Although they are very different metals, stainless steel and sterling silver offer a similar gray coloring that is highly attractive to many jewelry buyers.
When the final decision comes, it’s not always easy to choose between the two.
Luckily, we have done the work so you can make life easier!
First of all, it is not silver but “sterling silver“.
Why, you may ask. The reason is that pure silver is too soft to make into jewelry.
Thus we need a harder form of silver, and this is where sterling silver enters the game.
Sterling silver is an alloy of dominantly silver and other metals increasing its hardness and durability.
Sterling silver has 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals, like copper.
There are considerable advantages for choosing sterling silver. To start with, the sheer variety of shapes, sizes, and designs that are found with this metal alloy. That’s because sterling silver is relatively easy to create new designs because it is softer than stainless steel.
It is also less expensive, for the most part, which means that those on a budget may focus on sterling silver jewelry right away.
The downside to traditional sterling silver is that the presence of copper means that it is more prone to tarnish. This means that as the owner, you must do additional work for taking care of your precious items.
Over the past several years, stainless steel has gained in popularity in the jewelry market, arguably because it provides “cool” look that is quite popular among young shoppers.
Another important quality of stainless steel is that it is hypoallergenic. Thus a jewelry made from stainless steel, although never guaranteed, is less likely to cause any allergic reactions.
Stainless steel is also quite scratch resistant, which means a reduced level of worrying for polish and caution.
The very big plus for stainless steel over sterling silver is that it does not tarnish easily. So you can wear your jewelry to the shower or pool.
However, it can be more expensive than sterling silver, depending on the type of jewelry that you purchase.
An important point of that requires attention is the quality of the jewelry made from stainless steel. You will want to look for pieces that are smooth, seamless, and well brushed removing any possible cause of friction.
Sterling silver is far less likely to have such sharp edges, so you will need to check out each piece of stainless steel jewelry carefully to spot any potential hazards.
Which One Should You Buy?
A large part of your decision will depend on the look that you are trying to achieve.
If you want a more authoritarian look, hardened-type of jewelry to compliment your fashion choice, then stainless steel is for you.
Also it demands far less maintenance, and you can store it for years without having any tarnish building up.
However, if you want to opt for a softer approach, then sterling silver offers definite advantages and is often less expensive.
And, as said above, you will have to make more effort on care and maintenance of your sterling silver jewelry.You should keep it away from water and chemical agents to prevent tarnish and also when it does occur another cleaning work awaits you for removing tarnish.
Never forget: the better you take care of your jewelry, the better it will take care of you!