Invest in Luxury Silver Jewelry and Sterling Silver Rings
Add Timeless High-Quality, Sterling Silver Rings and Necklaces to Your Jewelry Collection That Will Last Forever
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Family Heirloom Quality Silver
Invest in jewelry pieces that will stand the test of time. For example, sterling silver sounds good, but what does it really mean? Let’s explore the different types of silver on offer to ensure you’re adding quality pieces to your collection like our Italian adjustable necklace chain collection or real sterling silver rings, not just over-priced costume jewelry.
Silver which is used to make jewelry is usually an alloy. It’s a mixture of two or more elements from the periodic table. A finished piece of silver jewelry should have a quality stamp somewhere on it, which tells you what type of silver your piece is made from. If there’s no stamp, it’s probably not silver.
Fine .999 Silver
This is the closest metal to the pure element of silver. The .999 in its name means it's 99.9% pure. The remaining 0.1% is made up of trace elements of insignificant quality. Fine silver has more luster than the bright polish of sterling.
Since this silver is soft, it will scratch, dent, and change shape easily. For this reason, it's not suitable for most jewelry because it has a shorter lifespan as a designed piece of jewelry. The soft metal does make it an option for silver earrings or a silver necklace, but not rings and bracelets that are bumped and scratched easily. The quality stamp for fine silver is .999 FS or just .999.
Sterling .925 Silver
Sterling silver is the quality standard for silver in the United States, Europe, and most world markets. This alloy is 92.5% pure silver, and the remaining 7.5% is usually copper.
Other metals have to be added to sterling silver rings, sterling silver earrings and other jewelry pieces to increase the hardness of the alloy - making it more durable and creating color and luster that entices consumers. It's easy to clean and maintain with cleaners and polishing products. Jewelry made of sterling silver is stamped with a .925 or 925 STG quality stamp.
This is the perfect standard of silver for your long term, high-value jewelry collection. It has good resale value, can be handed down from one generation to the next and looks breathtakingly beautiful.
Rhodium, Argentium Silver, and Non-Tarnish Alloys
Some higher-end sterling silver pieces (especially those from Italy) are finished with rhodium (platinum family) to prevent tarnish. This is more costly but often preferred by fashion designers and consumers.
Non-tarnish alloys are relatively new and have a minimum of 92.5% silver, but some will have a little more silver. It's remaining alloys are copper and the element germanium. Non-tarnish alloys typically require less maintenance than sterling.
The downside is the price, Argentium is much more expensive than sterling and also harder to get your hands on. It's also harder to tell the difference between Argentium and sterling silver because they both have the same quality stamp of .925. Manufacturers can go through an application process to get authorization to use the Argentium stamp, but it's often too large and impractical for most jewelry pieces.
Coin Silver Pieces
Coin silver used to be the more common alloy in the U.S., but now it's becoming more of a rarity. The name is confusing since technically the ‘coin silver’ alloy is .900 silver or 90% silver and 10% copper. Despite its name, coin silver was not used to make coins, it was actually named this because it used to be made from refined scrap coins.
Today monetary coins in America and other most countries no longer contain silver, they're now made up of more durable, inexpensive base metals. There are some collectable coins with higher silver content that come with certificates of authenticity. Coin silver jewelry will have a quality stamp of .900. These will typically be antique and vintage pieces and might at first seem like sterling silver necklaces or rings, so Coin Silver pieces may have an allure which is unique and desirable due to their character, history and craft.
Just ‘Silver’ Pieces
Jewelry sold as just ‘silver’ is pretty mysterious. Sometimes ‘silver’ jewelry is nothing more than a low-quality brass base with a flash coating of thin silver on top. This coating quickly wears off and leaves the piece looking cheap - because it probably was. With silver, you will usually get what you pay for - and if you didn't pay much, you probably won't get much.
Silver-filled, Silver-plated, Tibetan or Tribal
The short version of our advice for rings, necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry with these names is you should stay away. There's no legally approved quality stamp standard for silver-filled pieces.
We’d recommend avoiding silver-filled, plated or Tibetan metals if your focus is on building a collection of a higher, more luxurious quality. Stick to sterling silver rings and stamped 925 silver bracelet or necklace pieces instead. Silver-plated is not recommended either. Since it's costume jewelry, it's not required to have a quality stamp but might have a manufacturer's logo or hallmark. These pieces are not going to be good long-term investments.
Nickel silver isn’t usually silver at all and it’s dangerous. Nickel silver can be deceiving because the ‘silver’ describes the color of the metal and not the content. It's a base metal alloy made up of mostly copper with nickel and or zinc.
It has other names on the market like Alpaca silver or German silver. We don’t recommend this one, you might be allergic, it’s not silver and it could cost a lot of money to soothe the allergic reaction you have.
Tibetan silver and other alloys described as tribal silver are base metal alloys that have a silver appearance. The contents of this silver's alloys tremendously vary and might not contain any silver at all. Some of these come from exotic lands and can contain dangerous metals such as lead, so beware when purchasing and never give them to children.
Contrastingly, true, 925 sterling silver items are perfect for children.
Bali, Thai Or Mexican Silver
There is a lot of quality silver coming from Bali, Thailand, and Mexico. But this silver should be marked with a quality .925 stamp in an inconspicuous place. Check out our exquisite David Beck Bali Collection for an example of beautiful high-quality precious metal pieces.
Other stores also sell a lot of lower grade silver alloys coming from these countries, so be aware that the name of the country this silver is from is no guarantee of quality or silver content. Buy from reputable sources, not street corners, cruise ship stops, or bargain sites.
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Always check the quality stamp and consider things like origin, the reputation of the seller, and the quality of craftsmanship of your piece. If you’re interested in high-quality sterling silver rings and .925 silver jewelry you might like our .925 collections. Our sterling silver rings and koa wood rings are also very popular.
Now that you know about the different types of silver and their pros and con, you have the knowledge to find that silver jewelry that is right for you. Always check the quality stamp and consider things like origin, the reputation of the seller, and the quality of craftsmanship of your piece.