Silver has been used for jewelry since 3500 BC, when the Egyptians created ornaments out of silver. The word "sterling" is short for "Easterlings," a form of money used in 12th-century England when Edward I of England established an early trade practice rule for silversmiths, decreeing that sterling must consist of 92.5 percent pure silver alloyed with 7.6 percent copper (that is why sterling is marked “925”). The term "sterling" refers to the composition of the metal, never to the weight of a finished item.



Silver is much more plentiful than gold; however, silver tends to tarnish, making it less popular in some forms of jewelry. Like gold, silver is too soft for use in its pure state and must be combined with other metals for durability. Jewelry made of silver parts and gold parts must carry dual designations such as "Sterling and 10K."



Care of Silver


Silver requires more maintenance then any other metal. Tarnishing occurs because silver reacts to pollutants in the air, which is then exacerbated by moisture and heat. Tarnishing can be removed by chemical tarnish removing solution.

Silver is beautiful and valuable. Among its many metal properties, it is relatively soft and malleable that makes it an idea candidate for jewelry crafting. However, pure silver is too soft and easily scratched. It is most commonly for silversmith to combine silver with other metal to create a more durable alloy.


Sterling silver, containing 92.5% of silver and 7.5% of other metal, is the most popular alloy on today’s silver jewelry market. Sterling silver can be identified by the “.925” mark (the stamp denoting 92.5% silver) or “sterling” on the jewelry.

With proper care, your sterling silver jewelry can yield enjoyment of lifelong and beyond. Here are some care tips that help you to retain the beauty and luster of your silver jewelry.


Proper Storage


To prevent your sterling silver jewelry form tarnishing quickly, you may store it in a zip-loc plastic bag, jewelry box or pouch.


Avoid exposing silver jewelry to moisture or direct air/light contact when you are not wearing it.

When storage, avoid rubbing silver with other gemstone jewelry or place them in same pouch, as most gemstones are harder then Mohs 6 and silver is below 4.5.



Wipe sterling silver jewelry with soft cloth after wearing it.


Periodically, clean your silver jewelry with jewelry cleaning cloth and jewelry polishing cloth.

Do Not clean rhodium treated silver, beaded silver or silver jewelry with gemstone in silver dip cleaner. Instead, use Silver Jewelry Care Cloth.


Use liquid silver dip cleaner only for heavy tarnished, non-rhodium treated and no gemstone sterling silver jewelry. Rinse and wipe dry thoroughly before storage.

Proper Use


Remove your silver jewelry when showering, swimming or contacting with chemical substance.

Avoid contacting with chemicals, perfumes or hair spray.

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Text Box: The Jewelry Doctor
Iris Rocker, AJP, (GIA)