What is 925 Silver? Why 925 Silver Is Great for Jewelry

If you are reading this, you have probably just seen a 925 mark stamped on silver jewelry and wondered what it means. Well, you are not alone; this mark is something many people outside of jeweler circles usually find mysterious.

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So, what is 925 silver exactly? Is it any different from the regular silver?

If you are curious to find out, then keep reading. We will answer these questions and dig a little bit more into 925 silver so you can know what it’s all about. Alright?

925 Silver At a Glance

925 Silver At a Glance
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925 silver is an alloy created when pure silver is combined with other metals to make it stronger and more durable. The resulting compound is also called sterling silver.

The majority of silver jewelry containing the 925 mark uses copper as the alloying metal, but there are other materials that can be used as an alloy like zinc and nickel.

For an item to be considered authentic sterling silver, it must contain 92.5% pure silver. The remaining 7.5% will be copper or any other alloy the manufacturer feels fit for the item. This is basically where the 925 comes from. It indicates the amount of pure silver in an item so you don’t pay more than the item is worth.

How Does 925 Silver Differ from Regular Silver?

How Does 925 Silver Differ from Regular Silver
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The main difference between 925 silver and the basic silver is that the latter is 99.9% pure. This means that no metal alloys are added to it.

However, silver in its pure form is too soft to be molded into anything. As such, it is mixed with other metals to harden it so it can create jewelry and other items.

While adding other metals to pure silver makes it sturdier, it also reduces its purity. The 925 silver is, therefore, a less pure version of silver; but it is also stronger and more durable.

The only disadvantage of blending silver with other metals is that it causes the resulting product to tarnish, with the item losing its shine and turning dark over time.

Taking proper care of your 925 silver by occasional cleaning and polishing can help prevent tarnish and keep the item in good shape.

Why 925 Silver Is Great for Jewelry

925 silver is very versatile and its jewelry is available in a wide range of styles. If you are looking to expand your jewelry collection with classy pieces without spending a fortune, then look no further than the sterling silver. Here are some of the benefits of buying 925 silver jewelry.

1. No Allergies

No Allergies
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If you have sensitive skin, you want to avoid any jewelry that could make your skin itch. 925 silver is hypoallergic, which makes it perfect for people with problematic skin.

Jewelry made from cheaper metals like nickel and brass can result in a skin rash. Seeing that 925 silver has a high content of silver, there is very little chance that an item made from it will cause skin irritation or any form of allergies.

2. Light and Durable

Light and Durable
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The extra metals in 925 silver make it incredibly durable. And given that silver by itself is a relatively light metal, it  is the perfect choice for jewelry pieces that will be worn more often like:

  • Necklaces: 925 silver produces strong necklaces that don’t easily dent or scrape. They are light enough to wear all day yet extremely durable. With good care, a necklace made from 925 silver will typically withstand wear and tear and will last for many years.
  • Earrings: Nothing is more frustrating than your new pair of earrings getting bent out of shape. 925 silver earrings are not only beautiful and classy but also strong enough to resist warping.
  • Rings: When you buy a ring, you want it to be able to withstand daily use. One made of 925 silver would be a practical choice, as it would be relatively strong and won’t lose its shape no matter how long you wear it.
  • Bracelets: A beautiful bracelet will always add glam to your look. However, if it is warped or dented, it will quickly lose its appeal. Luckily, 925 silver bracelets are durable and you can have them on all day without worrying about chipping or bending.

3. Easily Customizable

Easily Customizable
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Being an affordable metal and one that jewelers and designers can easily work with, 925 silver makes coming up with new designs so effortless.

Jewelers can experiment with new designs and styles and stay abreast of current trends without spending huge amounts of money.

Whether you are looking for trendy jewelry or a piece that makes a grand statement, you can always find something made of this type of silver to match your style.

And since 925 silver is readily available, you can have your jewelry tailormade to your exact specifications. Basically, this silver alloy allows you to create your dream jewelry pieces without breaking the bank.

4. Affordable

Affordable
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Not everyone wants to splurge tons of cash on jewelry, and that is fine. Not wanting to spend all your savings on a pair of earrings does not mean you cannot find something classy and elegant.

Choosing 925 silver gives you an opportunity to end up with a gorgeous jewelry piece for a much lower price than if the item is made from other precious metals.

It will be the perfect option if you want to add more items to your jewelry collection without having to spend half your income. 925 silver will also be great if you want to gift yourself or someone you love on a budget.

And the best part? Like gold, 925 silver jewelry doesn’t lose its value, so you can actually resell old pieces if you no longer need them.

5. Easy to Maintain

Easy to Maintain
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After using your 925 silver jewelry for a long time, it may start looking a little dull and tarnished. Don’t panic. You can still get your item’s shine back.

