Silver has been a popular choice metal used in jewelry for thousands of years. Silver jewelry (also spelled silver jewellry, or silver jewellery) has an alluring metallic luster and is easy to wear because of its neutral color. Silver is more abundant than gold and platinum, which makes it a more affordable option.
Pure silver is relatively soft, very malleable, and can easily be scratched or damaged. Therefore, it cannot be used for jewelry. So to create silver jewelry, pure silver is combined (alloyed) with other metals to make it harder and increase its durability. The most popular metal alloy is copper. Sterling Silver consists of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper, which is referred to as 925 Silver. Other metals can be used in the alloy process to be mixed with silver. However, copper has proven to be the best companion of silver because it best increases the metal’s durability without affecting the silver’s natural coloration. Silver is also sometimes mixed with gold, to create gold silver jewelry.
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To indicate superior quality, Sterling Silver is often stamped or marked. The stamps most often used are: Sterling, Sterling Silver, Ster, and/or 0.925.
The price of silver is affected by the labor involved in the creation of the piece, its design, and its weight. The small amount of copper added to the Sterling Silver in the alloy process has almost no effect on its value. Overall 925 silver jewelry makes for inexpensive jewelry, since it is relatively cheaper than most other types of fine jewelry.
Although your silver jewelry is very durable, it can be scratched if roughly treated. A few simple steps should be taken to keep your jewelry always looking new and bright. Keeping your jewelry away from harsh chemicals, such as ammonia and chlorine is important. These chemicals can be found in household cleaning products, swimming pools, and Jacuzzis. Also, it is ideal when storing your silver jewelry to store each piece separately in boxes, small soft bags, or pouches.
Overtime, silver earrings, silver pendants, silver bangles, silver rings, and other types of silver jewelry are prone to tarnish buildup; a dulling effect that occurs when silver reacts with sulfur or hydrogen sulfide in ambient air. To prevent tarnish buildup, clean your silver jewelry periodically after wearing it. When cleaning silver jewelry use a jewelry cleaning cloth or a jewelry polishing cream.
Note: If your jewelry contains gemstones it is advised to use a jewelry care cloth and not a jewelry dip cleaner.