A great deal of silver jewelry available today is called .925 silver. Have you ever wondered why jewelers add the number .925 in front of sterling silver? Before you part with your hard-earned money buying jewelry for yourself, or as a gift for someone else, it is worth finding out what exactly .925 silver is. Furthermore, it is important to understand why you must always insist that your silver jewelry is up to the high .925 standard.

Before we look at what .925 silver is, we must first consider the properties of this fascinating metal. Pure silver is extremely malleable and therefore can easily damage. It also softens over time, even at room temperature.

Obviously, in this state silver is useless for jewelry purposes. To avoid the problems of malleability and softening, and thus to increase the life-span of your silver jewelry, other metals are added to the pure silver. The result of this blending process with alloys is a combined silver and alloy substance which is far more resistant to scratching and damage.

.925 sterling silver jewelry is actually a combination of 92.5% silver and usually 7.5% copper. Sometimes the craftsman replaces copper with another material, or even a combination of materials. Over the last decade, lower copper prices and an abundance of copper due to improved refining techniques have made it the first choice of many designers and jewelry stylists.

The beneficial properties gained by adding the copper to the pure silver have made the resulting product extremely popular with a host of silver craftsmen. Earrings, rings, bracelets and all other forms of jewelry can be carefully designed with the assurance that each intricate bend and turn will remain firmly in place.

.925 silver is therefore a combination of mostly pure silver and a lower percentage of infused alloy metal. The addition of copper, or occasionally a similar copper-like substitute, helps to enhance your silver jewelry and does not in any way detract from its quality.

It is important to check that your silver jewelry is high quality .925 sterling silver before making a purchase. If you are purchasing in another country, we advise you to check with the regional or national silver jewelry hallmarking body to find out if retailers can sell inferior lower grade silver jewelry without informing you.

Remember that in many countries, the .925 hallmark is an assurance to you that your silver is of the highest quality.