Monday, 6 June 2011

Difference between Sterling Silver and Silver Plated Jewelry

It is important to know the difference between silver, sterling silver and silver plated jewelry, as it makes a big difference to the pieces that one chooses to buy. Price is a good indicator of the item’s make-up, although it can be relied upon at all times. There is a wide range of prices as it depends on the jeweler.

The price also depends on the type of material that is used to make the jewelry. Although all jewels that are made of silver might seem to have been made using the same material, there is some difference between sterling silver and silver plated jewelry.

Pure silver
Pure silver is malleable and soft .This prevents it from molding properly so as to create a product that is usable. Pure silver takes a shape that cannot survive the necessary shaping. This is why it is mixed with other elements to strengthen it. If there is a jeweler who says that the products on sale are made of pure silver, the person is telling a lie or the item is not worth purchasing.

Sterling Silver
Unlike the pure silver, the sterling silver has been mixed with another metal to make it stronger and durable. Sterling silver has 7.5 percent alloys. It is made up of metals like copper, zinc and nickel. However, the silver content is still high at 92.5 percent. Sterling silver jewelry is marked with 92.5, .925 or 925 at some point on the piece. Sterling silver does not tarnish, but it has an advantage of being shinier than the silver jewelry. The jewelry that is made using sterling silver can be kept in its best form if it remains dry. When it is not being worn it should be stored in a small plastic bag that is sealed.

Silver Plated
When jewelry is describes as being ‘silver plated’ it means that it has a silver coating on top but the material that has been used to make it can vary. This is the method that is used for cheap jewelry. This jewelry is mostly made using metal that is poor quality. Jewelry that is made using such material stretches, bends, and breaks easily. The finish also wears off easily.

Before purchasing silver jewelry, it is important to establish the jeweler’s reputation. There are some jewelers who coat the sterling silver products using pure silver to prevent it from tarnishing. The secret to getting the best sterling silver jewelry is to determine the coating thickness. Jewelry that has a thicker coating lasts for a longer time.

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