A Guide to .925 Silver Jewelry

A Guide to .925 Silver Jewelry

.925 silver, also known as sterling silver, is beloved by jewelry connoisseurs everywhere. Its bright sparkle, durable finish, hypoallergenic properties, and light weight make it a popular choice for both everyday wear and formal occasions. Whether you already own a few .925 silver pieces or are looking to add some sterling silver to your jewelry collection, we created this resource to help you explore the ins and outs of this versatile metal. In this guide, we cover:

  • The Benefits of .925 Silver

  • .925 Silver Identification

  • Care and Cleaning Instructions

The Benefits of .925 Silver

.925 silver is a metal alloy often found in jewelry and household decor. It contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% of another metal alloy (usually copper) to increase its durability. Accordingly, .925 silver is named after its 92.5% silver purity. For many jewelry wearers, .925 silver is their preferred material due to a wide variety of benefits:

Bright Finish - .925 silver is well-known for its bright tone, which adds a touch of sparkling elegance to any look. Though silver is highly susceptible to tarnish, it can quickly be polished to restore its natural luster.

Hypoallergenic Properties - Most jewelry allergies are related to metal alloys that contain nickel or brass, and silver allergies are considered to be rare. Accordingly, sterling silver is often marketed as hypoallergenic due to its high level of purity, putting jewelry wearers with sensitive skin at ease.

Durability - Many jewelry wearers opt for .925 silver due to its strength and resistance to scratching. Earrings and rings made out of .925 silver are also a wise choice, as they are less likely to lose their shape than pieces made out of other materials.

Quality - .925 silver provides an affordable, high-quality choice for jewelry lovers. The variations of sterling silver designs are endless, and they also provide a durable platform for engraving.

.925 Silver Identification

Because .925 silver is so popular with jewelry wearers, many jewelry makers also sell imitation sterling silver at lower prices to entice customers. Most .925 silver jewelry pieces bear a hallmark stamp to indicate their purity level to help buyers distinguish true sterling silver from other metals. This stamp is typically placed in an inconspicuous place like on a necklace clasp or on the inside of a ring. The most common hallmarks for sterling silver jewelry include:

Hallmarking requirements vary moderately around the world, but many countries (like the United States) require jewelry makers to disclose the purity and metal content of a piece of jewelry through these unique markings. Silver jewelry that bears an 800 (80% silver) or 900 (90%) stamp contains less silver, and pieces that display a 999, .999, or 99.9 marking are virtually pure silver.


To test whether your piece of jewelry is at least 92.5% pure, you can try the magnet test. If you hold a magnet near your piece of jewelry, pure silver jewelry will not stick – silver is not magnetic. If your jewelry does stick to the magnet, chances are it contains higher levels of another magnetic metal (like nickel). The best way to truly determine the composition of a piece of jewelry, however, is to take it to a professional jeweler.

Care & cleaning instructions for .925 Silver

Although .925 silver is bright and durable, it does tarnish easily. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect your jewelry and limit the amount of tarnish that appears on your favorite adornments.

Storage

Tarnish is a chemical reaction that occurs naturally when silver jewelry is exposed to the air for long periods of time. To limit the amount of tarnish on your jewelry, store your pieces in airtight bags or containers. This will keep your beloved baubles protected whenever they are not in use. 

Cleaning

If you notice that your .925 silver is looking a little dull, you can gently wash it in warm water with a mild soap. Use a soft cloth to gently pat the jewelry dry, and allow it to fully dry before placing it back into its airtight container. 

Polishing

While many solutions for cleaning silver exist on the market today, a simple polishing cloth is the best option. This material is unlikely to damage your jewelry and allows you to remove stubborn tarnish, leaving your favorite pieces looking brand new. Stay away from harsh chemicals like dipping solutions, as they can discolor or even damage your .925 silver. 

Tips & Tricks

Keeping your .925 silver as bright as the day you first bought it is possible with the right care. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping your jewelry safe and maintaining its brilliant luster:

  • Avoid household cleaners. Many household cleaning supplies contain harsh chemicals that could damage the finish of your jewelry – bleach and ammonia are especially caustic. Further, any cleaning supplies that contain rubber, latex, or even wool can scratch or harm your .925 silver. To keep your jewelry safe, remove all jewelry prior to doing any household chores. 


  • Wash your hands before handling jewelry. Tarnish on .925 silver can be accelerated by many oils found in foods. This is especially true for acidic or oily foods like salt, eggs, olives, salad dressings, and fruits. 


  • Avoid getting your .925 silver wet. While washing your jewelry with gentle soap and water is acceptable for cleaning, try to avoid getting your .925 silver wet on a regular basis. Activities like swimming, showering, doing the dishes, and exercising can dull your jewelry's shine over time.


  • Save the jewelry for last. When getting ready, always put your .925 silver jewelry on last. Doing this as the final step in your routine keeps your jewelry safe from chemicals contained within lotions, makeup, perfumes, and hair products. 


the sensible choice

.925 silver is an excellent choice for anyone looking to be stylish and comfortable without breaking the bank. Its hypoallergenic properties combined with its durability and bright finish make it a popular choice for both casual and formal occasions. If you are looking for .925 silver pieces to add to your collection, you’ll find many in our GoBeachy collection.

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