Some of the most beautiful, yet affordable, pieces of jewelry you can find are made of Sterling Silver. Handmade Sterling Silver jewelry can be worn with nearly any style of clothing, to any occasion, and can be worn year-round. No one would turn down a gift of Sterling Silver jewelry. Sterling Silver refers to silver that is .925 pure. Unless pure silver is hammered, it is usually too soft for most jewelry applications. The derivation of the term, “Sterling Silver” is not agreed upon by experts. Some historians say that it refers to the British Pound Sterling, while others say that Sterling Silver originally was developed in Sterlingshire, Scotland. Sterlingshire had a large silver mine, and because of this, most historians believe this derivation to be true. In addition, there are several other theories as to why silver that is .925 pure is called Sterling. However, handmade sterling silver jewelry is more than just the silver itself. Silver is a difficult metal to work with and a jeweler who works with Sterling Silver must be a master craftsman. Silver jewelry is often intricate and exquisite, reflecting the personality of the wearer.
When purchasing handmade sterling silver jewelry, especially if it’s a gift, make sure that the silver used is, in fact, solid Sterling Silver. Many low priced, massed produced jewelry (especially those made overseas) are actually plated silver jewelry, even though they are marked .925. – Plated Silver (sometimes referred to as Overlay or Technibond) is electroplated silver over a base pot metal (usually tin, aluminum, or zinc), and thus, is not solid Sterling Silver. Not only will plated silver jewelry quickly tarnish, the plate commonly wears off and also might cause allergic reactions.
On the other hand, Sterling Silver may tarnish over time, but will wear well, day in and day out with little care. Many low-end jewelers or craftsman will sell anything with a silver color and tell you that it is sterling silver. Remember, “you get what you pay for” so if a piece of jewelry appears to be under-priced, beware. Establishing a trusted relationship with your local jeweler or jewelry designer is well worth your effort. A good piece of handmade sterling silver jewelry will reflect the work in its price, and any quality piece is worth paying for.
Shop now for high-quality jewelry at affordable prices. Select gifts that are as unique as the ones you love from a wide range of silver rings, pendants, earrings and sterling jewelry.