Sterling Silver is a metal comprised of at least 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloy (other metals) including, but not limited to, copper and nickel. Our suppliers source jewelry from over 50 different manufacturers around the world, directly importing from 9 countries. All of these manufacturers guarantee their products to be 92.5% sterling silver quality or better. All products sold on this website are lead-free.
Each manufacturer decides how to finish their jewelry. Plating the sterling silver with fine (99.9%) silver is a customary way to finish jewelry in some countries. This process is commonly called "flashing." Often a flashed piece of jewelry will also have a layer of nickel or copper plate between the two silver layers. Additional common plating methods used are rhodium plating, gold plating and anti-tarnish plating. One of the reasons manufacturers plate sterling silver is to restore the even, consistent color lost as a result of "firescale," the discoloration of silver caused by soldering findings and posts onto the jewelry. All of these plating methods give the jewelry a longer, brighter life. However, these items cannot be sized or machine buffed without being re-plated.
Silver in its pure form will not tarnish, but is too soft for use in jewelry and giftware. Sterling silver will tarnish. This is not a defect, but the result of a natural chemical process that occurs when sterling silver is exposed to oxygen and other elements in the air. Other common tarnish causing elements are wool, rubber bands, and latex gloves. Humid environments will accelerate tarnishing.
How should I care for my Sterling Silver?
Preventative maintenance is the easiest way to keep your sterling silver looking great. Avoid exposing your sterling silver jewelry to direct sunlight, harsh chemicals like chlorine, cosmetics, hair spray, perfume, and perspiration, and keep items in sealed polyethylene bags when not being used. Washing your jewelry periodically with mild dish soap and warm water is a quick, easy way to prevent tarnishing. Be sure to rinse well and dry completely with a soft cloth before storing.
Frequent light polishing with a cloth designed for use on sterling silver will also help minimize tarnish. Tarnish is easily removed when first noticed (generally a yellowish tint) but will become more difficult to remove as it turns brown and eventually black, requiring professional cleaning and/or harsher chemicals that can harm your jewelry.
We highly recommend our treated
Polishing Cloths. They will restore the original luster and shine to your silver jewelry.