What is sterling silver?
What is sterling silver and what is silver? Because this term “sterling silver” is used again and again for silver jewelry in many online jewelry shops.
Sterling silver is a special silver alloy that consists of 92.5 percent pure silver metal and 7.5 percent other metals such as copper. Converted to a thousand parts, the silver content of sterling silver is 925 in 1000 (925/1000).
The reason why this silver alloy is called “sterling silver” is because the name refers to the British pound sterling, as sterling silver was considered the coinage metal of the old English silver pennies, also known as “sterlings”.
Originally term for penny coins
The name “sterling” derives from “e(a)sterling” (meaning coming from the east) and became common as a term for pennies that were brought into England from Europe.
Today the alloy “Sterling Silver” is mainly used for silver jewellery , medals and coins for the reason that it is harder and stronger than pure silver. In addition, the color of sterling silver tends towards red.
But there are other silver alloys with silver content such as 800, 835 or 900. 999 is fine silver, i.e. almost pure silver.
Sterling silver jewelry is embossed with the hallmark “925”.
For stone settings on jewelry, the silver content is usually slightly higher (95 to 98 percent) so that the material can be processed better.