What is the difference between silver and sterling silver?
Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver. In this form the metal is beautiful and suffers from minimal tarnish, but it's generally too soft and malleable for many uses, including making most silver jewellery. Instead fine silver is alloyed with copper to create sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper.
Silver jewelry marked with a 925 is sterling silver jewelry that has been certified to contain 92.5% silver content. Sterling silver is harder than silver and is more suitable for jewelry making. The silver alloy is favored by jewelers for workability and durability.
Pure silver is somewhat more expensive than sterling silver as it contains a higher amount of silver. The metals used in sterling silver alloys are not valuable and do not add to the overall worth of the metal. However, the difference in price is slight.
Sterling silver is stronger and more durable than both regular silver and gold. For these reasons, and the sheer number of traditional and modern artisans working in sterling silver, this type of jewelry is some of the most popular.
The composition of 925 Sterling Silver lends itself to the occasional green discoloration because of the presence of copper. Green fingers are harmless and there are simple measures you can take to prevent discoloration.
In conclusion, you can wear sterling silver every day, but you must do so carefully. Regular wear prevents premature tarnishing ONLY if you avoid wearing it when participating in certain activities. Remember: avoid moisture, open-air, and chemicals if at all possible.
Can you shower with sterling jewellery? Showering with sterling silver jewellery won't necessarily harm the metal. However, silver is a natural metal and therefore reacts with certain things. The water can oxidise the silver, meaning it is likely to tarnish and will therefore start to darken.
In my experience, investors rarely consider sterling silver to be a worthwhile investment, but in high enough quantities, it can be a worthwhile hold. The value of sterling silver is tethered to the price of pure silver but 7.5% lower due to its reduced purity.
Your sterling silver turns black when you wear it because of its continuous reaction with sulfur compounds in the air. This phenomenon is called tarnish, and the result is a black coating on the surface of sterling silver items. This coating is called silver sulfide. Any sterling silver jewelry can tarnish.
This is a serious issue because many jewelers are known to sell fake sterling silver necklaces, rings, earrings and so on. Sterling silver is much cheaper than costlier metals such as gold, and yet, fake imitations of sterling silver jewelry are sold in the market.
Your finger turns green from sterling silver because of a chemical reaction between the metal and your skin. Copper is usually the culprit; it reacts with the pH levels on your skin to create the green color where your skin and the metal meet.
Even when the weather isn't warm, we're (hopefully) showering. This raises the question : can I get my silver jewelry wet? The short answer to this question is yes, you can (if you know it's sterling silver). Water generally does not damage sterling silver.
White vinegar and baking soda: This gentle cleaning method is great for removing heavy tarnish. Soak your sterling silver in ½ cup of white vinegar and 2 tbsp of baking soda (combine these in the sink and prepare yourself for the fizzing and foam) for two to three hours. Rinse jewelry and pat dry.
The biggest question that people tend to ask about their new silver jewelry is, “Can you get sterling silver wet?” The short answer is yes. In general, water does not negatively affect sterling silver. However, there are certain situations where chemicals mixed in water can lead to quicker tarnishing or damage.
Mix two parts baking soda with one part water to make a paste, then gently rub the mixture onto the jewelry. Let the paste dry completely to remove the tarnish. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth or microfiber towel.
Tarnishing is a reaction to moisture and sulphur in the air causing a thin dark layer to form on the surface. Silver tarnishes faster in areas with high humidity and air pollution. But remember that chemicals like hairspray, perfume, deodorant, body lotion and bleach can speed up the tarnishing process.
To slow down tarnishing, clean your silver jewelry after wearing it. Oils from your skin accumulate on the surface of silver and can predispose it to oxidization. Use warm water to wash your jewelry items gently, and dry them with a soft cloth. You can also delay tarnishing by regularly polishing your silver jewelry.
A $500/month supplement would need 300 ounces of silver to get through one year, or 1,500 ounces for five years. If you want $3,000/month, you'll need 1,800 ounces for one year, or 9,000 if it lasts five years.