Sterling Silver vs Pure Silver: What’s the difference?

Sterling Silver vs Pure Silver: What’s the difference?

There is time where you be having question for yourself when choosing pure and sterling silver jewelry:

  • What is the difference sterling silver vs pure silver?

  • How to differentiate whether the jewelry that you eyeing on are made up with genuine .925 sterling silver, pure silver or silver plated?

  • What is 925 silver?

  • What makes silver 925 different from pure silver? 

What is pure silver?

fine silver

Pure silver is commonly known as fine silver and is closest to the pure element of silver. Fine silver has the higher purity percentage and is commonly identified with the quality stamp of “.999 FS”, “999” or “99.9” that reflected the actual real silver content of 99.9% silver alloy. 

The remaining 0.1% is made up of trace elements with insignificant quality. However, the higher purity of the fine silver makes a soft metal to use in jewelry making as it will easily scratch, dent and change the shape. 

What is sterling silver?

silver vs sterling silver

Sterling silver is an alloy that makes up of 92.5% of pure silver alloy and 7.5% of other metals, usually copper and alloy composition. The copper makes the sterling silver harder, more durable and stable for better to work on as compared to pure silver. Thus, most of the silver jewelry available in the market is made of pure sterling silver

Have you ever wonder what does 925 mean on jewelry? 

The 925 sterling silver markings indicate the actual silver content in the compound that makes up the sterling silver. The addition of copper as one of the material in producing sterling silver has increase the hardness of the alloy, transforming it to much durable piece of jewelry. The sterling silver marks and numbers are often identified with the quality sterling silver stamp of “.925”, “925 STG”or “92.5”. It allows the jewelers to product much intricate and complex design of jewelry pieces with sterling silver.

Although sterling silver items are harder than pure silver items, it is still easily being scratched and tends to tarnish. A layer of plating could be done with gold and other metals to change the color appearance or rhodium plated to enhance the safety guard over the jewelry surface. 

Why choose silver 925 over pure silver?

The difference between sterling silver vs pure silver is highly influenced by the following factors:

1. Cost – The higher the purity of silver, the higher the cost. Unlike sterling silver, real silver is generally more expensive. However, the value in silver 925 is higher for its relative affordability and resemble equally beauty as pure silver. 

2. Durability Factor – The added metal alloys in sterling silver makes it significantly stronger and much more durable compared to fine silver, which often used in jewelry making to allow the jewelry piece to last longer while remaining the design. Copper is most commonly chosen metal for it's durable, stability and longevity, which used to make sterling silver pieces. 

3. Easier to shape – The complexity of the design added extra value to the piece of jewelry. As mentioned, pure silver is soft and malleable as compared to sterling silver, which reflected that 925 silver is much better at creating new designs and easily bent. As a result, 925 silver jewelry has more intricate designs options to play around. When it comes to resizing, repairing and polishing to remove the scratches and scuffs, sterling jewelry is easier restoring its luster shines.

Types of Sterling Silver Jewelry 

Jewelry that is made of sterling silver could style with any outfit and for different occasions, regardless casual or formal events. In which, all jewelries manufactured and sold in Eleganzia Jewelry are made with genuine .925 sterling silver, with the stamping of 925 hallmark on every piece of our jewelry.

Our silver 925 jewelry does not just provide the timeless and elegance look to your appearance but also versatile styles based on your creative. It adds some classy touch and hints of shines to your daily look without overdoing it. Thus, it is commonly found that sterling silver metals to make into these few types of jewelry that last a lifetime and for everyday use:

Sterling Silver Necklace

Silver necklace

Always available in different styles and designs that are perfect to pair up with different outfits for different occasions. Our silver necklaces look good at its own or to layer it with your other favorite piece to spice up your look! 

Sterling Silver Bracelet

silver bracelet

Perfect to enhance your wrist with sparks and shines. Comes in various designs that surely suit your taste, look and style.

Sterling Silver Ring

silver ring

Showcase your unique personality and style by mix and match the different designs and styles rings or to wear on its own. It will never be the same with a hint of sparks and shines on your finger.

Sterling Silver Earrings

silver earrings

From classic to sophisticated design, different design of earrings are available for you to match with your style, in order to pull together your entire look. 

How to care for Sterling Silver Jewelry?

It is important to have proper care towards your favorite and fine quality sterling silver jewelry to have those lasts for a lifetime and preserve the 925 silver value. To learn more on how to clean your silver jewelry at home, kindly refer to our Sterling Silver Jewelry Care Tips and Guide on Cleaning for more detailed care tips and guide to maintain your sterling jewelry regularly.

how to clean sterling silver

How to test silver for its purity?

There are techniques that can help you to identify the real sterling silver  from the fake silver jewelry that are available in the market.

1. Rub the jewelry with soft white polishing cloth. If you identified black marks upon rubbing the jewelry with the cloth, it indicates that the jewelry is made of real sterling silver as the polishing act removed the oxidized layer.

2. Perform nitric acid test. Add a drop of nitric acid to fake silver jewelries, the surface will lost their color; whereas, for genuine sterling silver, it will show no effect on the surface. In another words, if the jewelry is made of genuine sterling silver, the area with nitric acid will appear creamy in color; however, if the jewelry is made with fake silver or is silver plated, the area will turned green due to contain impurities such as nickel.

Note: Remember to wear gloves and googles to protect your hand and eyes when doing the nitric acid test. 

3. Perform smell test. If it smells, it reflected that too much copper is included, which is not true sterling silver. As the real sterling silver should not have smell. 

4. Perform magnet test. Magnet will not have any effect onto fine silver and sterling silver. In other words, if the jewelry is attracted to the magnet, the jewelry is not made of real sterling silver. It could be silver plated over a base metal. 

5. Identify the quality stamp marking. The silver markings and their meanings are straightforward. A real sterling silver will have sterling silver stamp marking such as “.925”, “92.5”, “925”, “Ster” or “Sterling Silver” in a hidden area or behind of every piece of jewelry. If no marking is identified, it is highly suspected to be not genuine.

925 silver

Now that you are equipped with basic knowledge about the difference between sterling silver and regular silver, the related fact sterling silver care tips, as well as identification of genuine sterling silver, it is important for you to practice checking of the authenticity of the desired sterling jewelry you eye on and the reputation of the sellers. You can always save yourself a lot of uncertainties and troubles by purchasing real sterling silver 925 jewelry from a genuine and reputable jeweler such as Eleganzia Jewelry

Is the silver jewelry sold in Eleganzia Jewelry made of Sterling Silver?

Of course! Every single piece of Eleganzia Jewelry is made of genuine 925 sterling silver. We promise to deliver contemporary good quality sterling jewelry in affordable price range. Feel free to browse our Sterling Silver jewelry for more information.

On top of that, you could also read about the health benefits from wearing silver jewelry. Where, we truly believe that silver 925 jewelry may not only enhance your elegant and classiness, they can also enhance your living lifestyle, like most people do. 



At the end of the day, the most important questions that you have to keep in mind are:

  • Do you enjoy wearing the piece of jewelry that you selected?
  • Do you want it to last for longer period of time?

Regardless your favorite piece of jewelry is cheap or expensive, it is important to own the jewelry that you truly love and best represent your personality and true self. You can always find lower price and high quality choice jewelry to add in your jewelry collection for styling yourself with sparks and confidence when you shop with us!

For a beautiful masterpiece, you can always choose Eleganzia Jewelry. 


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