There are many different types of silver. Silver occurs in the earth's crust in a pure form known as "native silver" and is found primarily as a by-product of mining other metals such as copper, gold, lead and zinc. When silver is 100% pure it is soft and malleable.
This valuable, extremely soft metal is then used to make jewelry and other silver objects. Because of its softness, it is often mixed with a small amount of another metal to make it more durable and long-lasting, in most cases sterling silver contains 7.5% copper. For an item to be considered sterling silver, it must be 92.5% pure silver. When you see 925 on your silver jewelry, it is the American standard for sterling silver.
Many different surfaces can be plated with silver to create jewelry, including metal, plastic, and glass.
Sterling silver that is .999 pure can be used for items that won't be used heavily. Items such as earrings, brooches and picture frames can be made in sterling silver. However, necklaces/chains, rings, bracelets, and charms are best made of inferior but harder silver alloys. Most, if not all, of the jewelry that I recommend will be the .925 alloy type. This is beautiful, but sturdy enough to maintain its shape and allure.
Before I recommend an item here, I will check to see if the item is plated with silver or is total sterling silver. Most of the time, I will be recommending sterling silver jewelry that meets the 92.5% American standard. If it is something different, I will definitely inform you of that and explain why.
With that being said, always check for yourself. If you don't find any markings such as "9.25," "925/1000," "Sterling," "S/S" or "Sterling 9.25" it's highly likely that the item is NOT genuine silver.
SylverSite Wants to Earn Your Trust
I hope that you will find SylverSite to be helpful in finding jewelry, as well as reviews for all types of accessories that are silver. I research many hundreds of real customer reviews before I am willing to recommend anything to other people. I would often call or go straight to my mom for advice. I am the mom now, so...
Will sterling silver jewelry tarnish? Yes, over time it will tarnish. Exposure to perspiration, cosmetics and lotions, chlorine, humidity household bleach/cleansers and other chemicals can result in tarnished jewelry.
Can I clean my tarnished silver jewelry? Yes, I use one cup of white vinegar with four tablespoons of baking soda to soak my jewelry in for about 4 hours. Then rinse with clear water and dry carefully. (Do not use this method for silver plated items.) You can also purchase silver polish/cleanser and ultrasonic jewelry cleaners.
How can I keep my silver jewelry from tarnishing quickly? Keep your jewelry stored in a dark, dry place (like a jewelry box). Ideally, this area should be kept at a cool temperature with low humidity. You can also purchase surface protectorants.