Not sure what sterling silver 925 jewellery is, how to differentiate it from plated silver or how to care for it? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know. Shop all sterling silver jewellery.
What is sterling silver 925 jewellery?
Sterling silver is one of the most popular precious metals, and as a ductile and malleable metal, it is perfect for making all types of jewellery. Solid silver or pure silver is often too soft and easily damaged, so sterling silver is the highest purity silver that is commonly used by jewellers. Real sterling silver 925 jewellery contains 92.5% pure silver and the other small percentage is an alloy, which is often copper as it doesn’t affect the colour or lustre of the silver. Creating a metal alloy by mixing other metals increases hardness and durability. All sterling silver should be easily identifiable by a small 925 sterling silver stamp, however these stamps are sometimes misused so it’s always good to double check with some quick and simple checks.
How to tell real sterling silver 925 jewellery from fake silver
Rub the jewellery using a soft white cloth - If any black marks appear on the cloth then the piece is sterling silver, because 925 silver is oxidised when exposed to air and so will tarnish slightly over time, taking on a black tinge.
Price is often a good indicator - 925 silver is usually much more expensive than alternatives, so if the price you are paying seems particularly low then it is likely that it may not be sterling silver.
Use a magnet - One of the easiest ways to determine if your jewellery is made from sterling silver is to get a magnet and see if it is magnetic. Magnets have no effect on silver, so if your jewellery is attracted to it then it is not made from real sterling silver.
Caring for sterling silver 925 jewellery
If silver is left out in air for a length of time, it will begin to tarnish. The best way of removing this and making it look brand new again is by simply using a soft cleaning cloth and polishing it, however if the tarnishing is more severe you will need to use a different method. Simply mix a gentle ammonia and phosphate free dishwashing soap into warm water, and clean your pieces. If soap and water doesn’t remove the tarnish, then try making a paste from baking soda and water; apply a pea-sized amount to the silver with a clean cloth and then polish. After using any of these cleaners, you should thoroughly rinse your silver jewellery with running water or a clean, damp cloth and then carefully dry with a microfiber cloth.
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