Piece of Sterling Silver contains 92.5 gm silver and 7.5 gm of another metal, usually copper. The number 925 is attached with sterling silver jeweler as the alloy has minimum millesimal fineness of 925. Also, the US Trade Laws prohibit any alloy from being labeled as sterling silver unless it has at least 92.5% silver in it.
Thus all Sterling Silver Jewelry is usually attached with the number 925. Pure silver is too soft to craft into jewelry and hence copper is used to infuse strength to the shiny metal. Depending upon the specific usage of the strengthened alloy, other metals like germanium, zinc and platinum too can be used in place of copper. Copper is most widely used as it is inexpensive and gives stable tested results however it makes the alloy tarnish over time as the copper element comes into contact and reacts with various gases.
The popularity of Sterling Silver Jewelry is due to its immense beauty and affordability. Every woman wants to look beautiful in fine jewelry and Sterling Silver brings that dream come true for a lot of women who cannot afford the luxuries of Gold and Diamonds. Sterling Silver Jewelry is available in every budget and very expensive pieces of jewelry also make use of Sterling Silver. Sterling Silver is not a recent development and has been used even in ancient times for making jewelry.
Sterling Silver alloy along with Cubic Zirconia diamonds are the basic raw materials of the large value-jewels market worldwide. Real diamonds are out of the budget of many people in the world and this CZ or Cubic Zirconia stones are used for making low-priced jewelry. Sterling Silver crafted pieces are embellished with CZ or artificial diamonds to make jewels stunning to the eye as well as easy on the pocket. Not just jewelry pieces but even dining pieces, such as spoons, plates, jars and all kinds of dining table utensils are made out of sterling silver. Crafting them out of more expensive metals like Gold would not be feasible and less expensive metals would not look as aesthetic. Therefore Sterling Silver fills the gap for the alloy requirement in these cases.
Sterling silver jewelry must be stored in special clothing; cases or bags that help prevent the metal from tarnishing, besides the soft cushion will also prevent pieces from scratching each other. It is wise to minimize moisture and store the jewelry in a dry place.
Please do not use toothpaste to clean sterling silver no matter how many different place you read that toothpaste works like a charm when cleaning sterling silver jewelry. It is rough and abrasive and is bound to cause scratches on the smooth shiny surface of metal. Use special polishing cloths widely available in the market.
Similar to the old jeans develop faded areas and dark areas, Sterling Silver Jewels too develop bright and dark areas over time. They can be removed using polishing cloths but some people prefer this appearance as it makes the jewels more aesthetic.