The Ultimate Guide to Sterling SIlver

What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling Silver must have a silver precious metal content of 92.5% or more.  And actually, jewelers typically aim for 93% silver to be on the safe side.  

Why not 100% Silver?

It's way too soft.  Pure silver (like pure gold) bends easily.  Imagine your ring bending out of shape from simple tasks like lifting  something heavy, opening a jar, or use a hand tool.  By mixing just 7.5% of other metals, jewelers are able to create a significantly stiffer metal that wont bend or warp easily.

What metals are used for the other 7.5%

Copper makes up the majority of the 7.5%.  And jewelry makers can add to that small quantities of other metals to get specific results.  For example adding just 1% Zinc will add additional strength & stiffness. 

Is Nickel used in sterling silver?

It used to be. But in 2013 the European Union banned it. The US hasn't banned it, but almost all US jewelry companies have stopped using it so they can trade with the EU.

At Dreamland Jewelry, all of our creations are nickel free.  The main problem with nickel is a small percentage of people are allergic and it turns their skin green.