A Jewelry Lover's Quick Guide to Sterling Silver Jewelry

By: Chris Robertson

When someone says they love silver jewelry, they could be referring to anything from pure sterling silver to very cheap silver-plated costume jewelry. Silver can refer to the type of jewelry or merely the outside color of jewelry. But when one mentions "sterling silver" jewelry, they're usually talking about a high grade of silver used to make beautiful, durable silver jewelry.

Sterling Silver Facts

Silver is a precious metal that has been used to create jewelry on a wide scale since the late 1700s. Though it was used in jewelry before that time, mining in continents of the western hemisphere revealed an abundance of silver, thus increasing the amount of silver used in jewelry production from the 1700s through the present. Silver in its pure form is very soft and will not produce durable silver jewelry; therefore, silver is mixed with a variety of other metals so the jewelry can withstand everyday wear without being harmed. One such combination of silver with other metals is called sterling silver.

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, a piece of jewelry cannot be referred to as silver, sterling silver, solid silver, or sterling unless it has a pure silver makeup of at least 92.5 percent, or 925 parts per thousand of pure silver. The most common mixture for silver jewelry is copper and silver. The silver becomes harder and more durable when copper is added; however, copper also causes silver jewelry to have a tendency to tarnish. When silver jewelry tarnishes, it has a darkened color.

Types of Sterling Silver Jewelry

You can find almost any type or style of sterling silver jewelry you want - especially online. You can buy sterling silver chains "by the inch," meaning you can have chains handmade to suit your needs and the desired size. Having your silver chain custom-made makes it easy to create the length needed for your neck size, or wrist or ankle size for bracelets and anklets. No more worry about buying a necklace that's too tight or too big.

Silver jewelry can be customized with various clasps such as lobster claw clamps or toggles. You can buy numerous silver pendants to wear on your silver chain, and change pendants with every outfit! For an elegant look and feel, try handcrafted Bali jewelry or other unique styles that will really make your jewelry stand out. Besides handmade chains, sterling silver stores usually offer silver rings, bracelets, anklets, and earrings.

Caring for Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver tends to tarnish and may develop a beautiful patina (unique glow with darkened areas). Some silver fans like this look for their jewelry. If you like the patina look, then wear it as is. If not, polish your silver jewelry with a soft polishing cloth to restore your silver to its natural shiny state. Sterling silver should be cleaned gently with polish cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaners - even toothpaste can leave scratches on your silver jewelry! When storing your silver jewelry, place it in tarnish prevention bags or cloths, which help slow the tarnishing process. Also, keep your jewelry in a cool room with low humidity. If storing in a box or case with other jewelry, prevent your silver jewelry from tangling with other harder jewelry, which might cause scratches on the sterling silver jewelry.

Sterling silver jewelry provides a lovely accessory for wear to work, parties, and romantic outings. Sterling silver is also affordable so you can buy it for yourself or as a gift for a friend without spending a fortune. Check out sterling silver jewelry products online and add these fine items to your jewelry collection today!

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Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies. For tips/information, click here: silver jewelry
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