What is sterling silver? July 24, 2017 – Posted in: Production and materials – Tags: silver
At Habibi Jewelry we use a lot of sterling silver. But why not use pure silver or plated silver or filled silver?
Pure silver is 99.9% silver and although it is ‘soft’ to work with and can produce intricate and highly illustrious finishes it is just that – too soft for everyday use. Pure silver will not stand up to the wear and tear an everyday ring, necklace or bracelet will undergo.
Sterling silver is 92.5% silver (hence the hallmark of 925 – more on hallmarking another day) and 7.5% alloy of usually copper, steel or iron, allowing the artisan to work the material but still giving it strength for everyday use.
This alloy has been found in archaeological sites and dated back to the early 12th Century in the area that is now Northern Europe, so it’s not some new invention!
Plated and filled silver are other metals such as copper, steel or iron that are shaped into the finished product and are then coated in a thin layer of silver. That’s why these products are much cheaper than silver or sterling silver and will not carry a hallmark. Although beautiful pieces can be created this way, here at Habibi Jewelry we are maintaining our artisan heritage and use traditional methods to create pieces out of sterling silver. We like our customers to wear a piece knowing the craftsmanship involved.