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Sterling Silver Explained: Characteristics and Value

What is sterling silver?

It is an alloy of silver that contains 92.5 percent by mass of silver and 7.5 percent by mass of other metals, usually copper (the minimum allowable fineness is 99.2). The sterling alloy has the advantage of containing fewer impurities than the higher grades of coin-grade metal alloys used for minted coins. That yields a brighter white finish that will remain unmarred over time if care is taken during fabrication using standard practices. It also improves the machinability of the otherwise somewhat difficult to machine alloy. Sterling silver objects are often gifts in western countries, particularly at weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. The word “sterling” means valuable or pure. Research indicates that this term emanated in the late 15th century when it was first used to describe the silver coins of the British pound sterling. These coins were originally made of pure silver.

The characteristics of Sterling Silver

1) Durable

When choosing materials for your jeweler’s work, durability will always be near the top of the list. After all, no one wants their cherished heirloom jewels destroyed in just a few years. That is where sterling silver shines – its level of durability is thousands of times greater than pure silver alone. It has also been reported that non-precious metals corrode sterling silver jewelry at a rate of only 2-5% per year, compared to the 30% per year for other metals.

2) Hypoallergenic

It means that it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other types of metals. Therefore, wearing jewelry made from sterling silver may be a better option for you than other materials if you have sensitive skin.

3) Resistant to tarnish

One of the main reasons people choose sterling silver jewelry is its resistance to tarnish. Tarnish is the black film or coating that can form on silver over time due to oxidation. While all silver will eventually tarnish, sterling silver is slower and can be restored to its original shine relatively easily.

4) Affordable

Silver is naturally more expensive than other materials like brass or bronze as a precious metals. However, sterling silver remains one of the most affordable options for precious metal jewelry. And with its many benefits, this makes sterling silver a great choice for those on a budget.

5) Aesthetic appeal

From its bright shine to its cool grey color, sterling silver has an elegant and timeless look. That makes it the best option for any jewelry – from everyday pieces to special occasion items.

What is the Value of Sterling Silver?

The value of sterling silver varies depending on several factors, including the purity of the metal and the market demand. As a precious metal, sterling silver has been used for coins, jewelry, and other decorative items for thousands of years. It is typically offered as a gift or collected by enthusiasts. While the market value of sterling silver can go up and down depending on demand and global economic conditions, it has generally held its value better than other base metals over time. That makes it a popular choice for investors and collectors alike.

When it comes to calculating the value of sterling silver, there are a few things that you need to take into account. The most important factor is the weight of the silver in question. That is typically measured in ounces or grams. The current market price for silver will also play a role in determining the value of your silver. Also, any special features or markings on the piece will be considered. For instance, if you have a sterling silver necklace that weighs 2 ounces. The current market price for silver is $16 per ounce. Therefore, the value of your necklace would be $32 (2 ounces x $16 per ounce).

What is the Appearance of Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver has an easily recognizable and very specific look. It is a shiny metal that has a pale white color. When new, sterling silver jewelry often has a bright sheen that can be quite striking. However, sterling silver will take on a more subdued appearance as it ages. Over time, it may become slightly darker and more tarnished. That is normal and does not mean that the jewelry is no longer in good condition. In reality, many people prefer the aged look of sterling silver over its original brightness.

To preserve their beauty, sterling objects may be coated with a thin layer of rhodium, a precious metal that does not tarnish. Sterling silver is often used in jewelry, tableware, and other decorative items. It has a bright, metallic luster that can take a high polish.

Are you looking to sell your sterling silver? Make sure you sell to a reputable dealer. Contact Doylestown Gold Exchange today!

