Silver is a precious metal, just like gold.
They have both been used as coins and bars for trade.
Although these are not in circulation today, they have a strong and ubiquitous place in jewelry.
Silver in its pure form is too soft to be used directly.
Thus we use alloys, which are harder and stronger.
The most common one is sterling silver.
This alloy has 92,5 % silver in the mix.
The remaining part comes from other metals, which is most of the time copper.
Sterling silver is also known as silver 925 or sterling.
What does sterling silver mean?
According to Britannica, the word sterling might originate from the word Easterlings, the East German coiners who arrived to the island during Henry II to improve coinage quality.
Another origin might be the word “stoerling” which means “coin with a star” referring to Norman pennies with small stars.
And in the Anglo-Saxon days, one-pound weight of silver was cast into 240 pennies. The silver alloy used in these coins was 92,5 % silver.
Is sterling silver cheap?
Silver price, and sterling’s too, fluctuates with the COMEX price. COMEX is the exchange where gold, silver and aluminum prices are traded.
It is the metal trading division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
You can check the actual price over at silverprice.org.
Is sterling silver or gold more expensive?
Gold is more high-priced than silver.
At the time of writing, silver/oz was 17.81 USD and gold/oz was 1758.27 USD.
That gives a gold/silver ratio of 98,7.
Of course, this ratio goes up and down with trading prices.
It has seen sub-40 USD levels as well as reaching over 120!
Does sterling silver tarnish? Does sterling silver turn black?
Tarnish is the blackish layer that occurs on some metals, including sterling silver.
The route cause of this is oxidation with sulfur compounds like hydrogen sulfide present in air.
There is no escape from this gas, which is naturally present in the atmosphere.
However, we can reduce it effects by avoiding polluted environments and limiting contact with water.
In other words, you’d postpone tarnishing if you do not wear your sterling jewelry in the shower, pool or seaside.
How long does it take for sterling silver to tarnish?
The time it takes to observe the black color on silver 925 depends on many factors.
The concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and other compounds in the surrounding air are important.
Humidity and direct contact with water will also affect the process speed.
How of ten you clean and polish your piece is another factor.
The better you take care of your silver pieces, the longer and shinier they will serve you!
Does sterling silver rust?
Iron does rust. Steel can rust but sterling silver does not rust.
Sterling is 92,5% silver and the remaining part is usually not iron or steel.
Most commonly it is copper: a cheap and lightweight metal to harden silver.
Can sterling silver get wet? Can I shower with sterling silver necklace?
Getting water flowing over your pieces won’t wipe off silver.
Nevertheless, it is best to keep your sterling pieces away from water and chemical agents.
Why? Simply put water -and humidity- can quicken tarnish and you don’t want that!
The same goes for shampoos and shower gels. If you want your silver 925 pieces always bright and shiny, you’ll have to show a little care!
Does sterling silver turn your finger green?
Silver has no reason to paint your fingers in green!
If you ever see a greenish color around your ring, it is either tarnish or copper reacting with your skin.
If you don’t want to see this, you should start by getting high-quality silver pieces. Don’t buy from random shops.
You can also check Argentium silver, which is a close cousin of sterling with tarnish resistance.
Secondly, you should keep your jewelry and hands dry and clean.
Avoid doing house or garden work with your sterling jewelry.
Keep them away from water and humidity.
Make sure jewelry come last after perfumes when getting ready.
Silver, pure silver, is a precious metal with a long monetary history.
Sterling silver is a silver alloy which is harder than pure silver.
Silver is an element found in nature and sterling a man-made alloy for jewelry and household items.
They have their places.
If you want silver flatware or silver jewelry, you can’t use pure silver because it is too soft.
Had you used 100% silver for your rings or necklaces, you’d be very sad to face how they’d lose their shape and get scratched.