At Hand on Heart, most of our jewellery is created from beautiful 925 Sterling Silver. But what is it? Why is it perfect for jewellery? And what’s the difference between 925 Sterling Silver and other jewellery materials? We thought we’d answer these frequently asked questions and give our customers an insight into why we use and love 925 Sterling Silver.
Q: What is 925 Sterling Silver?
A: Sterling Silver is an alloy created from 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, such as copper or zinc.
Q: What is the difference between pure silver and 925 Sterling Silver?
A: Pure Silver, also known as Fine Silver, has a higher concentration of 99% silver with around 1% of other trace elements. Pure silver is precious but too soft to use in jewellery. The silver element in both pure and 925 Sterling Silver is the same kind of silver.
Q: Is 925 Sterling Silver better than silver-plated jewellery?
A: We’d say yes, it certainly is – 925 Sterling Silver jewellery is better than silver-plated jewellery in terms of appearance, quality and longevity. Silver-plated jewellery contains a base metal of nickel, copper, brass or white metal, with only an alloy of real silver. Over time, silver-plated jewellery will fade and tarnish away, exposing the base metal.
Q: Why do you use 925 Sterling Silver to create your jewellery?
A: 925 Sterling Silver is a great jewellery material; it is more robust than pure silver and can be used to create hard-wearing and intricate designs – it also looks beautiful.
Q: Will my jewellery have a hallmark?
A: Depending on which piece you order, it might have a hallmark. Sterling Silver jewellery made in the UK requires a hallmark if it weighs over 7.78g. As many of the pieces made in our studio are under this weight, they will not be hallmarked.
Q: Will it tarnish?
A: Your Sterling Silver may tarnish through wear, but this is not something to be worried about; it is entirely normal and easy to remove. Tarnish occurs when the metal elements within 925 Sterling Silver react to specific elements, such as water and heat, causing discolouration of the surface of the silver.
Q: What about skin discolouration?
A: As the jewellery has been handcrafted and hand-polished, any discolouration is likely due to leftover residue when it was being made. We would recommend thoroughly cleaning your jewellery using a sterling silver polish cloth if you experience some discolouration of the skin when wearing Sterling Silver jewellery for the first couple of times. If it’s a ring, remember also to always dry beneath a ring after washing your hands.
Q: Do you use 925 Sterling Silver in your memorial range?
A: Yes, we use 925 Sterling Silver in most of our collections, including our Memorial Fingerprint Jewellery and Memorial Cremation Ashes Jewellery. Not only does it look beautiful, but it can also be used to create hard-wearing and intricate designs. For us, it’s the ideal material to perfectly complement the unique elements of our memorial jewellery collection pieces.
Q: How can I look after my 925 Sterling Silver?
A: The best way to keep your Sterling Silver looking its best is simply to wear it! Wearing your jewellery regularly can help stop tarnish build-up and keep the discolouration at bay. We would also recommend keeping it as dry as possible and cleaning it with a silver polish cloth to keep its shine. You can find out more about caring for your jewellery in our article here.
Q: Does my jewellery need to be stored in a particular way?
A: We’d recommend storing it wrapped in the polish cloth and in its own box away from other jewellery items (this includes cufflinks when they’re not worn).
Q: Can I use jewellery cleaner?
A: This might come as a surprise, but we’d say to steer clear of using jewellery cleaner. Using jewellery cleaner will remove the black oxidisation we use to define the impressed print.
Q: Can I wear my jewellery every day?
A: You certainly can. As mentioned above, wearing your jewellery regularly will help to keep it looking its best! If you want to wear your jewellery every day, we recommend choosing from our imprinted range for everyday wear which comes with a lifetime no-fade guarantee.
Q: When should I take my jewellery off?
A: We’d advise you to take off your jewellery when swimming, bathing or exercising or when doing housework or gardening. And always remember to remove your jewellery when using household cleaners, especially bleach and bathroom cleaners!
We hope you enjoyed this Q&A about 925 Sterling Silver – what it is and why we love it! You can find more of our jewellery guides on our blog here. If you have any other questions about your jewellery or how to care for it, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Hand on Heart team, who will be happy to help.