Fashion Jewelry vs. Fine Jewelry: Which is right for you

Sometimes, it is easy to get confused about fashion or luxury jewelry in the fashion world. To complete a look, consumers add many components to an outfit, especially in women’s fashion. It could be a scarf, shoes, handbag, bracelets, and more. But what makes these pieces “fashion” rather than fine jewelry? Continue reading Fashion Jewelry vs. Fine Jewelry: Which is right for you

The Best Practices for Selling Your Silver Flatware

Silver is a popular investment metal, and while some people might prefer to hold onto their silverware, others may wish to sell some of it. However, how can you make sure you don’t get ripped off when selling silverware? Follow these simple steps to ensure that you get the best deal possible before handing over your precious silverware.

Continue reading The Best Practices for Selling Your Silver Flatware

Purity of Gold: Difference between 24k, 22k and 18k gold

Gold has been considered a store of value by civilizations around the world for thousands of years. Whether its numismatic gold coins, gold bullion, or fashionable jewelry, today, gold’s spot price is once again close to $1900 an ounce. Understanding the quality and purity of the gold you are buying is the key to making an informed investment.

Continue reading Purity of Gold: Difference between 24k, 22k and 18k gold

Should I Get Jewelry Insurance?

If you’ve ever felt that heart-stopping moment when you reach for your wedding ring, earring, watch, or another precious piece only to find that it’s missing from its usual spot, you’ve likely considered getting a jewelry insurance policy. Jewelry insurance is available to anyone, and a good plan will cover the full value of your jewelry in cases of damage, loss, theft, or mysterious disappearance.

Continue reading Should I Get Jewelry Insurance?

What are the 4 Types of Precious Stones?

In the field of Gemology, four gemstones in the world have earned the classification of precious stones. These “big four” are diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into each of these gems and highlight interesting facts along the way, courtesy of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Continue reading What are the 4 Types of Precious Stones?

5 Tips for Choosing a Jewelry Repair Shop

Earrings with a stone on the table, surrounded by jewelry repair tools

Do you have a too-tight or too-loose ring tucked away in your jewelry box? What about a necklace or bracelet with a broken clasp? Are your earrings missing a stone? Or does your watch need a battery? Expert jewelry repair services can revive your beloved pieces so that you can enjoy them once again.

When searching for a jewelry repair shop near you, don’t trust your precious valuables to just anyone. Instead, look for an experienced, honest, and reputable local jeweler. One who is knowledgeable and will take the time to talk with you about the repairs that need to be done so you are comfortable leaving the item with them.

So, how will you know which local jewelry repair shop to choose? Continue reading to find out. Continue reading 5 Tips for Choosing a Jewelry Repair Shop

How to Sell Gold and Silver Coins for the Best Price

Collectible coins

Calling all coin collectors! What is the number one rule when you’re planning to sell coins in gold or silver? Make sure you get the best price for your unique collection, of course. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a savvy coin expert to maximize the return on your investment. All it takes to sufficiently pad your wallet is a healthy dose of industry insight from local experts who are in the know.

In this blog post, we’re sharing the following helpful insider secrets on how to sell gold and silver coins for the most money:

  • Check the current market value
  • Authenticate and appraise your coin collection
  • Follow storage and handling best practices
  • Choose a trustworthy dealer

If you want to sell coins, keep reading as we dive deeper into these hints for getting the most bang for the buck.

Continue reading How to Sell Gold and Silver Coins for the Best Price

Why Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Surging in Popularity

lab-grown diamond

Where do diamonds come from? If you said, “the Earth,” you’re right. And if you said, “a lab,” you are also right. So, what’s the difference? Earth-mined diamonds also referred to as simply ‘mined diamonds,’ have long been the standard for engagement diamonds, diamond earrings, and other diamond-studded treasures. However, new technology has given these “below ground” precious stones a run for their money with the creation of lab-grown diamonds, an “above ground” alternative. Continue reading Why Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Surging in Popularity

Need jewelry repaired? Come see our experts at Doylestown Gold Exchange!

Spring is a time of new beginnings. With new life peaks out of frosty gardens, it’s a good time of year to think about reinvigorating your jewelry collection. Old and broken jewelry tends to fall to the back of drawers or the bottom of your collection. Don’t let it! Continue reading Need jewelry repaired? Come see our experts at Doylestown Gold Exchange!