are quite similar to those of gold and copper. It is a soft, ductile, and malleable metal that requires a high polish to achieve shine. Although silver is not as hard as gold, it has various applications, particularly when alloyed with other metals to make it tougher.
Silver has been recognised to be one of the seven metals of antiquity that was frequently utilised from the prehistoric times. Gold, copper, tin, lead, iron, and mercury are the others. There is no proof of how the metal was found or its early usage since it has been in use for centuries. Many historians believe that silver was primarily employed for ornamentation and in the manufacture of weaponry.
Silver is a more reactive metal when compared to gold, and it is also more difficult to extract from its ores when mined. This also meant that sources of this metal were scarcer in ancient times, making it more costly. When the Egyptians developed new techniques of purifying and extracting the metal about 1500 BC, silver mining became a simple procedure.
Today, silver is far cheaper than gold, which has fewer reserves and is more harder to mine.
What exactly is sterling silver?
The purity of fine silver is 99.9%. Silver in its purest form is incredibly attractive, bright, and does not tarnish. However, since silver is excessively soft and pliable, making jewellery or decorations is very difficult.
As a result, fine silver is alloyed with copper to produce sterling silver, which has 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent copper. Because of the proportion of fine silver, sterling silver is known as 925 silver and is hallmarked with a 925 stamp. When copper is coupled with silver, it becomes harder and more robust, making it much easier to deal with when creating jewellery. Furthermore, copper does not alter the colour of silver. The majority of silver jewellery sold today is made of sterling silver.
The main disadvantage of utilising sterling silver pieces is that the extra copper causes them to tarnish more quickly, and the metal eventually becomes dark brown or black. If the parts are exposed to humid environments or water, the process will be accelerated. However, sterling silver items are relatively simple to clean; they may also be polished as part of their maintenance. Taking excellent care of your sterling silver jewellery will also prevent it from losing its lustre and will slow the perishing process.
Jewelry made of sterling silver
Sterling silver is now a fantastic alternative for decorations. With gold prices increasing, sterling silver has become a more affordable option. Because of its high quality, this metal is becoming more popular among jewellery makers. The metal retains its lustre for a longer period of time, and with proper maintenance, it will not corrode and will continue to look fantastic in the future. Silver jewellery is also regarded for being the ideal heirloom items to pass down to future generations. Although sterling silver’s suppleness makes it unsuitable for costly gemstone placements. And since it is changeable, it requires a little more attention.
Despite its drawbacks, sterling silver has become an important element of the fashion business on a large scale. With market changes and increasing gold costs, sterling silver has emerged as a realistic choice for individuals who do not want to spend a lot on jewellery. Jewellery designers all around the globe are creating more modern and trendy solutions to boost the attractiveness of sterling silver and increase sales.
Unlike other types of trendy jewellery, sterling silver is known for being skin-friendly. It may be worn without causing any harm, regardless of age.