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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Things to Know When Buying Silver Jewellery
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Know When Buying Silver Jewellery

Silver has been a popular commodity in the world of fashion for thousands of years, and it is currently becoming increasingly popular with the younger masses, so be sure to know these things.


The Appeal of Sterling Silver

When it comes to countries such as Sri Lanka, jewellery can be a symbol of status, while additionally being vessels for precious stones that might be considered tokens of fortune. There are many properties of sterling silver that explain its prominence in jewellery by entities such as Royal Sapphire. Sterling Silver is durable as well as affordable, and out of the entire spectrum of precious metals, it is the one that shines the brightest.


True Sterling Silver

Initially, Sterling Silver rose to popularity as a stylish yet cost-effective alternative to White Gold. There are however many entities that might try to sell you something that isn't true Sterling Silver, and that can create a lot of dissatisfaction. True Sterling Silver is 92.5% silver, and comes with a stamp with the number '925' on it. Do not buy any product claiming to be Sterling Silver if it doesn't carry the 925 stamp.


Why not 100% Silver?

Despite silver being incredibly durable, it can tarnish really easily, which can reduce the value and look of the jewellery. Therefore, the metal is plated with a very thin layer, only one to three microns thick of precious metals that do not tarnish. These metals mostly include such materials as platinum, rhodium and even gold. Although this might reduce the purity of the silver, it actually increases the value of the jewellery since these metals are in fact more precious than silver.


Wear and Tear

The plating of the ring is an incredibly thin layer. To put that in perspective, the width of a human hair is about a hundred microns, so one to three microns is a very small coating. This means that the plating can eventually erode, exposing the precious metal underneath to the elements. When you're buying a silver ring, inquire about the plating, even one micron can make a significant difference. Depending on the thickness of the plating, it can last to a period of up to five years. Keeping a piece of chalk among your silver is an old yet effective way to keep your precious metals from tarnishing.


Resizing your Silver

If you have a plated silver ring that needs resizing, any reputed jewellery outlet will most likely be very reluctant to do so. This is because it involves cutting through the plating and exposing the precious silver underneath to the elements. This can tarnish the entire piece. It is possible for a jeweller to re-plate the ring once it has been adjusted, but this is a very expensive process. Therefore, if you feel that you will need to resize your silver, be sure to buy a ring that is made of 925 sterling silver, which is un-plated. Simply be sure to not expose it to the elements too often and to semi-regularly apply a sterling silver polish to maintain its iconic shine.

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