What Is Sterling Silver? A Jeweler’s Guide on How To Clean, Store and Care for Sterling Silver Jewelry

sterling silver hoop earrings

What is Sterling Silver?

You probably have some of it in your closet, but perhaps you are wondering what is sterling silver and how do I take care of it?

Sterling silver is a type of alloy made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other alloy metals, usually copper. Fine silver is alloyed with copper to create sterling silver.

It’s more durable than pure silver because the other metals increase its strength and help to prevent tarnishing. Fine silver isn’t ideal for jewelry since it is soft. Sterling is a very durable precious metal. Pure silver jewelry would be too easily bent and dented with everyday wear.

The standard for sterling silver requires that items must contain at least 92.5 percent silver in order to be considered genuine sterling silver. You will typically find a sterling silver stamp on jewelry that will signify the material. Stamped jewelry will typically have a 925 marking.

Sterling silver has become a high quality choice for jewelry because it combines the bright white color of pure silver with the durability provided by the added metal components. Unlike gold, which keeps its value over time, sterling silver may not necessarily be an investment but it can still provide some economic benefits due to its lower cost compared to gold or platinum jewelry pieces.

It’s also important to note that sterling silver is a higher quality than silver plated, that has just a very thin layer of silver. There is a major difference between sterling silver and silver plated jewelry.

Lastly, sterling silver is great for people sensitive to allergic reactions. Your jewelry collection absolutely needs some gorgeous sterling silver pieces.

If you want to wear rings or a necklace for everyday use and not worry about them, sterling silver might be the perfect material for you!

How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry

To keep your jewelry looking its best, regular cleaning and polishing is necessary to prevent tarnish from building up on the surface.

To clean your sterling silver, you can use a commercial cleaner or you can make your own with common household items. Here are some easy steps for at-home cleaning:

  1. Make a cleaning solution by combining 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a small bowl.
  2. Place your jewelry in the mixture and let it soak for several minutes before using a soft toothbrush to gently scrub any tarnished areas.
  3. Rinse your piece thoroughly with warm water and then dry it off with a soft cloth.

An easy alternative to a cleaning solution, is using a polishing cloth to clean your jewelry. As a jeweler, polishing cloths are used weekly to keep sterling silver jewelry clean. Fine silver items should be polished with a quality real silver polish designed for that precious metal. Precious metals are great for people that

How to Store Sterling Silver Jewelry

One of my best tricks with jewelry, is to store it in individual baggies. Whether they are plastic or cloth, bags will protect each piece. When you store your jewelry together, on top of one another, they can be easily tarnished. So the best way to keep them clean, is to keep them separate and stored individually to prevent oxidation. Properly cared for jewelry will last much longer in your jewelry collection.

Keep sterling silver jewelry away from salt air, or any other air with tarnishing properties.

Doing these things will help your jewelry remain as bright and shiny as the day you bought it! With regular care and cleaning, your sterling silver pieces can stay looking their best for many years to come. The tarnishing process will happen in time with sterling silver, but it can easily be managed with these few tips.

The Benefits of Wearing Sterling Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver jewelry not only has a timeless appeal but also has several health benefits.

It is hypoallergenic, making it a safe metal for people with sensitive skin. It is very popular in jewelry making for this reason. Silver plated jewelry or nickel silver should be avoided by people with very sensitive skin. Sterling silver is a great option when silver plated jewelry doesn’t work for you.

Silver is also believed to have healing properties, as it has been used for centuries as a natural antibiotic and antiseptic. So, when you wear sterling silver jewelry, not can you wear unique designs, but you can also feel good! From modern mixed metal designs to rustic creations, there will be a piece that will be right for your personal preference.

Sterling Silver Jewelry Styles

With a variety of options available, you can easily add a touch of your personality and sense of style to any outfit with a great piece of jewelry.

Sterling silver has been around for a very long time. Historians believe that it was first used as currency in ancient Greece around 500 BCE. Much later, during the Middle Ages, people saw silver as a symbol of wealth.

In modern times you will find studs to bracelets, necklaces, and rings. Some current popular styles are hoops, chain rings, chokers, huggies, crawler earrings, and midi rings. Sterling silver can make you stand out.

sterling silver hoop earrings

There are a million different shapes and designs available in sterling silver. When it comes to sterling silver vs silver plated jewelry, sterling silver is a superior choice for jewelry! It will last much longer and the value is superior. When looking for an everyday chain, you will absolutely want to choose sterling silver.

Be sure to invest in high-quality sterling silver that’s comfortable to wear and will last you for years.


Sterling silver jewelry has a unique charm that transcends time and trends through human history. It’s affordability, durability, and versatility make it a popular choice among jewelry lovers and jewelers. Being aware of the quality and caring for your jewelry correctly is essential to keeping it in good shape. Add a timeless piece to your collection that you can wear for a long time.

The beauty of sterling is that you will be able treasure it, and with a bit of care, wear it daily, including water!

Remember, real sterling silver will often be stamped with silver hallmarks so make sure to check for that mark before purchasing.

We’re reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our site.

Similar Posts