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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 These coins were originally made of pure silver.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!