When we think about silver jewelry, in the USA and some other countries we mean 925, or sterling silver, of which probably about 90% of all silver jewelry is made here. Number 925 here describes the fineness of this precious metal and means that 92.5% of the metal in the jewelry item by weight is silver. The remaining 10% of products are made in Europe and elsewhere, in countries using different standards for precious metal fineness in the manufacture of jewelry.
Cultural preferences and technological standards differ depending on the historically established traditions and pathways of technology development.
For example, in India, gold jewelry is usually made of 22K or even 24K (99.99% fineness.) Arab countries also prefer the highest karat gold alloys. Likewise, in these countries silver of higher fineness is used in jewelry with uncomplicated design, as well as in the elements of interior decor.
Silver jewelry made in Bali, Tibet, Thailand or Mexico, contain very little silver. This jewelry is of very intricate designs, which for the most part determines its price, not as much as the fineness of the metal, which is low.
In the European countries, along with the 925 silver, there is another standard - the 875 silver, which is little known to the American consumer.
So which silver mark is preferable for jewelry making: 925 or 875? As we were developing our brand and over the years accumulated our own experience, we also asked ourselves this question and will gladly share our thoughts in this brief discussion.
Let's recall that precious metals, silver, gold, and platinum differ in their physical (strength, hardness, elasticity, viscosity, plasticity, shine, melting point, corrosion resistance,) as well as in their technological properties.
These properties determine the appearance of the product, its durability, the ease or difficulty of working with the metal in the manufacturing of the jewelry, as well as of making repairs if necessary.
Pure silver or gold are soft metals, which are very easily deformed. On the surface of such metals, scratches and dents quickly appear, and the original mirror shine disappears very quickly. In the case of gold we are talking about 24K fineness, or in millesimal units, 999, which means a 99.9% purity of the metal. 0.1% suggests possible traces of any impurities. This 24K is the most favored by the Middle Eastern buyers.
Perhaps this attitude to jewelry is due to the fact that until now the presence of a large amount of gold and silver indicates a high social status and can always be used as capital.
Sterling silver, or 925 silver, contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper (sometimes it can be other metals) and is standard in the USA.
In Europe silver 875 is very popular. It contains 87.5% pure silver. The remaining 12.5% can consist of copper, platinum, silicon, and germanium.
Silver 925 and silver 875 are not much different in their silver content, it is only 5%. But this insignificant difference substantially changes the properties of the whole alloy. Silver 875 is more durable and elastic. It is stronger (doesn't break easily) and harder (doesn't scratch easily.) These properties make it possible to produce complex and interesting designs that are not inferior to designs created for gold jewelry and can withstand the technologies used in the production of gold jewelry.
Silver 875 is also more corrosion resistant. Our 875 silver alloy contains a proprietary blend of metals, the composition of which was developed in Italy to our order with increased germanium content than traditional 875 silver. Germanium makes silver stronger and substantially more resistant to oxidation.
All this makes our jewelry durable: the gemstones are firmly set, the clasps in earrings, bracelets, and necklaces hold securely, minimizing the risk of accidental loss. The bright color and mirror shine of the surfaces lasts for years.
The price of jewelry made in silver 925 and 875 is the same since it is mainly determined by the cost of developing the designs and their manufacturing costs, as well as the cost of natural gemstones used in the jewelry.
Thus, the issue of choosing 925 and 875 silver jewelry is reduced to the issue of choosing the jewelry itself, which suits you in design. If you like this jewelry, you will be happy to wear it and enjoy it, regardless of the fineness of silver!
See our different silver metal types: