What is sterling silver or 925 silver?

Surely when you bought your silver jewelry, you had the option to choose between different purity numbers and one of the most recommended is 925 silver, as it is usually the most used type of silver thanks to its alloy composition. By reading this blog, you will get to know in depth the characteristics of 925 silver and its use in high jewelry.

Most common silver purity numbers

Silver is a fairly common natural element in high jewelry, as it is a malleable, shiny (when polished) and soft material . This metal is quite accessible, since it allows alloying (the action of combining with other metals), which makes it much easier to work with silver to create jewelry and objects.

As we have already discussed in previous blogs, pure silver is not highly recommended for use in jewelry, since thanks to its purity, it is very easy for it to be damaged or deformed . That is why there are other types of purities in silver that have different purposes, below we will explain in more detail about each one of the most common different silver numbers and their use:

  • Silver .999 : It is the purest that exists and is used above all in the manufacture of coins.
  • .958 Silver Also known as Britannia Silver, it is used above all in the manufacture of tableware, due to the nature of its composition.
  • Silver 950 : It is the mixture of 95% silver and 5% copper, it is a purer alloy, because in percentage it is more silver; however, it is softer and therefore its use is not common.
  • 925 Silver : Also known as 925 sterling silver or 925 sterling silver, this is the most used silver numbering in the world of jewelry thanks to its alloy.
  • Silver 835 : It is a type of silver that is usual in Europe for cultural reasons, it is an alloy with less amount of silver and, therefore, of lower quality.

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925 silver, 925 sterling silver or sterling silver, are they the same?

What is 925 silver?

When we talk about 925 silver, we are not referring to that jewel that has 92.5% silver and 7.5% is other metals, copper is mostly used. That is, out of 1000 parts, 925 are pure silver.

By making an alloy of silver with other metals, we make the jewels more resistant, like all our Vicari collections.

What is 925 sterling silver?

Another name given to 925 silver is sterling silver . This name comes from the minimum purity that is established by law.

In some countries, such as Spain, the minimum amount of silver that a jewel must have in order for it to be considered law, is 800 thousandths. There are two kinds of law in the world of silver:

  • Sterling silver : This must have a minimum of 92.5% pure silver, what we know as 925 silver.
  • Second law silver: It must have purity, between 80% and 92.4%, they are alloys with a lower percentage of silver and contain in their alloy a higher percentage of other metals, such as copper.

What is 925 sterling silver?

Its name comes from Old English, since it is an alloy composed of 925 thousandths of silver and 75 of copper , this type of silver was used for the first time in the coins of England, which had a star printed on each face of these small coins, that is where the name "Sterling Silver" or in Spanish "Plata Esterlina" comes from.

In conclusion, all three names are the same type of silver , whether you know it as 925 silver, 925 sterling silver, or sterling silver. Where there may be some variation is in the metal with which the alloy is made, since pure silver is not only alloyed with copper. Other elements with which it can also be combined are with zinc and tin, only that over the years it has been discovered that copper makes it much more resistant and improves the durability of the piece and its natural color is barely modified. At Vicari all our pieces are alloyed with copper and rhodium plating.

How do I know if my jewel is truly sterling silver or 925 silver?

When you have purchased some silver jewelry at the moment, you may not really know what percentage of silver it has, but using the following tips that we will give you , you will be able to know how much percentage it has or if it is a fake piece.

1 - Identifies if it has the 925 stamp

If you want to acquire or have acquired a jewel, look for the stamp with the inscription 925. This can give you the security of the authenticity of the piece, however, it can also happen that the jewel has that percentage of silver and does not have the stamp, which does not have it is not synonymous with it being fake, but if you do not have it, you should learn more about the jewelry store and validate that it is 925 sterling silver.

2- Smell your silver piece

This is a method to identify that it is authentic 925 silver, since silver does not give off any smell, so if your jewelery smells of metal, it is in doubt as to whether it is authentic or it may have other lower quality metals in its composition. such as zinc or tin.

3- Do not trust low prices

If you see that some jewelry store is selling 925 sterling silver at a very low price, do not trust. Silver is a precious metal, no one would offer a piece of 925 silver jewelry at a lower cost than its production.

4- Perform the magnet test on the silver

Approach a magnet on your jewel, if it sticks too much it means that the highest percentage is metal. Sure, silver has a magnetism, but it's not strong enough for the magnet to stick, that's a clear sign that it's not real 925 silver.

5- Check the authenticity with the jewelry

Many jewelers do not guarantee the authenticity of the pieces, since the alloy that makes it up may not be correct and you should pay attention to that when purchasing your jewel.

At Vicari all our pieces are 925 sterling silver and nickel free , endorsed by the contrast number MC-257 issued by the Mexican Ministry of Economy. Our finish, like white gold, is rhodium-plated, guaranteeing shine for much longer and preventing any type of allergy.

How to take care of your 925 silver jewelry?

All our pieces have a rhodium finish , which maintains the shine of the jewel for longer, without forgetting that they are hypoallergenic. To further preserve your 925 silver pieces, you will need to pay special attention to the care you give your jewelry.

Silver, despite being a precious metal, must be taken care of so that it can maintain better durability. Here are some tips you can put into practice to keep your jewelry in good condition:

  1. Store your jewelry somewhere that is out of light and cool and dry. Preferably they are isolated from the outside as much as possible.
  2. Avoid contact of the jewel with compounds that generate acidity , such as perfumes, lacquers, fats, salt water, chlorine or even sweat itself, as this will cause your jewel to deteriorate much faster.
  3. Store your jewelry separately, do not allow them to be together or even have some metal-to-metal friction, as some could scratch the others more easily, we recommend covering them with a soft cloth if you are going to join them together.
  4. To correctly clean your pieces of jewelry, you should only use soap and water with a neutral pH , remember that this technique should be used sparingly and only when the piece requires it, since abusing its use can also damage your jewel, To finish, dry them and polish them with a soft, fiber-free cloth.

Buy your 925 sterling silver pieces in high jewelry stores

When buying 925 silver jewelry, you must make sure that they are high-end jewelry stores and that you trust them, verify the authenticity of the pieces and their quality. You must be careful, since there are many stores of Asian origin, which either through physical sales or through the Internet, offer 925 sterling silver; however, it is not authentic and you could be acquiring another type of manipulated alloy.

Now that you know what 925 sterling silver is and how to learn to identify this type of jewelry, you can safely purchase your next jewelry. At Vicari, each of our pieces, in addition to being hypoallergenic, are alloyed in rhodium-plated 925 silver jewelry, guaranteeing your well-being so that your only concern is looking good. Meet our online store!

Víctor Manuel Pelfini Bátiz