Everything You Need To Know About Sterling Silver Jewellery

You may have noticed a tiny '925' stamped into our jewellery, this is because all our pieces are made of sterling silver. If you're wondering what that means or why we use it, we're here to answer all your questions, because we think sterling silver is the best! Read on for everything you need to know about sterling silver.

What is 925 sterling silver?

925 sterling silver is an alloy composed of 92.5% silver. While sterling silver is real silver, 7.5% of its composition is from other metals such as copper. Pure silver is a very soft metal, which makes it unsuitable for delicate items such as jewellery, so the added metals make the material sturdier and more durable. 


Why is sterling silver used for jewellery?

Sterling silver is used for jewellery because of the beautiful high-shine finish it gives once polished. It is stronger and more durable than pure silver but retains some of its flexibility which makes it perfect for our adjustable jewellery. Sterling silver is also suitable for sensitive skin and more affordable than other precious metals such as gold. Another jewellery option at a similar price point is silver or gold plating, which is not as long lasting because the plating will eventually wear off over time, revealing the other metal underneath.


Is sterling silver hypoallergenic?

Sterling silver is mostly composed of silver and copper, which are both hypoallergenic. However, among the metals that are added to strengthen the silver, there may be trace elements of nickel. Due to the very small percentage, most wearers will have no issue wearing sterling silver but people with very sensitive allergies could be affected. 


Does sterling silver tarnish?

You may notice tarnishing over time as your jewellery looks duller or starts turning black but don’t worry, this does not mean that your jewellery is poor quality or needs to be thrown away. It is very common for sterling silver to tarnish and this even happens to pure silver too. Tarnishing is a reaction between the copper in sterling silver and sulphur in the air; the colour change you see is a layer of copper sulphide or, on pure silver, silver sulphide. Your jewellery can easily be cleaned to restore its bright, shiny finish. Read on to find out how.


How do you stop sterling silver tarnishing?

The two main things that affect tarnishing are sulphur levels and moisture. Since tarnishing is caused by the reaction of metals with sulphur in the air, it is best to store your sterling silver jewellery in the jewellery pouch that is included with your order, this will also protect it from any scratches. Make sure to also store your jewellery in dry conditions. If you live in a humid environment it may be useful to store it with the silica gel sachets that are often in packaging for items such as new shoes. 

Moisture can make tarnishing happen faster so it is not recommended to shower in your sterling silver jewellery. Water with high chlorine or salt levels, such as in the swimming pool or the sea, can even be damaging to the material. If you are in a profession that wears rubber gloves, remove any rings as the moisture from your hands will cause tarnishing. The chemicals in perfumes and other cosmetics can damage sterling silver so keep these away from your jewellery also.


What is the best way to clean sterling silver?

Even if you have followed all our jewellery care tips, tarnishing is still likely to happen eventually, but it can be easily removed. The best way to clean sterling silver is using specialist silver cleaning products such as a liquid cleaner or the infused silver cleaning cloth provided with your order. If you are looking to clean sterling silver with products you already have at home, use a soft brush and mild washing up liquid with warm water to gently remove tarnishing. There are many at-home methods that use items such as baking soda and tinfoil but these may cause damage if used long term. To reduce any risks of scratching or damaging your jewellery, try to clean it as little as possible and only clean less frequently worn pieces only when you plan on wearing them. 

Shop Our Favourite Sterling Silver Jewellery

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