925 Sterling Silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. Fine silver (99.9% pure) is generally too soft for producing large functional objects, and in Sterling Silver, the silver is usually alloyed with copper to give strength whilst preserving the malleability of the silver and a high precious metal content - ideal for making silver jewellery.
In our store, you will see TWO product categories:
- 925 SILVER – All items in this category are genuine SOLID 92.5 Sterling Silver, not silver plated. Our silver jewellery is sourced from craftsmen and women who make all pieces by hand. None of our silver jewellery is mass produced or from casting processes, with the exception of chains. All items will have a 92.5 or 925 stamp to identify them as 92.5 Sterling Silver.
- FASHION JEWELLERY – inexpensive items, and where silver is used, it is usually silver plated. This means an ultra-thin layer of 925 silver is electro-plated to a base metal such as steel or other poor quality metals. Jewelry made with this material often bends, stretches, breaks, and the finish can wear off quickly.
If you are looking for a fun every-day piece, fashion jewelry is fine. If you are looking for quality, however, look for SOLID 92.5 sterling silver items and wear them proudly.
Be aware that on eBay, there are many people advertising 925 sterling silver jewellery and actually supplying silver plated jewellery – this is especially the case with chains. If you see individual silver chains advertised for less than $15, they are probably only 925 silver plated. If the price looks too good to be true – it usually is, and it’s probably silver plated. Genuine 925 silver will also usually have the weight of the piece stated.
Where is our 925 jewellery from?
Rich cultural traditions have supported a flourishing silver-smithing industry in Indonesia for centuries. The intricate soldered granulations and twisted wiring of Balinese earrings and bracelets have attained global recognition and we are proud to bring examples of this artistry to you. The craftsmen and women who produce these beautiful pieces are typically from villages around Denpasar on the island of Bali.
Each design is carefully made with exquisite detail. Every silver dot is individually placed, every surface patterned by hand. Each bead is a work of art.
Because our items are handmade, you may see very slight differences between the items you receive compared with the images online – because each bead and each piece of jewelry is unique.
Other 925 silver jewellery we source from Jogjakarta, in Indonesia, which is renowned for the Filigree style, which is made from twisting very fine silver threads into beautiful pieces. This style of jewellery is completely hand-made and requires large amounts of time and care. Typically, as it is so labour intensive, pieces are not sold by weight. Furthermore, the amount of labor involved may different dramatically from piece to piece, based on how elaborate it is in design.
Another source of beautiful silver and gemstone jewellery is India. India has been home to advanced metallurgical skills for eons, and many examples of exquisite workmanship have been found dating back to at least 3500 B.C. Typically, in a country where women were traditionally denied property ownership, their wealth was passed down through the generations in the form of gemstones set in gold and silver.
Caring for your 925 Sterling Silver
Over time, sterling silver will develop a mellow patina caused by ‘oxidisation’, which results in an ‘antique’ look where tarnish builds up in the fine details giving your sterling silver jewellery a beautifully unique air. The best way to preserve and encourage the tarnished ‘antique’ look to sterling silver jewellery is to avoid contact with water. If you want to avoid tarnish, the best way is to wear your Sterling Silver jewellery as often as possible.
Some do’s and don’ts:
- To clean your jewellery, use a soft cloth designed for glasses or jewellery.
- Never use tissues or hard brushes, including toothbrushes, when cleaning or polishing your sterling silver, as they will leave scratch marks
- Always take your sterling silver jewellery off before applying suntan lotion, skin creams, and swimming in chlorinated or salt water.
- Never wear your jewellery when working with detergents, bleaches, ammonia or alcohols, these chemicals will cause discolouration, damage and loosen any gemstones.
- Never use an ultrasonic cleaner, ammonia or any chemical solution to clean opaque gemstones, such as turquoise, malachite, onyx, lapis lazuli and opals. They are porous stones and may absorb chemicals, which build up inside the stone and cause discolouration. Simply wipe them gently with a moist soft cloth until clean.
- Never store your sterling silver jewellery in paper, cardboard, or cotton filled boxes, as these contain trace elements of sulfur.
Never ímmerse any of your 925 sterling silver jewellery in water or liquid.