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What is Sterling Silver? How Does It Compare Versus Other Metals?

Posted by Mariel mendoza on

What is Sterling Silver? How Does It Compare Versus Other Metals?

Just like gold, silver is also rated among the precious metals and often mystical white element throughout the history. So what is sterling silver and how it compare versus other metals for jewelry? The term Silver Anniversary derived from the traditional German custom in which husband has to gift sliver wreath to his wife after 25 years of marriage. It is also a commonly used metal in Jewelry items in combination with copper.

Designers now use an affordable version known as Silver Sterling which allows jewelers to create more innovative designs due to its malleable properties. Jewelry like sterling silver necklaces and sterling silver rings are more common but buyers can find a large number of sterling silver accessories including spoons and knives.

Sterling silver is combination of highest grade silver and alloy metal with 7.5% of metal and rest silver. The authentic silver sterling jewelry is marked with .925 (which reflects 925 parts of pure silver out of 1000) or the makers mark for identification. The percentage of alloy metal is added so that the piece of jewelry can maintain shape as pure silver is too soft to use in jewelry designs. It is also lightweight, that is why sterling silver necklaces are very popular.

Just like gold, the price of silver sterling fluctuates which also makes it a good option to invest in. As the quality of the silver sterling is very high with lifetime durability, the jewelry holds a good value for investors. Sterling silver is soft to skin (this is why sterling silver rings are very common) and often used by people who are allergic of metals due to its hypoallergenic characteristics.

How to Differentiate between Silver and Sterling Silver?

A simple magnet test can tell you if the seller is selling high quality sterling silver. Use a good quality magnet and try to move the sterling jewelry with it, if it moves, it is not sterling silver but probably a combination of silver plate and copper which is often called “junk metal”.

Difference between Sterling Silver and White Gold

What is Sterling silverFor a layman, it is hard to separate white gold and sterling silver as the appearance of both is almost same. But unlike sterling silver, white gold is often softer white with a light tone of white-yellow. The white gold is not pure gold but an alloy, which often makes it even cheaper or same priced than sterling silver. In comparison with pure gold, silver is much cheaper but also of less value for investment. As sterling silver is malleable, the use is more common in fine jewelry designs than any other metal.

Silver Sterling and Other Jewelry Metals

Titanium is the strongest element in the world but lightweight if compared to silver. It is not as malleable as silver which makes it hard to use in fine designs. Similarly, platinum jewelry is heavier than sterling silver and also very dense. Another affordable jewelry element is palladium but it is also harder than silver. All the listed metals are dense and harder than silver which limits their application in jewelry making but softer silver sterling provides designer an opportunity to turn their wildest design imagination into reality.


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