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sterling silver vs silver

However, sterling silver tends to tarnish when exposed to moisture and air and requires frequent polishing. A drawback of sterling silver is that it tarnishes when you expose it to air and moisture hence requiring frequent polishing. Jewelry made of genuine silver should carry certain stamps, known as hallmarks, that help to identify the silver. Sterling silver is much more durable compared to fine silver because of the added metal alloys. Silver, which is usually called fine silver, consists of 99.9% pure silver. Pure silver, on the other hand, is not as durable as sterling silver. If you are in doubt regarding the purity of your silver jewelry, you can take it to a professional to have the piece tested. This can cause irritations, which people then wrongly attribute to the silver. Pure silver is much softer than sterling silver, and is often not used for jewelry. These hallmarks are often stamped in tiny letters and numbers on some part of the silver. On the other hand, sterling silver consists of approximately 92.5% silver, and the remaining 7.5% (or even more) is of other metals. • Pure silver is too soft to produce objects; therefore it is mixed with other metals to produce sterling silver. This happens because the copper, nickel, zinc or other mixtures in sterling silver may react with oxygen and other elements in the air. So, as you can see: 925 silver is sterling silver. As a metal for jewelry, it is very soft and malleable, easily losing shape and wearing out. Silver by itself can become tarnished from being exposed to the air as we already went over. This stamp is usually "999" or ".999" or "99.9" to indicate that it is 99.9% silver, as fine silver must be to be considered fine silver. Fine silver also doesn’t tend to tarnish even when in contact with moisture and air. If you're looking to add a timeless piece to your jewelry collection, check out this article that details certain pieces that you must have. The difference boils down to the amount of pure silver present in the metal. The metals used in sterling silver alloys are not valuable and do not add to the overall worth of the metal. Which should you go for the next time you want to buy a "silver" item? Sterling silver is also stamped to indicate that it is true sterling silver. Pure silver is hypoallergenic and does not irritate skin. Sterling silver is much more durable than pure silver and is ideal for use in jewelry. There are many unscrupulous vendors who pass off inferior silver alloys in place of sterling silver. However, sometimes sterling silver can contain nickel, which is a common allergen. Pure silver is somewhat more expensive than sterling silver as it contains a higher amount of silver. For pure silver, you need to be extra careful with it. Usually heavier than sterling silver because of the base metal: Weighs lesser than silver plate since silver is naturally lighter than most metals used as the base metal in silver plating: More … © 2018 JEWELRYSHOPPINGGUIDE.COM ALL RIGHT RESERVED |, ENGAGEMENT RINGS, WEDDING RINGS AND WEDDING BAND, WHAT JEWELRY TO WEAR WITH YOUR WEDDING DRESS, The Durability of Sterling Silver vs Silver, Fine Jewellery Auctions Online – A Handy Guide, 15 Stylish Pearl Necklace Designs to Wow You, A Complete Guide to Industrial Piercings (with Pics). Confusingly, sterling silver can be found in some coins, the most famous example of which is the old British pound … This is caused by copper content in the alloy which reacts with the elements and oxidizes. Sterling Silver. Silver vs. Sterling Silver. Sterling silver and 925 silver are different names for the same silver alloy. Examine the item in question. Fine silver has a higher purity percentage of silver, which will make it more expensive compared to the less pure sterling silver. Sterling silver is what's known as a metal alloy. This means that the gasses in the air react with silver, which causes discoloring, fading, and what looks like a "dirty" layer on the top of silver products. The difference lies in content. 1. Overall, sterling silver has much more in the way of value than plated silver. It will contain very few trace elements (only 0.01%), but it's essentially pure silver (hence the name). • Silver is an element whereas sterling silver is an alloy. The metals used in sterling silver alloys are not valuable and do not add to the overall worth of the metal. This softness also means that fine silver items aren't as durable. Pure silver is quite soft and difficult to shape properly, which makes it hard to use to make items that require daily use or specific shapes. Silver is one of the elements on the periodic table with the symbol Ag. To combat this problem, silver is combined with other metals to create stronger alloys. Some of these are Britannia silver, coin silver, German silver, nickel silver, tribal silver and Mexican silver. However, sterling silver still looks just as good as fine silver, which means you can get affordable, timeless pieces for a lower price. Let’s break this down. This number is known as the hallmark and denotes the percentage of silver purity in the alloy. The addition of these other metals makes sterling silver significantly stronger and more durable. Let’s break down the similarities and differences between sterling silver and silver. Sterling Silver vs Silver Value. The Acid Test is commonly conducted to determine the purity of silver. That's because the added durability that sterling silver has means it won't be damaged or dented by everyday use and wear and tear like fine silver is. Silver plate is not valuable, unlike sterling silver and fine silver, and over time wears off. When most people hear the words silver and sterling silver, they think these terms refer to the same kind of metal. You can also clean your silver items with anti-tarnish liquids and a soft cloth. Regardless, it can pass off as pure silver at first glance because … If the silver reacts to the acid and changes color, it has a purity percentage that is below 92.5%. With sterling silver, however, it's easier to tarnish because of the alloy metals within sterling silver. In Europe, metal with pure silver as low as 80% can be sold as sterling silver and so you may see the stamp 800 on the metal. Markings of "STERLING," ".925" or "925/1000" will identify a piece as being sterling silver. Some other hallmarks for sterling silver are STER, STERLING, STG or Sterling Silver. If pure silver, aka fine silver, is as pure as you can get, it makes sense that "sterling silver" isn't quite as pure, although it's close. Silver plate is also another type of silver but is made by electroplating a thin coating of silver onto a base metal, such as copper. This is due to the fact such pieces are made of 92% pure silver. Conversely, metals that contain less than 92.5 percent silver are not sterling silver, which is important to keep in mind when buying sterling silver.

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