What Is 925 Silver?
Sterling silver, otherwise known as 925 silver, is a metal alloy commonly used in jewelry making. It is comprised of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper to enhance the natural properties of the precious metal. The naming convention and stamp “925” therefore refers to the silver content in an ingot or a piece of jewelry.
Before purchasing for personal use, investment, or reselling, it’s important to understand exactly what 925 silver is. Having a better grasp on where silver comes from, how 925 silver is produced, and what makes it so special can help us make better purchasing decisions and avoid fakes.
Where is silver from?
Despite being a precious metal, silver can be found the world over and has fascinated the human species for millennia. Areas with higher concentrations of volcanos and hydrothermal vent activity tend to produce more silver than other parts of the world. Silver
The biggest silver mines in the world can be discovered in the USA, Mexico, Canada, Bolivia, and some other South American countries.
Unlike gold, silver is rarely found as whole nuggets and lodes but instead in trace form or as part of mineral ore deposits. Silver extraction typically comprises part of a larger mining operation with the precious metal augmenting and supplementing other efforts.
The most common types of mineral ore deposits that feature silver are:
- Electrum (a gold and silver alloy)
Why is silver jewelry not 100% pure?
In its pure form, silver is too soft to be suitable for jewelry purposes. It is therefore smelted down and mixed with other metals to form an alloy we call sterling silver.
While copper is considered a soft metal, it is used to harden silver and makes it easier to work with. And, despite copper’s distinctive red color, using a 7.5% ratio to fine silver does not affect the color of the final piece of jewelry.
One of the only downsides to introducing copper or other metals into silver is that it causes it to tarnish a little easier than it would otherwise. Over time, sterling silver will begin to form a darker hue, typically black or brown. Those exposed to hot and humid conditions will especially notice their 925 silver begin to tarnish quicker.
925 silver tarnish is not permanent; however, the discoloration is easy to clean and is actually a good way to know you’ve bought a genuine product.
One way to ensure you only ever buy genuine 925 sterling silver is to use ELF925 Wholesale. Serving some of the world’s leading jewelry stores since 1999, we stake our reputation on selling only the finest 925 silver pieces with all our materials responsibly sourced and a focus on sustainability.
Is 925 silver real silver?
While some jewelers do use 99.99% fine silver, almost all of the pieces you find on the high street, online, and at other retailers are 925 silver. In almost all circumstances, this means that 925 sterling silver is 100% genuine silver, with the copper content considered a beneficial addition.
When you purchase genuine silver jewelry, you will see that it has a small “925” stamp to indicate the silver content. Rest assured that 92.5% silver content is considered the industry standard for genuine silver goods.
925 silver uses
The most common use of 925 silver is to make beautiful jewelry such as earrings, rings, bracelets, and charms. In addition to cosmetic uses, sterling silver has been used over the years to make fine tableware and utensils such as jugs, sugar bowls, knives, forks, spoons, and tea and coffee sets and trays. Sterling silver gives such pieces an elegant and extravagant look while also being suitable for food purposes.
How to identify genuine 925 silver jewelry
Whenever purchasing 925 silver, try these 3 ways to tell your 925 silver is genuine:
- Check for a stamp: The first thing to check for is that the piece features a stamp reading “925” indicating it is 92.5% pure silver. This may also read “.925” or “925 ster” or even “.925” depending on when and where it was made. Fraudulent jewelry often tries to replicate this stamping convention, so it’s essential to try the other two methods too.
- Rub with a soft cloth: Next, try rubbing a light-colored, soft cloth over the piece several times. Because 925 silver contains copper or other alloys, it will cause dark marks to appear on the cloth as the silver oxidizes.
- Magnet: Finally, to be extra sure your piece is genuine, test it with a magnet. Neither silver, gold, nor platinum is magnetic, so if your jewelry sticks, it is likely not genuine.
Can you be allergic to 925 silver?
A silver allergy is extremely rare, so most people can wear silver jewelry safely. However, a very small number of people may have a slight skin reaction to some trace amounts of metals otherwise found within a piece of jewelry.
Sterling 925 silver is one of the world’s most precious gifts, delighting us with its beautiful, bright, and reflective tones. Far from being an inferior product to fine silver, 925 silver is in many ways better than in its pure form, offering better durability and suitability as jewelry.
If you’re looking to sell beautiful jewelry made from genuine 925 silver visit ELF925’s online wholesale store now with thousands of items in stock, low minimum order amounts, and shipping within 48 hours.