Cleaning your silver can help you restore its luster and there are many ways to do this. The most common method is scrubbing the item with a solution of warm water and mild detergent. It helps get rid of most of the surface dirt and imperfections.

For tarnished jewelry pieces and those with stubborn marks, mix baking soda with water and apply the paste to the jewelry with a soft brush.

Make sure the jewelry is completely dry before storing it away. And if possible, place a piece of chalk or a packet of silica gel in the storage box to absorb any excess moisture.

The best thing about cleaning 925 silver is that you don’t need to enlist the services of a professional. You can clean, polish, and generally care for your silver using simple ingredients from your household.

Tarnish Is a Common Problem in 925 Silver

Even though all of the above may draw us to 925 silver, we will still be left with one problem to deal with – tarnish.

Tarnish is the thin film of corrosion you see on silver jewelry that makes an item look black or pale gray. It develops when the metals mixed with the silver react to the sulfur in the atmosphere. This dull coat is known as silver sulfide and is one of the biggest issues with 925 silver jewelry.

Your silver will generally tarnish quicker if you live in places with high humidity or air pollution levels. Other things that can contribute to further tarnishing include hairspray, perfume, deodorant, and moisturizers. The chemicals in all of these products can easily react with the metal alloys in your silver jewelry, causing it to lose its shine and luster.

To prevent your jewelry from tarnishing, make sure you are storing it in a dry place, away from direct sunlight.

It is also important to store each piece in a separate bag especially if it has already started tarnishing. Not only will it keep it from spreading tarnish to other jewelry but it will prevent the pieces from scratching on each other.

Does 925 Silver Make Good Engagement Rings?

Does 925 Silver Make Good Engagement Rings
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Short answer – yes, it does. However, we really wouldn’t recommend 925 silver for this kind of jewelry or any other ornaments that require daily wear. We would advise going for other options like white gold or platinum rings instead; they are stronger and more durable.

Of all the three metals, silver is the softest. So if you are looking for something that will not bend easily and one that will serve the wearer for many years, 925 silver will not be the most viable option. Consider spending a little more and getting something that is tarnish- and warp-resistant like white gold or platinum.

It is also worth noting that silver is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and so is the copper alloy used in the 925 silver.

So if you are buying the ring for someone who works in a field involving electricity or touching hot objects, 925 silver would not be the best metal to choose. Talk to your jeweler about other options available for you. They may not be the cheapest but they will certainly be safe for the wearer.

Other Silver Alloys Available Today

The 925 silver is the most common silver alloy in the jewelry manufacturing industry. But there are other alloys available that people often mistake for sterling silver. Let’s look at some of them:

Brittania Silver (950 Silver)

By now you know that the number indicated on the silver shows the quantity of pure silver in the alloy. Brittania silver contains 95% silver, thus, it is often marked 950.

This alloy exceeds the standard requirement for sterling silver (925). Sure, it can still qualify as sterling but items made from it will be slightly softer.

Coin Silver (900 Silver)

Products made from coin silver will contain hallmarks such as “Coin”, “900”, or Standard”. Since this alloy contains only 90% silver, it cannot be referred to as sterling.

European Silver (800)

Also known as continental silver, European silver contains 80% pure silver, which means it is non-sterling. Some alloys, however, may include 82.5%, 83%, or 85% silver. Such silver will be marked 825, 830, or 850 respectively.

Silverplate

Silverplate is any silver alloy containing less than 80% pure silver. A silverplate mark will sometimes be included in the manufacturer’s mark to indicate that the product was created by plating base metal with a thin layer of silver.

If an item is marked “quadruple plate” it means that it has four coats of silver, and will be higher in quality than a product with only one layer. However, as with any item made from silver, silver-plated products will require regular cleaning and polishing to prevent tarnishing.

When a silver item doesn’t have a hallmark but still tarnishes, chances are good that it is silver-coated. This is particularly true with jewelry. If the coating is very thick, the piece may even pass for sterling silver under the basic acid testing.

Where Are Silver Hallmarks Placed?

Jewelry

The placement of hallmarks in silver jewelry will depend on the piece. For the most part, you will find the number in the following locations:

  • For engagement rings and bracelets, check the interior surface of the item. The number 925 should be inscribed somewhere on the inside.
  • For pendants and other large, flat jewelry, flip the item over. There should be a small stamp on the back.
  • For necklaces and other jewelry with a silver chain, look for a stamp near the clasp. Most of the time, it will be placed on a tiny metal tag.

Flatware

As with jewelry, where the hallmark is placed will depend on the type of flatware:

  • For spoons, check behind the handle, right below the bowl.
  • For forks, look at the back of the wider portion or near the shoulders.
  • Knives and serving spoons will mostly be marked on the collar or ferrule.

We believe you now know what that 925 mark on your jewelry pieces means. If you still got questions about silver hallmarks, feel free to ask in the comments.

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