Silver is a precious white metal which is highly conductive and malleable. Because of its softness and receptiveness to polish, silver was notably first used during ancient times to create tableware with intricate designs and a mirror-like shine. Then in 12th century Europe, people discovered that silver could be alloyed with other metals to create a more durable and useful material known today as sterling silver.
Initially, sterling silver was used to make monetary coins. Early Norman sterling silver pennies were typically imprinted with small stars, so many believe that that word "sterling" came from the Old English word "steorling," meaning "with a little star." It wasn't until the mid-19th century that sterling silver really became popular in jewelry making, later making its mark on Art Nouveau design and modern fashion.
STERLING SILVER: Also known as "Standard Silver," sterling silver is silver alloyed with other metals to increase the hardness and durability. Generally, sterling is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. Some sterling silver jewelry is plated with 14kt-18kt gold and referred to as "vermeil," or "gold over sterling."
Since fine silver (99% pure) is too soft, most of our products are comprised of sterling (known as "standard silver"). Sterling is silver alloyed with another metal, usually copper, in order to increase its durability and hardness.
Most silver comes from mines in Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, China, Australia, Chile, Poland, Tajikistan, and Serbia. The United States requires that sterling silver be 92.5% pure. This is why you may see stamped number hallmark for 925 sterling silver jewelry. Some sterling silver designs are also plated with rhodium to preserve the color and protect it from tarnishing.
Our sterling silver jewelry offers the same look of white gold or platinum, but at a fraction of the cost. This is why, over recent years, sterling has gained popularity in the fine jewelry industry. Our best-selling sterling jewelry includes sterling silver link necklaces and bracelets, sterling silver studs and hoop earrings, and sterling silver gemstone rings. To give silver a different color, it is sometimes plated in yellow or rose gold (vermeil), or finished with black or colored rhodium plating. Silver bead designs are also hot, as well as CZs set in sterling.
Many world-renown designers also work with sterling silver, sculpting all sorts of interesting creations. Some are known for crafting imaginative and versatile sterling silver jewelry for women, sometimes with gemstones or leather. Others design whimsical and colorful jewelry with CZs and enamel, all on a sterling silver base. And then there are those who work with silver to create edgy jewelry with a tribal flair.
Even though sterling silver is alloyed and sometimes plated with other metals to increase durability, it still needs to be treated with care. Silver is naturally prone to tarnishing, a discoloration that occurs when the metal reacts with sulphurous fumes in the air.
How to care for sterling silver jewelry: remove tarnish easily by cleaning sterling silver jewelry regularly with an anti-tarnish polish. Prevent damage, scratching, and discoloration by avoiding contact with any household chemicals and storing it separately in its presentation box. We also recommend removing your silver jewelry and safety packing it away before swimming.