silver heart locket, silver round locket and silver filigree heart locket on curb chains with photos inside

What Is The Difference Between Pure Silver and 925 Sterling Silver?

Pure Silver VS Sterling Silver

Silver jewellery is hugely popular due to its durability and beauty. Silver is often used in jewellery, homeware and coins. Silver is also commonly used to celebrate milestones such as silver wedding anniversaries and celebrations. If you're a lover of silver jewellery, you may own sterling silver necklaces, pair of earrings or even a silver bangle.

But have you ever wondered what is the difference between pure silver and sterling silver? Is sterling silver real? How do you tell if silver is genuine? Why does silver tarnish and how do you clean it?

At Lily Blanche, we only use precious metals in our jewellery including sterling silver. Read on to discover our guide to sterling silver jewellery.

sterling silver lockets

What Is Silver?

Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver, this form of silver is too soft for many uses including making jewellery. Its high purity means that it is too malleable for jewellery making and therefore, it is often mixed with other metals to make it more durable.

What Is Sterling Silver? 

Sterling silver is an alloy which is made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals which usually includes zinc or copper. This means that sterling silver is more durable and stronger than pure silver.

Copper makes silver harder and better to work with for producing jewellery. Sterling silver jewellery is stamped with a 925 mark to demonstrate their authenticity. The word "sterling" comes from 12th century England, where a standard for the purity of silver was defined. 

silver locket and bracelet

Is Sterling Silver Real?

If you have ever wondered if sterling silver is real, the answer is a definite yes. Sterling silver is a real and valuable metal which is often used in jewellery. You can tell if it sterling silver is real by looking for the stamped '925' mark. 

Is Sterling Silver Good Quality? 

Sterling Silver is very high quality. While sterling silver is not as 'pure' as fine silver, it does not diminish its quality. Sterling silver is a high-quality material which is durable and easy to wear. 

sterling silver lockets on chains

How To Tell If Sterling Silver Is Real?

There are several ways to tell if sterling silver is real. One of the best ways to do this is to look for the 925 marking. Real sterling silver jewellery will bare the 925 mark or be marked with STERLING or STER. 

Another way to define whether sterling silver is real is by looking at the price. If the price of a silver piece of jewellery seems too good to be true, it probably is not 925 sterling silver. 

Lastly, if you are not sure if your piece is sterling silver take it to a certified jewellery who will be able to tell you if it is genuine.

At Lily Blanche, our sterling silver jewellery is handmade by master silversmiths from sterling silver, meaning it is 92.5% pure silver. All of our lockets are also independently tested and hallmarked by the Edinburgh Assay Office with a full UK Hallmark. 

silver locket with engraving

Does Sterling Silver Tarnish?

Due to the copper elements, sterling silver is more prone to tarnishing than pure silver would be. However, as mentioned, pure silver is too soft to for jewellery making. When the metal reacts with oxygen, tarnishing can occur.

However, removing tarnishing is simple. We provide a complimentary polish cloth with all orders which is made for us by Town Talk Polish. The cloth is impregnated with a special anti-tarnish agent to help protect silver from tarnishing.  

How To Clean Sterling Silver?

Cleaning sterling silver is easy. Simply use the polish cloth provided with your Lily Blanche jewellery. Wipe your sterling silver jewellery gently with the cloth. The cloth is reusable and designed to last, so it can be used again and again.

We also provide a complimentary anti-tarnish jewellery storage pouch where you can keep your jewellery inside when you are not using it. The pouch has special intercept technology which keeps your jewellery clean and sparkling.

Top Tips For Caring For Sterling Silver Jewellery:

- Wear your sterling silver jewellery more. Regularly wearing your jewellery actually reduces tarnishing. 

- Remove your jewellery when in water. Water contains chemicals which can damage any precious metals. 

- Remove your silver jewellery before applying makeup and perfumes.

- Remove your jewellery before exercising or going to sleep and store it in our anti-tarnish jewellery pouch.

silver baby rattle and silver pendant

Is Sterling Silver Valuable?

Sterling silver is an affordable, high-quality metal which retains and may even increase in value over time. Due to its durability, sterling silver jewellery can also be passed down the generations and enjoyed for years to come. 

Lily Blanche Sterling Silver Jewellery:

Need some inspiration? Discover our collection of sterling silver jewellery including silver necklaces and silver bracelets.

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