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Sterling silver- vs Silver: What"s the Difference?

When buying silver jewelry, your options are usually sterling sterling or pure silver. However what is the difference in between the two? Click here to learn.Keyword(s): sterling silver- vs silver


Did friend think that sterling silver and regular silver were the same thing? They"re in reality two distinctive materials with various make-ups, care techniques, lifespans, and prices.

You are watching: Difference between silver plated and sterling silver

But what precisely are this differences? Is over there one that"s much better in the sterling silver- vs silver debate? Which must you go for the following time you want to to buy a "silver" item?

We"re going to answer all of these concerns and an ext in this sterling silver- vs silver- guide. Keep reading to learn more.

Sterling silver vs Silver: What"s the Difference?


Silver items have long been recognized as symbols the wealth and also prosperity. This is true even if it is you very own sterling silver- or pure silver, because most time you can"t tell the standing of the silver- at a quick glance.

But let"s look at into exactly how these two materials do differ, candlestick we?

Pure Silver


Silver is among the aspects on the periodic table through the prize Ag.

Chemical Makeup

Any item described as pure silver, or additionally as well silver, are as purely silver together you deserve to get: it"s do of 99.9% pure element silver.

It will contain very couple of trace elements (only 0.01%), however it"s basically pure silver (hence the name).

Uses for Silver

Pure silver- is quite soft and complicated to form properly, which makes it tough to usage to make items the require daily use or specific shapes. Because of this, pure silver- is not generally used to do fine and delicate jewel items.

This soft also way that fine silver items aren"t together durable. They have the right to be quickly bent, made misshapen, or damaged, which is why fine silver is largely reserved to make fine jewelry.


Silver can likewise tarnish. This way that the gasses in the air react with silver, which reasons discoloring, fading, and what looks like a "dirty" layer on the top of silver- products.


Fine silver- is additionally usually stamped through a mite to indicate that that is without doubt fine silver. This stamp is generally "999" or ".999" or "99.9" to indicate that the is 99.9% silver, as fine silver should be to be considered fine silver.

Sterling Silver


If pure silver, aka good silver, is together pure together you deserve to get, it makes sense that "sterling silver" isn"t quite as pure, although it"s close.

Chemical Makeup

Sterling silver- is what"s recognized as a steel alloy. This means that sterling silver is a mix of metals rather of just one single metal (like with pure silver, for example).

Sterling silver- is 92.5% silver and 7.5% alloy. This 7.5% is typically made that copper or zinc.

Uses because that Sterling Silver

The enhancement of these other metals makes sterling silver considerably stronger and much more durable. This enables it come be offered to make a number of other points including:

SilverwarePlatesPlattersCoffee SetsSilver-plated items

Notice that last use of silver-plated items listed above. At any time you see something advertised as "silver-plated" it most often way that the piece itself is made of another metal, and there"s merely a slim layer of sterling silver- "plated" on optimal of the item.

Also, an alert that the perform of provides for sterling silver is a lot longer than the one because that fine silver. That"s due to the fact that the added durability that sterling silver- has means it won"t it is in damaged or dented by everyday use and also wear and also tear like fine silver is.


Sterling silver is an ext easily tarnished 보다 pure silver. Silver- by itself can come to be tarnished from being exposed come the air as we already went over. With sterling silver, however, it"s less complicated to tarnish due to the fact that of the alloy metals within sterling silver.

Copper, nickel, and zinc are easily tarnished. As soon as you integrate those with one more metal that deserve to tarnish, choose silver, the tarnishing procedure is faster and happens an ext easily.


Sterling silver is likewise stamped to indicate that the is true sterling silver. These stamps space usually "925" or "92.5" or ".925" to indicate the purity of the silver- within it. However, girlfriend can likewise sometimes watch "ss" as a sterling silver stamp together well.

Why use Sterling Silver rather of Pure Silver?


There space a few benefits to sterling silver that could push girlfriend to acquisition sterling silver- items over fine silver.

