If you’re in the market for a piece of silver jewelry, it can be hard to know where to start. Maybe you don’t want your jewelry to tarnish, or you’re worried about turning your skin green. Maybe you thought the only kind of silver was sterling silver until now.
It can be helpful to know the different kinds of silver so that you can make an informed purchase. Read on for a guide to the different types of silver used in jewelry.
Fine .999 Silver
Fine silver is the closest to pure silver, as it is made up of 99.9% silver and 0.1% other metals. It is hypoallergenic but is duller in appearance than sterling silver.
Fine silver is very soft and will scratch, bend, and dent easily. For these reasons, fine silver is not recommended except for jewelry pieces like earrings that don’t see much wear and tear.
However, the benefit of using fine silver in jewelry is that it is highly resistant to tarnish.
Sterling .925 Silver
Sterling silver is a silver alloy, containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% another metal, usually copper or nickel. This is the standard type of silver used for jewelry in the United States, making it the most common.
The higher amount of other metals in sterling silver makes it more durable and scratch-resistant than fine silver. It is also brighter than fine silver, but will tarnish more easily. Sterling silver is usually hypoallergenic, but it can contain trace amounts of nickel so please check with your jeweler before purchasing if you have a nickel allergy.
If you’re looking for a sterling silver necklace, these chains from Roma Designer Jewelry are a great, budget-friendly option.
As its name suggests, this kind of silver alloy is made up of nickel and other metals. It doesn’t actually contain any silver. It is similar in appearance to silver, but it a very inexpensive option.
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Nickel silver is durable and usually used in costume jewelry. It is also called German Silver. However, this kind of silver is not hypoallergenic so you should avoid it if you have a nickel allergy.
Argentium Silver and Non-Tarnish Alloys
Non-tarnish silver alloys are a newer alternative to some of the other types of silver. Argentium silver contains 93.5% silver, which is more than sterling silver, but it also contains Germanium.
The Germanium found in Argentium silver makes it harder and more tarnish-resistant than sterling silver. Of course, non-tarnish alloys can still tarnish over time but tend to require less routine polishing and maintenance.
While Argentium silver is nickel-free, it can be harder to find and more expensive than sterling silver.
Types of Silver in Jewelry
Now that you’re more knowledgeable on the different types of silver, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which kind of silver jewelry is right for you.
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