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Why choose sterling silver?
Monday, 18 September 2017 4:45:00 PM Australia/Sydney
Is it really worth its weight in… well, silver?
The answer of course, is absolutely.
There are endless options when shopping for silver jewellery – at all price ranges. When buying online, it’s sometimes tricky to distinguish a difference between silver-plated metals such as brass and genuine 925 sterling silver. Both might look equally great, at least at first.
The drawbacks of plated silver jewellery
Silver-plated metal jewellery can offer impressive weight and strength, and a bright white shine. However, silver plate loses its lustre very quickly. Then with time, the silver plating will wear and the brass will begin to show through, giving an undesirable yellow tinge.
Also, base metals used in silver-plated jewellery will often react with sensitive skin. If you’ve ever worn jewellery that made your skin turn green, chances are it had a base of brass.
Why go sterling – and what to look for
Pure silver is one of the world’s most precious metals. Along with gold and platinum, it’s what’s known as a ‘noble’ metal, meaning it’s resistant to oxidation and corrosion.
Yet pure silver, much like pure gold, is too soft to fashion into wearable jewellery. It needs to be alloyed to another metal for strength. (Alloyed silver, it should be noted, is very different to plated silver, which incorporates far more base metal than precious silver.)
To be genuine sterling silver, an alloy must be comprised of 92.5% pure silver, hence the ‘925’ stamp.
The remaining 7.5% is a base metal, often copper, which adds the necessary amount of strength and durability without detracting from the silver’s bright white colour, beauty and shine.
Quality sterling silver jewellery will obviously cost more than inferior silver-plate jewellery, thanks to its higher quantity of precious pure silver, plus the skill involved in fashioning each piece.
How can you be sure your silver is sterling?
The best way to ensure that the silver you are buying is genuine sterling is to shop with reputable sellers you know and trust and to make sure it is stamped 925.
NAJO has been manufacturing and selling the finest quality sterling silver for more than 30 years. All the silver jewellery in our collections is 925 sterling, so you can rest assured that when you shop with us, you are investing in the real deal.
The endless appeal of sterling silver
Long term, sterling silver will always win in the beauty stakes. Its purity (92.5% pure silver, to be exact) means that it can look deeper in colour and slightly less ‘white’ than brand new silver-plated jewellery, but over time the two become incomparable.
Quality sterling silver will withstand endless polishing and wear, and will continue to emerge as lustrous and bright as new.
If you’re looking for jewellery to gift to loved ones or cherish for yourself as a future heirloom, it needs to be sterling silver, every time.