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Sterling Silver Jewelry, Understanding The Difference

Aqua Blue Quartz Faceted Nugget Sterling Starfish Necklace

If you learn the differences between silversilver plated

and sterling silver jewelry it can make a

difference to the types of jewelry you decide to purchase

 and it can help you determine if an 

item’s value is worth the purchase price.

Most often, price is a good indicator of what kind of silver

 a jewelry piece is comprised of, but it isn't always reliable.

Even though they all sound similar, there are 

significant differences between silver plated

 items and sterling silver items.

Be sure to read carefully what the item is made up of 

so you will know what you are paying for 

and what you can expect in terms of wear and durability.

Pure Silver Jewelry

Pure silver will always contain trace amounts of other

elements,even though it is 99.9% pure.

Pure silver does not make a very high quality

 jewelry item.

It is extremely soft and therefore it does not

 retain its’ shape very well.

Instead, look for sterling silver jewelry.

Sterling Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver contains another metal mixed in with

 the silver to give it increased

strength and durability.

Sterling silver is a mixture made up 92.5% silver and

7.5% of an alloy such as zinc, nickel, or copper.

Sterling silver jewelry may be marked with 925, .925,

or 92.5% somewhere on the piece.

It may tarnish over time, but it also has the benefit

of being shinier than pure silver jewelry.

To keep this type of jewelry looking its best,

keep it from getting wet and store it in a small,

sealed plastic bag when it isn't being worn.

Silver Plated Jewelry

Silver plated jewelry means that the item is

coated with a thin silver coating;

however the materials used underneath the

 silver coating can vary greatly.

Silver plating is often used for cheap fashion jewelry

that is made of steel or other poor quality metal.

Jewelry made with silver plated material often bends, 

stretches, and breaks,

and the finish can wear off quickly.

When purchasing silver plated jewelry the key is to look for

the thickness of the coating.

In general, the thicker the coating, the longer it will last

so long as it is cared for properly.

Whenever you are looking for handmade jewelry,

being educated about the differences between silver, 

silver plated, and sterling silver jewelry

will allow you to make an informed decision

about your purchase.

If you are looking for a fun every-day piece,

silver plated jewelry is fine.

If you are looking for quality, however, look for

well-constructed sterling silver items

 and wear them with confidence 

knowing that you are wearing an item that is

durable and that will stand the test of time.

        At Beaded Embellishments, 

I use only sterling silver beads 

and findings in my handmade jewelry 

because I am committed to presenting quality jewelry.

My personal preference is for Sterling Silver Jewelry

what is your preference?

Your comments are welcome


1 comment:

Meeling said...

Denise that necklace is so pretty...love the pale blue-see thru beads. Very ocean inspired looking!!

btw...thanks for giving my giveaway a shout out!!

ps...more giveaways coming in the next couple days...birthday bash time!! :-D