The an initial most apparent would be the cost. Well silver has actually a greater purity percentage of silver, which will make it more expensive compared to the much less pure sterling silver. However, sterling silver- still looks simply as an excellent as fine silver, which way you can gain affordable, timeless pieces for a reduced price.

There"s likewise the trust factor. Sterling silver- is much an ext durable compared to fine silver because of the included metal alloys. This can help your item last and stay spring the best it possibly deserve to for longer.

Sterling silver is much easier to shape than the soft and also malleable well silver, therefore you"ll be able to find more options do of sterling silver vs silver.

How to care for her Pure Silver and also Sterling silver- Items


You have the right to make both pure silver and also sterling silver items last a lot longer by acquisition a few simple precautions.

For pure silver, you have to be extra mindful with it. Due to the fact that it isn"t very durable and also it"s soft, you should make sure not to overuse fine silver items or usage them as well roughly.

For both pure and sterling silver, store it in a dark location away indigenous air and water exposure. You can additionally clean her silver items with anti-tarnish liquids and also a soft cloth.



Q: What is Sterling Silver?

A: Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals, generally copper. Silver- jewelry marked with a 925 is sterling silver- jewelry that has been certified come contain 92.5% silver content. Sterling silver- is harder than silver and also is an ext suitable for jewelry making. The silver alloy is favored by jewelers because that workability and durability.

Q: Is sterling silver jewelry good quality?

A: Sterling silver jewelry is a high-quality an option consisting that 92.5% silver content - which provides it popular amongst jewelry collectors and also designers alike. Sterling silver jewelry to adjust purchased indigenous a reliable jeweler or jewel brand is durable, timeless metal, and when cared for properly, deserve to last a lifetime.

Q: Is sterling silver- jewelry regulated in the unified States?

A: The silver contents of 92.5% supplied in sterling silver- jewelry is regulated by U.S. Code and also must be significant by a 925 stamp. Usually, this stamp can be found on a sterling item in a location that is no visible as soon as wearing, for this reason look under clasps, inside rings, or inconspicuous edges. Carry out not assume that jewelry offered as "silver" is sterling silver- as often the term will be used to describe flash-plated silver over cheap brass.

Q: have the right to sterling silver be worn every day?

A: Absolutely! Sterling silver- jewelry is actually best worn every day together the constant use will stop the buildup the tarnish and also dust ~ above the metal. Precious steels like silver and also gold do finest when worn regularly, for this reason feel complimentary to include sterling silver to her jewelry collection with the confidence the it is durable and also when correctly cared for, will certainly look an excellent today, tomorrow, and 10 years from now!

Q: Is real silver a better choice than sterling silver- for my jewel collection?

A: first of all, let"s attend to the truth that sterling silver- is 92.5% "real silver" and is a silver- alloy combined with 7.5% other metals (usually copper). The usage of pure precious steels in jewelry making is actually very rare together the steels are as well soft once not linked with rather to kind an alloy. For this reason sterling silver jewelry is actually a much much better choice because that jewelry making and building a jewelry collection.

Q: Why is sterling silver- so expensive?

A: The precious steel content (92.5%) in sterling silver renders it much more expensive 보다 flash-plated jewel by default. World who buy sterling silver do so because of the value of the steel in it and also its natural beauty and also relative affordability. When more expensive metals like gold and also platinum provide durability and also are a great investment together well, sterling silver is the many affordable an option for heirloom quality jewelry that deserve to be passed native one generation come the next. Together time passes, sterling silver continues to hold and also increase in value making it a an excellent metal choice for structure a jewel collection.


Final Thoughts


Both sterling silver and also pure silver have their pros and also cons. Deciding which is right for friend in the sterling silver vs silver dispute will rely on the items you want to purchase, your price range, and your personal preference.

See more: What Temperature Do Sparklers Burn At, How Hot Can Sparklers Get

If you"re spring to add a timeless item to your jewelry collection, examine out this article that details details pieces the you have to have. Friend can likewise check out our selection of 925 sterling silver chains.