If you’re familiar with silver jewellery—even vaguely so—chances are, you’ve stumbled upon the term “925 silver”. It also goes by another popular name: Sterling Silver. So what is 925 silver? How is it any different from pure silver jewellery? And why is it so popular? We answer all these questions and more in this blog. Read on!
What is 925 Silver?
Simply put, it refers to silver that is combined with other metals. The number 925 indicates the percentage of silver present in this blend of metals—i.e., 92.5%. The remaining 7.5% of the alloy (i.e., metal made by mixing two or more elements) is typically copper and sometimes zinc or nickel.
Silver in its purest form is beautiful and bright. The precious metal has had a long-standing history with humankind—from serving as currency to being adorned on bodies in the form of jewellery. However, pure silver comes with a disadvantage, especially in jewellery-making: It is soft and, as a result, bends and breaks easily. To counter its brittle nature, silver is combined with a small percentage of other metallic elements, lending silver jewellery a perfect blend of shine and strength.
The purity of 925 silver
The purity of precious metals like platinum, gold and silver is universally gauged by their millesimal fineness. This measurement is a number that denotes the purity of the metal per thousand parts. So the number 925 in silver jewellery also indicates that 925 parts of a 1000-part piece contain silver, with the remaining 75 comprising either copper or other metals.
There are several variations of silver alloy variations in the market—fine 999 silver, coin silver (.900 silver), and silver-plated jewellery to name a few. But as far as silver alloys go, 925 silver is the gold standard that is recognised the world over—especially for jewellery.
Why should you buy 925 silver jewellery over pure silver ones?
The adding of copper, zinc or nickel to pure silver to make sterling silver has several advantages:
The added elements in 925 silver jewellery lends strength to the piece, making it more long-lasting compared to pure-silver jewellery. This means that the chances of breakage, scratches and other damages are minimal.
2. Better design and style
The brittle nature of pure silver leaves very little room for intricate designs. 925 silver, on the other hand, allows designers to bend and shape this precious white metal into beautiful designs, giving you stunning pieces of accessories for every occasion!
Most skin allergies while wearing metal jewellery are attributed to the piece’s nickel content. While nickel may be used as a part of the sterling silver composition, it is rare. And with the major components of 925 silver jewellery being silver, the chances of allergy are less likely.
How to tell if the 925 silver you are buying is real?
There are a couple of ways to tell if the jewellery you are buying is genuine. When you buy 925 silver—both online or offline—look for the following:
Trusted silver jewellery brands have the “925”, “ster”, “sterling”, or “sterling silver” engraved on the surface of each piece. You will find these markings on a less-obvious surface. However, the smaller the jewellery piece, the tinier these seals will be, so using a magnifying glass can help.
On your search for genuine and pure 925 silver jewellery, you may also come across hallmarks like “ARG 800” and “ARG 1000”. These are not legitimate seals for 925 silver and can be misleading.
2. The magnet test
This is a simple way to find out if the metal used in a jewellery piece is made of cheaper material such as cobalt or iron. If you bring a magnet close to your jewellery, it should ideally not be attracted to it. However, the magnet test will not guarantee you that the piece you are testing is pure silver jewellery. It can merely confirm if the base metal used is iron or not.
3. No metallic smell
Another unconventional method to test if the material used in the jewellery is not silver is to look for a metallic odour on the jewellery piece. Sterling silver is odourless. So if you find that your piece has a strong metallic smell, it is not pure 925 silver jewellery.
4. Marketing jargon
When you are looking to buy 925 silver online, you may also stumble upon jewellery with other numbers prefixed to the word “sterling silver” (e.g., 950 sterling silver). It is important to note that these terms are misleading. Sterling silver only refers to those pieces that contain 92.5% silver. Any silver jewellery that claims to be sterling silver with fineness numbers other than 925 attached to it must be purchased with caution. Similarly, the term “silver plated” is something to look out for as this means that the jewellery piece is only coated with a layer of silver. The main metal used on the inside is typically not made of any precious metal.
5. A trusted and verified seller
Generally, as a rule of thumb, we recommend avoiding silver pieces from sites that you are sceptical about. If you find yourself buying from a website or brand that you are not entirely sure of, look for the hallmark on the jewellery pieces. If you don’t find any, give the item a pass.Looking for trusted 925 silver earrings, 925 silver rings, 925 silver pendants, and more online? Check out our best silver jewellery collection. We're sure you won't be disappointed!
Why should you choose 925 silver jewellery?
Wondering if you should buy 925 silver jewellery? Don’t think twice! Here are some reasons why you should consider it!
1. For every occasion
When it comes to jewellery design, sterling silver accessories are as versatile as it gets! Their shine coupled with the ability to be moulded into diverse styles make 925 silver jewellery the go-to choice for any occasion—be it for a casual night out with friends or a festive gathering with family!
Considering investing in precious-metal accessories? 925 silver is a great place to start! They’re not as expensive as gold, but still fall under the category of valuable jewellery! The price of 925 silver usually starts from Rs 299, and increases depending on factors such as size and current market value for silver.
3. Resale value
As silver is considered a precious metal, 925 silver has a good resale value. So think of your sterling silver purchase as an investment! What’s more, a piece with a legitimate hallmark is recognised across the globe and has lifetime value! So you can sell your sterling silver jewellery at any given time!
Where should you buy 925 jewellery from?
While silver may be affordable, it does not come cheap. Moreover, a well-maintained precious metal with good resale value. So it’s important that you buy your 925 jewellery from a trusted seller—be it online or offline. Make sure that the jewellery also has a 925 seal engraved on the surface.Check out GIVA's pure silver jewellery sets online collection!
How long does 925 silver jewellery last?
Pure silver jewellery generally does not lose its shine. If it does, the lack of shine is minimum. However, when we bring in other metals into the equation, the piece of jewellery—now an alloy—will lose its lustre over time. Commonly known as tarnish, this phenomenon is categorized by a black or brownish layer on your jewellery’s surface. It is caused due to the metal’s reaction with air and is quite common in silver alloys, including 925 silver.
Depending on the usage of your sterling silver jewellery, the tarnish generally occurs anytime between 6 months to
Caring for your sterling silver pieces
With a little tender loving care, your 925 silver’s shine can last forever! Here are some tips to maintain your favourite sterling silver jewellery:
1. Store carefully
Your 925 silver jewellery is likely to oxidize if it is often exposed to open air. So make sure you put away your accessories in an air-tight bag or container when you are not using them.
2. Keep away from other metals
Sterling silver, being an alloy, is more reactive to its surroundings—especially when it comes in contact with other elements. So when you store your 925 silver jewellery, ensure you keep them away from other metals too!
3. Avoid water contact
Ideally, pure water should not react with sterling silver. However, the water we come to contact with contains several other minerals and chemicals. So make sure you don’t expose your accessories to water and keep them dry.
4. Polish regularly
Tarnish on sterling silver, unfortunately, is unavoidable. However, polishing it regularly can help maintain its lustre. And the best part? It’s pretty simple! All you need is a soft jewellery cloth that ideally does have lint. Make sure you polish it gently. It is also recommended that you avoid polishing it with harsh material like paper.
The best 925 silver jewellery for you
Looking for a trusted sterling silver brand online? Check out GIVA’s wide range of 925 silver jewellery! From personalized sterling silver necklaces and intricately designed jewellery sets to simple-yet-classic 925 silver rings and earrings , we’ve got it all!