Silver jewelry happens to be one of the most common types of jewelry purchased by people. Right from silver rings, bracelets, earrings to pendants, charms, etc., you can find silver jewelry being worn on both special, as well as casual occasions. Silver jewelry makes wonderful birthday and anniversary gifts.
In the United States, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stated that silver cannot be sold as silver, sterling silver, sterling, solid silver, or with the abbreviation Ster., unless it comprises at least 92.5% pure silver. But, what is this 925 silver? Why is it mandatory to buy silver of this grade?
What is 925 Silver Jewelry?
Pure silver (99% silver) is malleable, ductile, and very soft. Its softness makes it easy to work with. However, it also gets scratched easily. In its pure form, silver is a noble metal and is also very expensive. However, since it gets scratched easily, it is not suitable to make functional items. Within one or two uses, it develops a grazed and deformed look. Thus, an alloy of silver is formed.
92.5% of silver metal is mixed with 7.5% copper metal to get 925 sterling silver. The 7.5% copper added gives the silver the necessary strength it requires. Since only 7.5% copper is added, with 92.5% remaining content as silver, the ductility and charm of the silver metal is preserved. Besides copper, other metals like germanium, platinum, and zinc can also be added to silver to make sterling silver. However, as far as industry standards are concerned, 925 sterling silver is prepared only by adding copper metal.
925 sterling silver is not as expensive as pure silver and is quite affordable. It is used to prepare various types of silver jewelry like earrings, necklaces, rings, nose rings, bracelets, anklets, etc. The resultant jewelry is more durable and resistant than pure silver jewelry. Moreover, when gem stones are embedded into 925 silver jewelry, its value increases even more.
You will find several reputed brick as well as online stores selling 925 silver jewelry. They cater to large clientele looking for affordable jewelry. Often, discount 925 silver is also available which is available at a cheaper rate. There are all kinds of designs available and if you are still not happy, you can have your jewelry custom-made to suit your taste and preference.
Silver metal like gold is a noble metal that does not react or oxidize when brought in contact with the sulfides in the atmosphere. However, since the jewelry we buy is 925 silver jewelry, let us not forget it contains copper. Metals like copper, zinc, and nickel get oxidized by the sulfides in the atmosphere and get darkened. It is the oxidation of the copper in the jewelry that causes the piece of silver jewelry to darken and tarnish after sometime. The yellowing of silver is a reversible reaction, and the sheen can be restored by polishing the metal.
To slow down the rate at which your silver jewelry yellows, keep the jewelry away from damp and humid environment. This can be done by storing them in airtight containers or tarnish-prevention bags. Moreover, after every use, clean them with a cloth. You get special cleaning cloths for such purposes, which are better than normal cloths. You can also use any sterling silver jewelry cleaner or a homemade silver polish to bring the sheen back from time to time.
People have been wearing silver jewelry since 900 BC. 925 silver jewelry is suitable for all regardless of age or gender. Its classic appeal never goes out of style! 925 silver is a standard set by craftsmen to indicate best quality silver. Thus, the next time you go to pick up silver jewelry make sure it's 925 silver jewelry!