How often have you seen “sterling silver” in the description of a product in an online jewelry store? We think quite often. Sellers often point out this, thus raising the significance of the decoration. However, for many, it remains a mystery what the term “sterling silver” means, whether there are any differences between this type of silver and ordinary, and how its authenticity is determined.
We decided to find out, sterling silver 925 – what it is, are there any differences from the simple one and what are the pros and cons when wearing it.
What is 925 Sterling Silver?
As we know, pure Argentum is unsuitable for creating any objects, be it jewelry, silverware, or decorative solutions. Too soft, too ductile metal simply does not allow making practical and at the same time attractive products. Therefore, silver is supplemented with various ligatures – other metals to increase its hardness. These impurities in the alloy, in particular copper, make silver more durable and more convenient to work on jewelry, but without sacrificing color.
Sterling silver is an alloy of pure Argentum and ligatures (copper is used more often, less often nickel or zinc). In numbers, it looks like this: 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% ligature. So, it turns out that this is 925 sterling silver.
The alloy manufacturing technology takes place in three stages.
- The first stage is melting. To obtain the desired alloy, it is important to strictly observe the melting point. So, Argentum is melted under the influence of a temperature of 810-940 ° C, then copper is added. The high temperature allows copper not only to mix but to dissolve in silver, it penetrates deep into its structure, thereby forming a solid solution.
- The second stage is firing. The metal is fired specifically to improve the uniformity of the alloy and increase its strength.
- The third stage is hardening. This is necessary to give the metal the desired ductility. After that, the alloy must be aged at a temperature of 300 ° C, which further increases the strength from 60 to 160 kg / mm2.
In the end, the metal is bleached, all slag and plaque are removed, and as a result, we get the same shiny white color we are used to.
How it differs from regular silver
Nothing. There is no difference between sterling and plain silver. Moreover, this is ordinary silver. Therefore, if you see a ring or chain with a fineness of 925 in a jewelry salon, it means that the jewelry is made of sterling alloy.
Where is it applied?
Such alloys are widespread in the jewelry industry. You may have seen shiny, surprisingly white, iridescent earrings and rings, pendants, and necklaces in store windows. So they are made of this amazing alloy. Jewelry with pearls and diamonds and blackened items look especially great. The sterling alloy is ideal for blackening. That is why jewelers are especially fond of working with this metal. In addition to the silver jewelry of such a test, you can also make dishes, silverware, and decorative elements.
Advantages and disadvantages
Sterling alloy has no fewer advantages than gold. Such silver is durable, resistant to mechanical damage, does not lend itself to oxidation for a long time, is affordable, etc. In addition, as we know, silver has one more significant advantage – bactericidal action. Sterling silver jewelry will not leave marks or irritations on the skin, which is a big plus. But behind all these advantages, there are also disadvantages.
The main disadvantage is darkening. Over time, silver items will begin to fade and darken over time in everyday use. To avoid this, you will have to regularly clean your silver and store it properly.
How To Check A 925 Sterling Silver Item
There are several ways to check whether the real silver is in front of you or not.
- Try: A quality product must have a test of 925. Or the mark “sterling” or “star”.
- Magnet: Silver does not react to a magnet. To check, bring an ordinary magnet to the jewelry.
- A piece of chalk: Rub the piece with chalk: If the chalk has turned black, then the silver is real.
- Another nuance – fake silver leaves behind black marks. The real one will never leave any marks on the skin.
Finally, I would like to say once again, when choosing jewelry, do not rush and do not give in to emotions. Don’t buy items at too low a cost. Real silver cannot be cheap. Choose high-quality products in reliable stores, and then silver jewelry will delight you for many years. Enjoy the shopping!
We are at Shree Sanskrit silver, an online silver jewelry shop in India. We provide 100% pure silver material at an affordable price. On our website, you can shop online for lightweight silver jewelry or silver anklets online shopping in India.