What is 925 sterling silver?

925 sterling silver is a very popular choice for jewellery, and it’s probably something you’re already familiar with. But have you ever wondered what exactly 925 sterling silver is? If the answer is ‘yes’, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to take a look at what sterling silver is made of, how you can be sure what you’re buying actually is 925, and the pros and cons of selling it as a retailer.

What’s the difference between 925 and pure silver?

Unlike 925, pure silver - sometimes referred to as fine silver - has an extremely high silver content of 99%. Because of this, the metal is too soft to be used for pieces of jewellery - that’s where 925 silver comes into play.

Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver, hence the ‘925’! The remaining 7.5% is usually made of copper, but it can also be zinc, steel, nickel or some other type of alloy. By combining the 92.5% of pure silver with another metal, 925 sterling is less prone to damage or bending, and is much more durable. For these reasons, a piece of 925 jewellery is likely to last longer and remain in a better condition than pure silver.

In other words, 925 is still a high-quality piece of metal, but it requires less maintenance than pure silver!

How can you tell the difference between 925 and fake silver?

It’s not uncommon to come across pieces of jewellery that claim to be 925, but actually aren’t. Fortunately, there are ways to check their validity!
To make sure that you’re selling genuine 925 jewellery to your customers, check your items for the following things:

  • Is the piece of jewellery attracted to a magnet? 925 silver is non-ferrous which means it isn’t magnetic. So, if your piece of jewellery is attracted to a magnet, it’s likely to have a higher alloy content than 7.5%. 
  • Did you purchase the jewellery for a very low price? 925 jewellery tends to be more expensive than other types of metal because of its high quality, so an abnormally low price could indicate that it isn’t genuine. 
  • If you rub the item with a cloth, does a black mark appear? 925 silver should create a black mark when it’s rubbed with a cloth because the metal oxidises when exposed to air. These black marks won’t occur if it isn’t sterling silver! 
  • Is the jewellery marked with the number 925? Look carefully to see if you can find this hallmark, but beware - it’s sometimes extremely small and well-hidden! If you can’t find the hallmark, it’s probably not a genuine piece of 925 sterling silver.

Something to bear in mind: if you can’t find the 925 hallmark, look out for other hallmarks such as SS, STER, or STG. These also support the validity of 925 sterling silver!

Are there any downsides to 925?

There are a couple of things to think about when buying 925 sterling silver:

  • As we’ve mentioned already, 925 jewellery is often more expensive than, for example, silver-coated jewellery. So, before you make the decision to buy sterling silver, you need to think about how much you’ll be paying. 
  • Although the sterling silver is stronger than pure silver, 925 is still quite a soft metal and is prone to scratching and bending when used on a daily basis. Items like thin metal rings and bangles are unlikely to last for a long time if they’re worn on an everyday basis and not taken care of.

While there are a couple of things to bear in mind when buying sterling silver, it’s always worth remembering that 925 will be a better standard than cheaper metals, so you get what you pay for!

Why should I buy 925 sterling silver?

Now we’ve thought about the downsides of using sterling silver, let’s have a look at the many reasons why 925 is a great metal to use:

  • Because of its malleable yet durable nature, sterling silver can be made to appeal to a wide range of customers, not just a single market.
  • 925 has a luxurious and sleek feel to it, making it the perfect material for fine jewellery, accessories and beautiful gifts!
  • Although it’s more expensive than other metals, it’s still a lot cheaper than pure silver, gold and platinum. Yet, despite being cheaper, it has lasting beauty and value if properly looked after.

To sum up - if you want your customers to feel assured that they’re buying high-quality products, 925 jewellery is the way to go!

Contact Tempest Designs to buy sterling silver for your store!

Here at Tempest Designs, we’re passionate about providing retailers with high-quality products. We make sure everything we buy is ethically sourced so that you can rest assured the products you’re selling come from a good place.
Part of our jewellery range includes necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings all made from 925 sterling silver. Why not login to our website to see our full range of jewellery or contact us for more information. We’d love to hear from you!