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Discover the difference between Pure Silver, Sterling Silver and Silver and why it matters.
Sep 03, 2021
At SVP we take great pride not just in our artisans and everyone that works with us but also in the materials we use and their source.
You may notice there is a big price difference between some jewellery to others and we are here to demystify the difference in silver metals that affects price.
What is Pure Silver?
Pure Silver has a higher silver content than Sterling Silver. It is 99.9% silver with 1% trace elements. It is more expensive due to the higher silver content, it’s very soft and not really suitable for jewellery.
What is Sterling Silver?
Sterling Silver is most commonly used in Jewellery as it is easier to work with than Pure Silver. Sterling Silver is also referred to as 925.
What does 925 mean?
925 means that the metal we use has 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals: copper and zinc. This means that the metal is more durable to wear than pure silver which is very soft and malleable. The copper and zinc make the silver harder making it more robust and better for jewellery.
The copper and zinc are the metal elements that can cause tarnishing, this is easily sorted with a jewellery cleaning cloth to bring your pieces back to life. Underneath the tarnish the silver will be just as beautiful as it ever was.
The strict standard for Sterling Silver was established in the 1300’s in USA and made popular by Tiffany & Co in the 1900s. Sterling Silver is idea for jewellery making.
In other parts of the world and in Europe the standards are different. In Europe the metal with pure silver in it can be as low as 80% - son you may see the stamp 800 on the metal.
Always ask what the silver content is so you know what you are buying.
What is Silver?
A lot of inexpensive jewellery is made from silver. Silver just refers to the colour and it can be made from any mix of alloys and sometimes plastic that’s painted and coated to look metal. Is not precious and it is cheap and therefore more likely to be disposable.
Why does it matter?
Sterling Silver is seen as an industry standard for jewellery. At SVP we believe jewellery is meant to be precious, it is beautiful from the inside out. From the materials we use to our artisans and every pair of hands that works to hand-craft our pieces just for you. We use recycled Sterling Silver breathing new life into old and passing our pieces to you so that they can begin a new life on your hands.
Before you buy?
Always check that your piece is hallmarked. At SVP we have our makers stamp – SVP and a 925 stamp to show that we create each piece out of Sterling Silver – you will be able to see the 925 stamp on the inside of the band.
Sterling Silver can have various different stamps such as 925, STER, STERLING, STG or Sterling Silver - always ask to see the stamp.