How to Tell the Differences in Silver Jewelry



how to tell the difference between sterling silver, pure silver, and silver-plated jewelry


When shopping for silver jewelry, you will notice that there are different types of silver jewelry. These are sterling silver, pure silver, and silver-plated. You can probably figure out based upon the name which has the best quality and which is the least good. But how are they different? Let’s look at how to tell the difference between sterling silver, pure silver, and silver-plated jewelry.


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Pure Silver

Also known as ‘fine silver,’ pure silver holds an actual pure content of 99.9% and is the best quality silver that one could hope to obtain. Pure silver is mined directly from the ground and does not contain any other metals. It is unprocessed and is extremely soft. Unfortunately, due to its purity, it does tarnish easily when exposed to natural elements.


It does, however, have a look about it that you don’t get with sterling silver or silver-plated jewelry. For one, it is extremely shiny and normally only used for very fine exquisite pieces of workmanship. For examples of similar work, try searching online. You will be amazed at what is possible even with such soft metals as pure silver. When looking at jewelry, you should distinguish pure silver by the engraving FS or the numbers 99.9. It is also worth noting that pure silver will hold its value better than other forms that you might see available.


Sterling Silver 

Sterling silver is next on the list, and for an item of jewelry to be considered ‘sterling,’ it must contain at least 92.5% of Pure Silver. The rest is made up of different metals, normally things like copper. Because sterling silver includes other metals that act as an alloy, the overall strength of sterling silver is actually much stronger than pure silver. This makes it a perfect choice for things like jewelry and silverware. Sterling silver and pure silver can look similar, so the best way to tell the two apart would be to look for the marking 925, which relates to the purity level of 92.5% or higher. Check out the solid silver bangles to buy online, and you might find a piece or more of sterling silver jewelry that you like.


Silver-Plated Jewelry

Anything that is silver-plated is quite literally, as it sounds, another type of metal, but it has a thin coating of pure silver which gives the looks of pure silver. This is also one of the reasons why it cost less. To make this kind of product, liquid silver must be charged with a positive charge, and the metal in which you want the silver applied must be charged with a negative charge. The negatively charged metal will be dipped into the positively charged liquid silver, resulting in silver-plated products through electroplating.


What to Choose?

Pure silver is a natural choice if money is no issue. If you want something more durable but at a reasonable price, it has to be sterling silver jewelry. If you want jewelry that’s is more economical, then a silver-plated piece is the way to go. At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Choose something that you are comfortable wearing.


Thank you for reading how to tell the difference between sterling silver, pure silver, and silver-plated jewelry!


Also see: All You Need to Know About Old European Cut Diamonds and Uncommon Goods Unique Jewelry


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Meet Jill

Thanks for visiting Doused in Pink, a Chicago style blog. I am here to bring simple style tips and outfit inspiration to help you elevate your everyday style. You will also find posts on the best beauty products, wellness, DIY projects and decorating ideas. My goal is that you leave feeling like you learned something new that helps you feel confident when you walk out the door.

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