At Silver Sky, we have 15 years experience in choosing the highest quality Sterling Silver jewelry for our customers.
Sterling Silver is a precious metal- like gold, platinum, and gemstones, it is inherently valuable. Sterling Silver is an investment which will only increase in value, and is more affordable than gold and platinum.
What Qualifies as Sterling Silver?
Sterling Silver, or "standard silver," is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% silver (by weight) and 7.5% other metals (by weight). Often times in retail environments, to verify its silver content, Sterling Silver is stamped with the prefix ".925".
In the United States, an alloy must contain at least 90% (.900) fine silver to be marketed as "silver." Some common silver alloys and their silver content percentages are listed below:
.900 = 90% silver by weight = Marketable as "Silver"
Traditionally used for: Silver Coins
.925 = 92.5% silver by weight = "Sterling Silver"
Traditionally used for: Jewelry and Silverware
.958 = 95.8% silver by weight = "Britannia Silver"
Traditionally used for: Silver Tableware and Wrought Plate
.999 = 99.9% pure silver = "Fine Silver"
Traditionally used for: Artistic Silversmithing
Why Choose Sterling Silver Jewelry?
Sterling Silver is the ideal medium for silver jewelry because of its ratio of silver to other metals.
Too much silver content, such as in Fine Silver, for example, makes the material too soft for producing practical, functional objects. Soft silver is extremely pliable and when bent repeatedly, will snap under very little pressure. Conversely, jewelry with too high a concentration of other metal alloys can produce a green residue on the skin.
Sterling Silver jewelry is often plated with a thin coat of Fine Silver to produce a shiny finish. This process is called "flashing". Silver jewelry can also be plated with rhodium (for a bright, shiny look) or gold.
What Are These Metal Alloys Anyway? And Why Are They Added to Silver?
Since Fine Silver is generally too soft to work with practically, the silver is paired with copper. The copper gives it strength, while at the same time preserving the ductility and appearance of the metal. Other metals can be used in place of copper, usually with the intent of improvement, such as reducing casting porosity, eliminating fire scale, and increasing resistance to tarnish. These other replacement metals can include germanium, zinc, and platinum. However, no one alloy has emerged to replace copper as the industry standard. Currently, alloy development is a very active field of research.