Pure silver is 99.9% pure elemental silver and contains very few trace elements. Although this may sound luxurious pure silver is soft therefore not ideal for making items that have regular use. Pure silver is reserved for fine jewellery and is usually stamped with “999” for easy recognition. Pure silver items can be easily misshapen and damaged so when looking at everyday jewellery pieces, sterling silver is your best option.
Sterling silver is what's known as a metal alloy. It’s a combination of metals instead of just one single metal and is usually stamped with “925 or 92.5”. The mixture of metals results in a more durable material making it much more suitable for everyday jewellery.
What is Recycled Silver?
In recent years you may have noticed more companies offering pieces made from recycled sterling silver. Recycled sterling silver is silver that has been previously used in other products. This could be from jewellery or even technology and home appliances. During the recycling process once the silver is separated from the other metals it’s mixed with, it’s melted down and reused to make new silver products. No purity is lost in the process of extracting sterling silver from used items.
The recycling process saves vast amounts of energy and reduces carbon emissions, pollution and waste.
Both pure silver and sterling silver tarnish. This is an inevitable result of gasses in the air reacting with the silver, causing discolouring and fading. Although this is near enough unavoidable, it’s important to store and care for your silver pieces correctly.
Make sure to always store your silver/ sterling silver pieces in a dry, dark place away from water.