There's no difference between sterling silver and 925 silver
Suppose you are confused by the many varieties of silver on the market. In that case, you are not alone. Jewellery makers use the terms silver, sterling silver vs 925 silver, silver-plated, German silver, pure silver, fine silver, nickel silver, so-called coin silver, and so on.
So, what's the difference between sterling silver and 925 silver? The short answer: there is none. Sterling silver and 925 silver are the same silver alloy blend, and jewellers use the name interchangeably. The silver alloy meets 92.5 per cent pure silver standards (or 925) to classify as sterling silver in most countries worldwide.
So, let's break this down.
Sterling silver vs 925 silver | It's the same thing
Sterling silver refers to a silver alloy of 92.5 per cent pure silver and 7.5 per cent other base metal alloy, usually copper or nickel. An alloy consists of essentially 2 or 3 elements found on the periodic table. Most countries worldwide impose strict sterling silver standards from 92.5 silver to 7.5 copper, while others, such as France, impose an even higher silver content standards to be considered sterling silver.
Most artists prefer 925 sterling silver vs pure silver in jewellery making. The difference between sterling silver and pure silver is essentially the other metal. Pure silver, also known as fine silver, is a very soft metal that is easily bent, reshaped and reformed, making it hard to create long-lasting, durable silver jewellery, especially necklace chains, bracelets and intricate pendants.
Real silver is also dull with less sparkle. The other metal alloys give sterling silver its signature metallic glint and lustre. Although fine silver has minimal tarnish compared to sterling silver jewellery - 925 sterling silver is durable and can last a long time without tarnishing if cared for correctly.
Sadly, many silvers on the market is called sterling silver when they are low-quality metal disguised as precious metal. Most of these do not have an actual silver content and use inexpensive metal at the core. It is essential to know that while these are inexpensive metals and make silver jewellery cheaper - they can be harmful to your skin and body.
Things to Know When Buying Sterling Silver Jewellery
We learn that sterling silver and 925 silver are not different and that this is not true of all other pieces of jewellery. It is surprisingly difficult for people to understand "SILVER".
It's popularly referred to as labels, but silver should always have a mark that indicates the standard grade or quality. With all this information in mind, always look for hallmarks as jewellers/artisan must certificate their goods to prospective customers. Unless there's no stamp, buy it elsewhere.
Other Silver Types
Also Known As
fine silver, real silver,
Non-tarnish alloy, non-tarnish sterling silver
Copper, germanium element
Antique coin silver
costume jewellery, filled silver
5-10% or less
base metal, copper, brass, nickel, zinc
costume jewellery, silver plate
5% or less
base metal, copper, brass, nickel, zinc
base metal, copper, brass, nickel, zinc, lead
Is sterling silver 925 good quality?
Sterling silver makes for stunning jewellery and can last jewellery collectors a lifetime. Here's why we love sterling silver:
Durable and scratch-resistant
True sterling silver is durable and scratch-resistance; it doesn't buckle, bend, or misshapes. Fine silver is a very soft metal that is easily bent, reshaped and reformed, making it hard to create long-lasting, durable silver jewellery, especially bracelets, rings and intricate pendants.
For this reason, sterling silver necklaces make excellent gifts for young wearers starting to build their jewellery collection. If the pieces are cared for properly, they can last well into adulthood and even a lifetime.
Hallmarks & Marks
Strict standards ensure certified sterling silver in the USA, UK, and Australia, but other countries like France have their own sterling silver grades.
So, how do you identify sterling silver? Easy. Sterling silver jewellery is identifiable with the hallmark. A hallmark is easily found on sterling silver stamped or marked with ".925" or "S925." You may occasionally encounter hallmark inscriptions with the letters "SSTGS," "SS", or "STER," which also signify certification.
Sterling-plated silver or silver filled is not stamped or marked. Quality hallmarks (925) signifies a piece is made of just sterling silver, helping you to easily identify which silver products are real vs those labelled or called sterling silver.
Affordable precious metals
Sterling silver is very affordable, especially when you consider its quality. A well-looked after piece of sterling silver jewellery will look the same years later. Silver sold online is easily accessible, and vendors must have certification, especially on Amazon and eBay, making sterling silver a great purchase.
Sterling silver adds a timeless elegance that jewellers love. It continues to be at the forefront of jewellery trends. Sterling silver is always appropriate for different occasions, styles and no matter what metal you pair it with. Sterling silver provides seamless sophistication.
Perfect for Mixing Metals
Mixing silver with other metals is easy. Sterling silver works well with all other metals, contrasting with yellow gold, rose gold or brass, or pared with platinum or white gold to create depth. It is also used against coloured stones and gemstones to accentuate colours and mood.
Perfect for customisation
925 Sterling silver is easy to work with jewellery making, meaning more experimentation with design. Customisation and personalisation is straightforward with your sterling silver jewellery - so inscribe your name or loved ones' name. It is also fantastic for special occasions, such as Christmas and Mother's Day, because you can mark messages of love to the recipient.
Sterling silver is always appropriate for different occasions, styles and no matter what metal you pair it with. Sterling silver provides seamless elegance and sophistication. Luckily, silver is a metal colour that can be worn entirely by all skin types.
Impactful for all skin tones
People with fair skin - with red and pink undertones - look stunning in silver. Those with more lightly tanned, olive or Mediterranean skin look gorgeous against silver. And lastly, there is a lovely contrast between darker skin tones.
Silver also blesses you with an array of outfit colour choices for maximum impact. Pastel colours, in particular, look striking against silver.
Our top five colours that go great with a sterling silver heart pendant are:
- Light pink.
- Light blue.
- Light purple.
- Light green.
- Light yellow.
Sterling silver is hypoallergenic, which is excellent for people with sensitive skin, ears, or allergies. It is important to remember that people with metal allergies, such as copper, will not suit silver alloy products - and that is the only key difference between people with copper metal allergens and sensitive skin.
Coated & Plated
Sterling silver can also easily be coated or plated with anti-tarnishing materials like pure silver or rhodium, preventing tarnishing and leaving you with a gorgeous, glossy finish. It is often best practice to coat your sterling silver in anti-tarnishing materials. Still, it is important not to confuse silver-plated or silver-filled vs sterling silver plated with rhodium.
The key differences are how much silver is in the jewellery and the use of cheaper metals. These silver pieces will tarnish and mark more easily.
Does Sterling Silver Tarnish?
While pure silver is not susceptible to tarnishing, other metals used in sterling silver are, like copper. Copper is vulnerable to tarnishing because it oxidises quickly. Tarnish is produced when metal is mixed with oxygen and creates dark, discoloured surfaces.
Tarnish is easily cleaned with special cleaning techniques such as polishing. Ensure that you look after your sterling silver pieces, and they will last you a long time. Read our guide for caring for your sterling silver jewellery collection.
Start Your Silver Jewellery Collection Today
So, to summarise, there is no difference between the terms sterling silver and 925 silver. However, the standards of 925 silver may differ depending on the country of origin. If you're looking for high quality and reasonably priced sterling silver jewellery, check out Dephini.
Dephini uses the highest-quality, real sterling silver jewellery in our necklace, pendants and ring design. And, we stunning gold jewellery pieces that will make you smile.
Dephini's stunning sterling lister heart inspired collection uses the finest Italian 925 sterling silver. Our necklace designs feature CZ crystal along with the heart pendant. It is accompanied by an elegant and delicate sterling silver chain.
Our sterling silver heart earrings and heart necklace make the perfect gift set for your wife, girlfriend, mother or daughter. Want to know more. Visit the Dephini Store today.