Journal / Materials
What is Sterling Silver? Everything You Need to Know
Silver jewelry is timeless. It’s been worn for millennia and has a ton of other uses. But of course, that brings up the question of “which type of silver is best for jewelry?”
We’re here to discuss sterling silver, pure silver, and their alternatives, like stainless steel. We’ve done the work so you can stay informed. Let us serve you this information on a silver platter.
Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver, with the remaining 7.5% made of other alloys like zinc or palladium. This is why sterling silver jewelry is marked with a “925” stamp. This certifies it is genuine sterling silver.
In legal terms, the government is fairly strict with the regulations surrounding sterling silver. Anything less than the 925 standards must be labeled as such by jewelry makers, typically with the mark “silver labeled” to protect consumers. Our silver chains at JAXXON are marked with the 925 silver stamps. We’ve got your back.
The word “pure” gets thrown around a lot when talking about jewelry. We get it; most people want the best of the best! But pure silver is not suitable for jewelry making. Fine silver has a 99.9% silver content and is a very soft metal. This type of real silver is usually used for investments and trading in the form of silver bullion.
We mentioned earlier that we would talk about the alternatives to 925 sterling silver. Stainless steel is one of those alternatives! There are different grades or levels of stainless steel which are used to make building materials, surgical instruments, and jewelry. While the main grades used in jewelry are 304 and 316 stainless steel, at JAXXON, we use 316 stainless steel for most of our pendants because it has better resistance to corrosion, especially salt water. Since many types of pendants tend to bounce around a lot while attached to your favorite most expensive chain, we like that extra durability. Stainless steel is a less expensive alternative to 925 sterling silver and gold jewelry which might be better if you're on a tight budget.
Sterling Silver Jewelry
We’re back to our shining star of a material: real sterling silver. So, we know 925 sterling silver is better than pure silver for jewelry and not as economical as stainless steel. So is sterling silver good for a jewelry piece? Yes! Real sterling silver is lustrous, maintains shine, and is a fashion favorite next to gold. It’s also a great alternative to white gold. We coat our fine silver chains and bracelets in rhodium for additional shine, so you can always stand out.
Sterling silver is an amazing precious metal for jewelry making because of its strength and shine. We love the way a genuine silver item stands out when wearing a sharp Franco Chain or a classic Cuban Chain.
Keep It Clean
To keep your silver plated jewelry looking great forever, you have to keep it clean and protected. At JAXXON, we are here to help you answer any questions relating to your jewelry care, from explaining the different types of necklaces to answering if silver can rust. Make sure to check out our resource center for these solutions and more.