Silver is an ancient metal used for various things: jewelry, figures, utensils, and in some cases and cultures, as a remedy for illness or injury.
Today, sterling silver is a popular choice for many of the uses mentioned above except for injury. So what is sterling silver, and what are the benefits compared to pure silver?
Please keep reading to learn more about sterling silver and its benefits.
What Is Sterling Silver?
The main difference between pure silver and sterling silver pieces is that sterling combines 92% silver and 7% other metals like copper.
One of the reasons why sterling silver is a better choice for objects like jewelry or utensils is because natural silver is too soft and may break—adding copper or other metals like zinc or nickel to the silver results in a more durable product.
The Benefits of Using Sterling Silver
There are many benefits of using sterling silver.
First is the cost. Pure silver costs exceedingly more than sterling.
Sterling silver, because it's an alloy, is more widely available. You'll find sterling silver jewelry, utensils, figures, and more.
Sterling silver is stronger than pure silver. Because of this, you can own your pieces for years, and they'll likely stand the test of time if you care for them well and you don't sacrifice the look of silver.
What's the Value of Sterling Silver?
When a sterling silver product is manufactured in the US, it receives a stamp of "925", "Sterling," or "Sterling Silver." These let you know that it's sterling and not real silver, especially if you need to trade it in for money.
Even though sterling silver isn't pure silver, that doesn't negate its value.
Some sterling silver pieces may have great value depending on where they're made, what other metals they're made of, and what type of piece it is.
Sterling silver instruments, for example, are valuable because they're extremely rare and may have belongs to a high-profile musician. The same goes for types of jewelry and other objects.
However, some pieces may be stamped with "800" or "900," indicating that the silver amount is lower, such as 80 or 90%. This means that it won't have as much value. When you're considering trading, it's crucial that you know what type of metal you have because the higher silver count will give you the most value.
How to Care for Sterling Silver
Because sterling silver is an alloy, water, and other chemicals and elements may cause tarnishing. To care for your silver, keep it in a cloth bag away from outside elements to prevent damage.
Take it out on occasion to polish it so tarnish does not accumulate. This means using a cloth and specially formulated cleaning product that reduces the likelihood of tarnish or corrosion.
Sterling Silver Value
Sterling silver makes excellent pieces to own, use, and collect. They also hold value if you find yourself in need of cash.
If you have sterling silver you think is valuable, contact us today to get a custom offer!