Sterling silver/Silver jewellery 101 June 20 2018
Long post alert!
“They are all made in 92.5 silver. I like it’s not sterling silver. (Sterling silver and zircon are worst!)”. We are quoting verbatim a line we came across on an Indian blog reviewing a jewellery brand.
The other day we received a DM on Instagram asking the price and material of a nose pin we had posted. On sharing the details, we got the reply- “Oh, I only wear silver”.
These statements are so factually wrong that we are compelled to clarify this. ‘Sterling silver’ IS 92.5/925 silver.
Since pure (100%) silver is too soft to be made into jewellery, some other metals (usually copper) are added to make it harder. 92.5% silver, as the name suggests is 92.5% silver + rest some other metal(s).
92.5, 925, Sterling silver are all the same thing. Sterling silver is a universally used and recognized standard for fine silver jewellery.
As for Zircon- it is a naturally occurring stone, found in abundance and hence not expensive (though in bigger sizes it is!), but beautiful in the many colors it occurs in. Surely nothing negative here!
But we think we know what the author might be trying to warn her readers against. German silver (an alloy of base metals) which is what all street side junk jewellery is made out of and Cubic Zirconia or CZ, which are man made stones used in imitation jewellery. A case of good intention but wrong information?
Which brings us to the broader point of being careful and selective in the information we are consuming.
It is so easy to Google and wax eloquent on the new weave or regional jewellery one is flaunting on Instagram, isn’t it? Who doesn’t like interesting captions and what better than to throw in a factoid or two that you just looked up?
Our two cents:
(1) please enjoy all the captions and stories but when it comes to spending your money, make sure to do your own research rather than blindly following and taking the word of your favourite blogger, influencer or curator.
(2) look for information coming from horse’s mouth which includes artisans, organizations and brands directly working with artisans and experienced experts in that field.
(3) Google is still your best friend but be sure to check out multiple sources and not go by and stop at the first thing you read.
(4) ask, ask, ask till all your questions about material, provenance etc. have been answered to your satisfaction by the seller/brand. But please do a favor- checkout their website first. Most legit brands take a lot of care to preempt and answers all queries under ‘FAQs’ or ‘About’ section- do see if your query has already been addressed to before you shoot them a mail/message. All brand owners/designers love to answer questions but it can get tiresome answering questions that are repetitive and have been answered on the website.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this- anything else you’d like to add or correct?
P.S: sterling silver = 92.5 silver = 925 silver! 🙂
Originally posted on our Instagram page.