Just as gold, silver has been looked at as a sign of luxury and wealth. That’s why you often times hear people say that they did or didn’t “grow up with a silver spoon in their mouth.” That statement is pretty much saying that a person did or did not grow up in wealth and privilege. Well sterling silver has taken that lap of luxury and wealth, and placed it into jewelry now.
The most common silver derivative used in jewelry is sterling silver. It consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Hence the well know hallmark 925. Silver with its brilliant white metallic luster allows for a high degree of polish, which is why it has such a beautiful finish. This is a metal that can be worn for everyday purposes as well as be a breathtaking statement piece.
Did you know that sterling silver is extremely durable? Initially it was thought that sterling silver was only used in earrings, but it has come such a long way. Sterling silver can actually last an entire lifetime, if you take care of it properly. When we say lifetime, we’re talking family heirlooms that can be passed down from generation to generation...that’s how long sterling can hold up.
Now, true sterling silver is no cheap item, but it is definitely well worth the price for the quality of metal you’ll be getting. True sterling silver will have a 925 sterling silver stamp, so that stamp is something to look for when picking out the sterling silver piece that speaks to you.
Having sterling silver does come with a responsibility of proper upkeep as mentioned earlier. In fact, many people stopped buying silver at one point because of the tarnishing effect that can happen over time.
Silver, as opposed to other metals used in jewelry manufacturing, can and will tarnish due to oxidation. For instance, your beloved sterling silver necklace that your mother gave you is beginning to tarnish because it’s been sitting in your jewelry box for too long. Luckily, it’s not destroyed and become a total loss.
Wearing your sterling silver can actually aid in the prevention of tarnish. The oils from your skin actually have a cleaning effect on the metal, so it keeps it from getting that dull, dirty look. You can also clean your jewelry with varnish every now and then to maintain the upkeep of your silver. This is very much recommended to keep your silver jewelry looking its best for a lifetime of enjoyment. When cleaning and maintaining your sterling silver jewelry, be sure to keep this tips in mind:
- Wear your jewelry. Wearing your sterling silver jewelry keeps it from tarnishing. This effect has left many of us to neglect our beautiful jewelry pieces by leaving them in the jewelry box. We tend to think that leaving them alone and not wearing them will make it less likely to tarnish, when it indeed increases the likelihood.
- Avoid contact with harmful substances. Coming into contact with harmful chemicals can cause your sterling silver to tarnish. Household chemicals, chlorinated water, or anything with sulphur in it is not good for your jewelry. It’s probably a good idea to remove any and all jewelry when doing household cleaning. In association with chlorine water, direct sunlight is also not good for your sterling silver, so be sure to remove your jewelry before swimming in those warm summer months.
- Store your jewelry in a safe place. Because your sterling silver is a soft metal, it makes it more prone to scratches, so wherever you store it, make sure your jewelry is unhooked or unclasped. Having a separate place for it to be stored would be ideal. That storage location should be low in humidity too. If you have plastic bags and can place anti-tarnish strips in it, that would be even better...it’s definitely a great preventive measure to take.
Sterling silver is also hypoallergenic. This means that you’re less likely to experience any allergic reaction or skin irritations with sterling silver. Lots of parents who take their babies to get their ears pierced with look for little diamond studs made of sterling silver, so as to not irritate the baby’s skin.
So again, when sterling silver shopping, whether it’s for yourself or for someone else, make sure you look for either a 925, 92.5, Ster or sterling silver stamp on your silver jewelry. This will ensure you are getting the highest quality. Browse our beautiful sterling silver jewelry collection.