Can’t seem to figure out what 925 found on silver jewelry really means?
You have landed in the right place! Here, we are going to know what that exactly means and much more including:
- What exactly is 925 silver?
- Is 925 silver valuable?
- Is there a difference between 925 silver and white gold?
- And a lot more!
Let’s jump right in!
In this Guide
When you go jewelry shopping, you will come across certain types of jewelry that have been stamped with special numbers or stamps on the metal.
Common stamps you are likely to find on metals include 316L, 925, 14K, and 999 or PT 950.
The stamp on the jewelry helps you know what the metal used in the jewelry is made of. If the jewelry is missing a stamp, it probably is made of metal that is not genuine.
When you come across jewelry stamped with 999 and 925, it only means that the jewelry is made of solid sterling silver. What may be confusing is what sterling silver is? Is it considered good quality metal? Is it superior to white gold?
All these questions and many more will be answered below.
What Does 925 Mean on Jewelry? What is 925 Silver?
Look at your ring closely. Is it stamped with 925 on the inner shank? That mark means your ring is made of sterling silver. To be specific, 925 on jewelry indicates that 92.5% metal content is pure sterling silver.
The remaining percentage (7.5%) is made up of metal alloys. Alloys are mixtures of metals such as copper fused with silver to add durability and quality. 100% pure silver jewelry will bear a 999 stamp.
Some jewelry pieces are merely plated with sterling silver and you will see neither 999 nor 925 stamps on them. Generally, all jewelry that is made of solid silver will be stamped. If you come across sterling silver that is not stamped, do not be tricked into thinking it is genuine sterling silver. Some jewelry pieces are sterling silver but plated with 14K yellow gold, such will have a 925 stamp on them. So, it is possible to see a 925 stamp on a ring that looks yellow gold.
For the sake of clarity, 925 silver is the same as sterling silver. The purest silver is often known as 999 silver or simply silver. In the world of jewelry, the terms “silver” and “sterling silver” are used interchangeably to mean sterling silver jewelry pieces.
Difference Between 925 Silver and White Gold
Although white gold and 925 may look similar to the eye, these two metals have very distinct features.
Both these metals are not pure; they each have a mixture of metal alloys. Both silver and gold depend on how durable the metal is when it comes to its purity.
White gold pieces of jewelry will always be stamped with a mark indicating that it is pure gold. The mark can either be 24K, 18K, 14K, or 10K. White gold jewelry gets its silvery appearance from the rhodium coating.
Yellow gold and rose gold jewelry do not require rhodium plating. After some time, because of wear and the oils on the skin, the rhodium plating fades away from the jewelry. This leaves the white gold part of the jewelry exposed and looking yellowish.
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Generally, white gold jewelry pieces carry a higher price tag than 925 silver. They also last longer. While white gold fades off after some time, silver retains its color.
Quality of 925 Silver
After platinum and gold, silver is the next in the list of precious metals. With a fat enough wallet, you can get this high-quality metal as part of your collection. Most reputable jewelry stores do not have an inventory of sterling silver engagement rings but have plenty of gemstone jewelry pieces put in sterling silver settings. Some stones have pieces with two tones (sterling silver and gold).
The best quality of silver you can find on the market is sterling silver. So, before you buy, make sure the jewelry is stamped with 925. If you take care of the jewelry very well, the sterling silver is going to last long.
There is a misconception that pure silver has better quality than sterling silver simply because it is pure. It may carry more worth as a metal, but looking at it as a jewelry piece its quality is low since it is soft. This is the same reason you will not find 24 Karat pure gold jewelry in the USA.
Is 925 Silver Expensive?
Sterling silver as a metal on its own is budget-friendly. If you are shopping online, you can find cheap 925 silver jewelry on Amazon. If you want something a little fancier, a store like Jared has sterling silver necklaces set with rubies at a few hundred dollars.
The pricing of sterling silver pieces of jewelry is determined by if the metal is silver only or a mixture of other metals too. The price will go up if the jewelry piece has two tones inclusive of gold. The gold content makes the price go up. The same trend happens with lab-created or real diamonds as well as synthetic gemstones or genuine gemstones.
The price of sterling silver is likely to shoot further if you opt to buy from brand names such as Sophia Vergara jewelry. These jewelry pieces are ridiculously overpriced. For this reason, I wouldn’t advise you to buy jewelry from high-end brands.
What is 925 Silver Worth?
The value of silver jewelry depends on the silver content in it. 925 silver pieces are just shy of 10% to be pure silver. The price of pure silver keeps fluctuating regularly. On average, pure silver costs $17 per ounce. So it is safe to say that sterling silver is not worth a lot.
Is 925 silver water-resistant?
Technically, you are free to wear your jewelry made of 925 sterling silver to the shower or the swimming pool, it will not be damaged. However, if you do that frequently the metal will oxidize causing it to tarnish at a very high rate.
For you to escape regular maintenance costs, it will be safe to limit the exposure of the silver to water as much as possible. I would advise not to wear sterling silver jewelry to the pool since the harsh chemicals may damage the metal.
Does 925 silver fade or tarnish?
Of course, sterling silver tarnishes over time. The main cause of oxidizing or tarnishing is water.
You will know that your precious sterling silver jewelry has tarnished if you notice that it has become darker than usual. It will also have black spots spread on the surface. The jewelry will also appear greasy and dull. Luckily, you can slow the tarnish process and manage if unfortunately, the piece has already tarnished.
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Unfortunately, there is no stopping tarnish, it will happen eventually. Fortunately, the process can be slowed down and managed. You can do this by routinely cleaning the jewelry to remove any oils or dirt. A soft piece of cloth and water are enough to get the jewelry perfectly cleaned. After cleaning you have to let it dry since moisture can accelerate the tarnishing process too.
If you have a sterling silver jewelry piece that is already tarnished, no need to worry, you can get it back to shape. Get a silver polishing cloth and use it to rub the tarnish off and leave it as good as new.
Note: you can also buy professional silver cleaners. You have to be extra careful with such cleaners since they are known to strip the metal off antique, colored rhodium, or polish. If this happens, you will need a silver polishing cloth to regain the shine. The rhodium and antiquing will, unfortunately, need to be redone.
Does 925 Silver Jewelry Have Diamonds?
Yes, diamonds can be set in sterling silver but in small carat weights, normally less than 1/2-carat. Most jewelers use cubic zirconia or diamond chips in sterling silver jewelry pieces.