Sterling silver jewelry is timeless and classy. People have been wearing silver for thousands of years and it never goes out of style.
If you're someone who usually wears gold or who doesn't wear jewelry at all, you might want to think about adding some sterling silver jewelry to your accessory repertoire.
When it comes to sterling silver, the possibilities are endless. Silver looks great in every form; bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pendants, and rings all look lovely in silver.
Furthermore, silver lends itself to a wide variety of styles. It is easy to shape and mold, which helps encourage the creativity of artisans' varied designs.
There are so many reasons to wear sterling silver jewelry. Read on to learn why adding this material to your jewelry collection is not just a good idea, but is crucial.
WHAT IS STERLING SILVER?
Sterling silver is a little different than regular, standard silver. The difference between the two comes down to purity.
If something is advertised as being made of pure silver, then the silver content of that item is 99.9%. There is no such thing is 100% pure silver, but 99.9% is pretty close.
However, if you see a piece of jewelry marketed as pure silver, the jeweler is lying. Jewelry is never made of pure silver because pure silver is too soft and the jewelry item would be unable to hold its shape.
That's why the silver jewelry you purchase is not made of pure silver, but of sterling silver instead. Sterling silver is a silver alloy created when silver is mixed with another metal. As a result, instead of being 99.9% purse, sterling silver is 92.5% pure.
Most commonly, the other metal in sterling silver is copper, but zinc and nickel are also used.
BUYING STERLING SILVER JEWELRY
Jewelry purchased from a reputable artist or jewelry store should be stamped with the amount of silver per hundred or thousand parts. Sterling silver jewelry should be stamped with the number 925 (or 9.25 or .925). Any number lower than that should not be considered sterling silver in the United States.
The percentage of silver required for something to be labeled sterling silver varies in other countries, though. The number you see on jewelry purchased abroad may be a bit lower.
Sterling silver jewelry items are often coated with pure silver. This makes the piece look shinier and more reflective without sacrificing the durability of the piece. These should still be labeled as sterling silver jewelry, though, since that is the primary material of construction.
Also, beware of items that are marked "sterling silver plated." These items are made of copper or nickel and simply have an outer layer of silver attached to them. These items are ok for costume jewelry that you only wear occasionally, but if the jewelry item is something you wear often, the outer coating will eventually wear off.
SIX REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD WEAR STERLING SILVER JEWELRY
There are many reasons so many men and women are drawn to sterling silver jewelry. Some people just like the look of it, but there are other compelling reasons to make silver sterling jewelry a part of your signature style as well.
Sterling silver jewelry is long-lasting. Many people have sterling silver pieces in their collection that were passed down for generations. It can take a beating and still look absolutely lovely.
If you want to invest in a beautiful piece of jewelry that you will be able to enjoy for years to come, sterling silver is a great option for you.
Silver looks good with almost any outfit, for almost any occasion. If you are going to a meeting at work or your kid's soccer game, silver is perfect; if you are going to a fancy fundraiser or if you're off to meet a queen, it's perfect for those events, too.
If you have white gold or platinum in your collection, sterling silver will be a great addition. You can often even wear pieces made from all three of these materials together and no one will even notice that they are different.
Sterling silver isn't inexpensive, but there are many beautiful jewelry items made from it that are very affordable. You can start a sterling silver jewelry collection on a reasonable budget and continue adding to it as time goes on.
When visiting jewelry stores when traveling abroad, you'll always find some sterling silver options. If you enjoy buying jewelry on vacation, building a sterling silver collection from your travels is easy.
Silver is a relatively soft metal. It melts at 1763 degrees F, a slightly lower temperature than gold. This is one of the reasons jewelry designers love to work with it. It is easy to mold into the shapes they imagine.
Because of this, the styles and types of sterling silver jewelry are endless. There are so many different shapes, sizes, and designs for silversmiths to create. There are constantly new innovations in the creation of silver jewelry, and you'll never run out of options when shopping for it.
5. ALLERGIES? NO PROBLEM
Jewelry made from inexpensive metals like nickel or brass can irritate your skin, but you won't have this problem with sterling silver. People who are allergic to these other metals can wear sterling silver without experiencing negative reactions.
Although sterling silver isn't pure silver, the copper added to it to make it more durable will not be a problem either. People can wear sterling silver without worrying at all about the after-effects.
6. EASY TO CLEAN
Finally, sterling silver jewelry is easy to clean and care for. Although silver does tarnish, especially if it is left in a drawer or jewelry box for an extended time, you can restore its original shine with simple polishing.
Polishing silver is easy and your jewelry will be returned to its original beauty with only minimal effort from you.