Sterling silver is the staple for high-quality jewelry and is used in the craftsmanship of all of Lapis Lazuli House’s unique pieces.
Sterling silver is the most popular silver alloy because it improves on the metal’s properties without affecting its value. Pure silver is quite soft and malleable, meaning that its easily damaged when used in jewelry handicraft. Sterling silver is composed of over 90% pure silver, mixed with any other metal. The most common metal used is copper. This combination produces a metal that is just as beautiful as pure silver, but more stable and durable. The presence of copper does not devalue the metal. Sterling silver is priced based on the piece’s craftsmanship and intricacy of design.
Sterling silver is also called “925 Silver.” This name comes from the fact that the alloy typically contains 92.5% pure silver. A sterling silver piece can often be labeled as “sterling silver,” “925 silver,” “925,” or simply, “ster.” Look out for these labels when purchasing a high-quality piece!
Because of its ideal properties, sterling silver jewelry certainly doesn’t come cheap. It is an investment because 925 silver jewelry will typically increase in value over time. This makes it incredibly important to ensure that your piece truly is made with sterling silver. Unfortunately, there is fake 925 silver sold in the market.
There are a few ways to verify that you are buying the real deal. Rubbing your jewelry with a white cloth is an easy test to identify real sterling silver. If the cloth comes away with black marks, you can be assured that it is real. This is because sterling silver oxidizes with air exposure, creating a sort of soot that will be rubbed off onto the cloth. Another easy test is to smell it. Genuine sterling silver is odorless. If the jewelry has a distinct smell, it likely has too much copper in it to be certified sterling. Similarly, if your jewelry is attracted to a magnet, there is too much of another metal in the alloy. Pure silver has no magnetic pull.
Sterling silver jewelry can last a lifetime if given the proper care. Read our guide on caring for your sterling silver pieces here.