August 18, 2021
Silver has been a valuable metal to human societies dating back thousands of years. Before it was used for things like jewelry, it was commonly used in coins, silverware, and even medical practices. Today, one of the most popular uses of silver is in jewelry - sterling silver charms, rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces can all be found throughout the fashion accessory industry. However, much of the silver on today's market is not 100% pure silver, so it's important to know the differences between each type so you can ensure you're purchasing exactly what you want.
While not quite as common as sterling silver, there is still a chance that you might come across some fine silver while out shopping. In terms of purity, fine silver is 99.9% silver and is commonly marked with a .999 stamp on the piece. Silver on its own is quite soft, meaning that any piece with this level of purity should be treated with extreme care, as fine silver can easily be bent or broken due to its softness. While an additional .1% of supportive metals are added to help somewhat strengthen fine silver, fine silver jewelry should be treated delicately, as even a small scratch could ruin the piece.
Unlike fine silver, sterling silver has a larger percentage of additional metal mixed in to help strengthen pieces and add durability. As an alloy, sterling silver commonly includes copper and silver, which are mixed. Other common metals that might also be in sterling silver include zinc, boron, or platinum. To be considered sterling silver, the alloy must contain at least 92.5% of silver, with the mixture of additional metals making up the remaining 7.5%. Sterling silver can be identified by the .925 stamp, which is found somewhere on the piece.
The Better Option
When it comes to comparing sterling silver with fine silver jewelry, the reality is that you'll want your beautiful pieces to stick around as long as possible. Because of the added strength and durability, sterling silver is a much more practical option and ultimately a much wiser investment. While you might be able to find some beautiful or antique fine silver pieces, your best bet is to primarily stick to sterling when investing in silver. The durability in sterling silver will help ensure your investment stays looking beautiful for many years to come.
Find the Sterling Silver Jewelry You Want
At Wellesley Row, we have an incredible collection of sterling silver jewelry. From sterling silver charms to necklaces, to bracelets and pendants, we carry a wide array of unique pieces to help our customers express their individual styles. Check us out today and find a beautiful new piece of sterling silver jewelry to add to your collection!