Did you know that silver has been used for thousands of years for medicinal, ornamental, and scientific purposes? It’s one of the most versatile metals ever discovered.
Silver is conductive, has antibiotic and healing properties, and is a beautiful material for jewelry. Silver’s weakness is that it’s soft and not durable enough for daily use. That’s where sterling silver comes in.
Sterling silver is an alloy with unique properties that make it strong, easy to maintain, and affordable. Due to these qualities of sterling silver, it’s the perfect choice for jewelry.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “what is sterling silver jewelry?” read on to learn more about this special alloy!
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The standard composition of sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. This combination maintains the appearance of silver, but with additional strength.
Sterling silver is durable and strong. It also withstands daily wear and tear. Most damage is surface level and can be easily polished out.
Because it can withstand heavy use, sterling silver jewelry is perfect for meaningful and symbolic pieces that are worn daily, like AA jewelry.
Members of AA report that wearing a piece of commemorative jewelry helps celebrate the small victories and provide grounding strength during difficult parts of the sobriety journey. You can find AA jewelry here.
Pure silver is generally a non-reactive metal. However, sometimes the copper in the alloy reacts to sulfur or low-level ozone in the air. This causes a black tarnish on the surface of silver jewelry.
Storing your jewelry in an air-tight container or a low humidity environment can help keep it clean and dry. You can also store it with silica gel bags to absorb moisture.
However, All sterling silver jewelry tarnishes eventually, due to humidity in the air. Luckily, it’s incredibly easy to clean sterling silver.
There are many silver polishes on the market that can remove tarnish in the blink of an eye. You can also clean tarnish in a few seconds with toothpaste or baking soda.
3. Identifying Sterling Silver
Almost all sterling silver pieces have a hallmark on the inside that marks their composition. Genuine sterling silver will have a stamp that says .925, STER, STERLING, or STG. This indicates that the composition is certified sterling silver.
If the item lacks a mark, it could be too small to stamp. Double-check with the vendor to make sure that the piece is genuine. In order to guarantee you’re getting genuine sterling silver, make sure you’re buying from a reputable source.
Most of the time, sterling silver will not cause allergic reactions. The cause of most skin irritation and allergies is nickel, and sterling silver rarely includes nickel!
Sterling silver alloys only contain pure silver either copper or zinc. Copper, silver, and zinc are all hypoallergenic, and only rarely irritate the skin.
One of the best sterling silver jewelry qualities is that it is relatively cheap to acquire, maintain, and repair. Repairing, customizing, and adjusting sterling silver is also extremely affordable. This makes it a great choice for pieces that are intended to last.
Find Your Special Piece
Now that you know a bit about the durability and simple maintenance of sterling silver hopefully you’ll be able to find a perfect piece for you. Sterling silver is the best choice for a commemorative piece that celebrates a major milestone.
If you’re looking for more fashion and lifestyle advice, check out the rest of our blog for more tips!