Friday 21 September 2012

Sterling Silver vs Silver Plated Jewelry

Fulfill Jewelry
In your collection of jewelries, you must have come across so many types- gold plated,karat-gold, silver, sterling silver and even fine silver! 

You may have wondered about all these names and labels. You may have also been confused! Trying to figure out the difference between them especially those that share some similarities in their names.

For instance, a jewelry labelled fine silver, sterling silver or silver plated are different from one another. This tells you about the quantity of pure silver in them. This equally also helps to determine the price of the jewelries. 

So here is the difference...

Pure silver is also known as Fine silver as it is 99.9% pure silver. It is very soft hence cannot be used alone for any purpose especially for jewelries.

However, Sterling silver is an alloy of silver. This means it contains another metal  which is often copper. Here, copper is added to pure or fine silver which now makes it hard enough to be used for  so many things including jewelries. Sterling silver contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. Copper is used most times because of its inexpensive nature and its ability to harden the silver.

Sterling silver jewelry usually comes with ".925 sterling" marking. This tells you there is 92.5% of pure silver in the jewelry.

How about Silver plated?

Silver plated is made up of a metal that has been coated with a thin layer of silver, usually sterling silver. This is accomplished by a process of electroplating. Silver plated jewelries do not have the ".925 sterling" marking.

Silver plated jewelries do not have any second hand value as the thickest plate is about 0.020mm (8/1000th of an inch) thick and companies won't buy them because of the expensive process of reclaiming just that little quantity of silver. So its not just cost-effective.

Be it sterling silver or silver plated, any of these jewelries would tarnish over time although, silver plated is a lot faster to go through this process. This happens when they come in contact with air and the alloy metal attracts the tarnish. 

So next time you are buying your silver jewelries, you can actually tell now the difference.

If this is helpful, then  please tell someone about it or even share.


"Jewelry takes people's mind off your wrinkles"- Sonja Harie

                                 Linda Aliogo

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