Sterling silver earrings

Sterling Silver vs. Silver-Plated: What's the Difference?

Sterling silver is as real as pure silver. The only difference is sterling silver jewellery is made of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals (usually copper) for added strength and durability. On the other hand, silver-plated jewellery is made of a base metal (such as brass or copper) coated with a thin layer of silver to the surface. Most silver-plated jewelry contains 0.15-0.25 mils of sterling silver over the base metal.

sterling silver vs silver plated jewellery image showing demonstration

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You can tell if jewellery is sterling silver as it will have a tiny engraving of 925 on the jewellery itself. If in doubt, always consult the jeweller where you bought the piece. 

Both sterling silver and silver-plated jewellery will tarnish over time. In terms of longevity, sterling silver jewellery generally lasts much longer than silver-plated jewellery. This is because the metal in sterling silver is more durable and resistant to corrosion in comparison to the base metal of silver-plated jewellery which can corrode over time. Sterling silver can easily be cleaned and polished to keep it looking new, on the other hand, silver-plated jewelry is very difficult to clean. The thin layer of sterling silver often errodes over time, exposing the base metal that will tarnish faster and can even leave a green residue on your skin. This process is sped up especially with frequent use and exposure to moisture, sweat, and other elements. 

 It is important to note that the longevity of both types of jewellery also depends on factors such as the quality of the materials used, the craftsmanship, and the care and maintenance practices. To extend the lifespan of both sterling silver and silver-plated jewellery, it is important to take proper care of them. This includes storing them in a dry, cool place when not in use, avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals or environments, and cleaning them regularly with a soft cloth and mild soap or silver cleaner. With proper care, both types of jewellery can last for many years, but sterling silver is generally the more durable and designed to last for many years.


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What is Sterling Silver? The Uses of Sterling Silver in Jewellery

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