Sterling Silver – A Timeless and Timely Treasure

Sterling silver jewelry is popular, affordable and stylish. But what is¬†sterling silver, exactly? Jewelry.com gives you all the shining facts…

We’ve all heard of Sterling Silver, but what exactly is it? Just a shinier version of silver? How is it different from just pure silver? And why is it used to make jewelry, in particular? Silver is a soft metal in its pure form, too soft to hold up against the rigors of jewelry making – and wearing – so it’s mixed with other metals to make it more durable. This silver mixture, called an alloy, is known as Sterling Silver. Silver_Small_Blog_2011-06-01 Most Sterling Silver on the market today is mixed with copper, which adds hardness while keeping the original silver color, but brings with it a tendency to tarnish – a darkening that occurs when Sterling Silver reacts with gases in the air. The word “sterling” is thought to have been derived from the Old English word “stiere”, meaning “strong, firm, immovable”, and was used in reference to the grade of silver that emerged in England in the 13th century. But the height of the Sterling Silver craze came during the 50-year period from 1870 to 1920. Flatware – or silverware – lines during this period sometimes included up to 100 different types of pieces. This was especially true during the Victorian time period, when etiquette dictated that nothing should be touched with one’s fingers. Sterling Silver can be found in timeless antique jewelry pieces from that bygone era and in timely lines today from celebrity designers like Nicole Richie and the Olsen Twins. And its affordability compared with other precious metals, like gold and platinum, make it an appealing choice for women of all ages. If you’re curious whether or not your jewelry is, in fact, real Sterling Silver, The US Federal Trade Commission stipulates that jewelry sold in the US cannot be marked or described as Sterling Silver unless it contains at least 92.5 percent pure silver – so look for the following regulated marks on your jewelry to make sure:

  • sterling
  • sterling silver
  • ster
  • .925

But, most of all, just have fun wearing your Sterling Silver jewels – whether you’re a Victorian vixen or a fan of BoHo Chic. Only now you can wow your friends with a little trivia when they complement you on your sterling style! Shop Silver Jewelry.¬†Learn More About Silver

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