What is sterling silver?
Precious metals have always been in high esteem and used for the manufacture of jewelry and other products. One of the most popular alloys is sterling silver. Find out what features such a metal has, and also how to look after it.
What is this metal?
Sterling silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver. The remaining 7.5% is usually copper, but other metals can also be used as additives. They tried to introduce titanium, zinc, germanium, platinum into the composition, but they didn’t manage to improve their qualities; therefore, the combination of silver with copper is still considered the standard. And if you are interested in the sample of such silver, then the 925th, meaning that in 100 grams of alloy there is 92.5 grams of the main component of silver and 7.5 grams of other components used for the ligature (imparting different properties, increasing strength) .
There are several versions regarding the origin of the alloy. According to one of them, the name comes from the name of the English change coin that was in circulation in the XII century.Another version says that the alloy began to be called that way in honor of the Norman penny, which had small stars (in Old English it sounded like "steorling"). And some historians believe that the name Easterling silver was originally used, which translated as "silver from the eastern lands." So began to call the alloy used in the Middle Ages to obtain coins in the northern part of Germany, which consisted of several cities (residents of England called this region Easterling).
An interesting fact: the most common sterling silver from China, since this country is the largest and main supplier of metal.
Advantages and disadvantages
Consider the main advantages of sterling silver:
- If you compare the alloy with pure silver, it is more durable and not so soft, so it does not undergo deformation, if it does not have a significant mechanical effect.
- Sterling silver has a beautiful appearance: a noble light silver shade, beautiful shine.
- This is a universal material that is used to manufacture a variety of products: both jewelry and non-jewelry.It is popular among jewelers, as it allows you to get surprisingly beautiful and luxurious jewelry with elegant lines and thin contours. But they also make dishes and appliances (forks, spoons, trays), interior elements (candlesticks, figurines) and much more out of this silver.
- This alloy is much cheaper than gold, but it looks no worse. Silver products are distinguished by their noble color and filigree performance, which is why they are popular, both among men and women.
- Sterling silver requires special care, which allows you to maintain the original quality and attractiveness.
- When exposed to certain factors, the alloy may undergo changes, for example, darken, be covered with a coating. But you can avoid this if you take care of the products properly.
- Since sterling silver has a high 925 sample (100% silver is very soft and almost never used) and has excellent characteristics, it costs more than other silver alloys of lower samples: 750, 875, 800, 916.
How to care?
Products made of sterling silver require special care, which will preserve their original qualities and avoid damage. Follow a few rules:
- All products from the alloy in question must be stored in a dry place, as well as protected from a bright light, for example, in a cabinet. The fact is that under the influence of moisture or because of direct sunlight, sterling silver can darken, which will negatively affect its appearance.
- If the decoration or object is dirty, you should not remove the dirt by a rough mechanical method, that is, try to scrape it off or scrub it with a hard sponge (this can lead to scratching the surface). To clean, use only a soft cloth that can be pre-soaked with special liquids designed for jewelry.
- So that the jewelery does not get dusty and does not deteriorate, store them in caskets or soft velvet cases or covers made of other similar materials.
- If plaque appears, then tooth powder or plain white paste will help get rid of it. Also suitable and other means: ammonia, hydrogen peroxide. If the processing was unsuccessful, you should contact an experienced jeweler.
Important! If the products almost immediately after the purchase were covered with dark bloom, provided proper care, thenmost likely you have acquired a poor-quality fake.
Sterling silver is a noble and high-quality metal. And if you have products made from it, take care of them correctly, so that they remain beautiful and please you.
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