The silver jewelry and accessories available at La Mode Fine Jewellers are made of beautiful sterling silver. Sterling Silver.
Pure silver, also called fine silver, is relatively soft, very malleable, and easily damaged so it is commonly combined with other metals to produce a more durable product. The most popular of these alloys is sterling silver, which consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper.
Although any metal can make up the 7.5 percent non-silver portion of sterling, centuries of experimentation have shown copper to be its best companion, improving the metal's hardness and durability without affecting its beautiful color.
The small amount of copper added to sterling has very little effect on the metal's value. Instead, the price of the silver item is affected by the labor involved in making the item, the skill of the craftsperson, and the intricacy of the design.
Sterling silver is stamped either with a .925, or STERLING, stamp. However just because a piece of silver jewellery has these markings does not make it sterling silver. Unfortunately it is common for some less than reputable manufacturers to make jewellery and miss stamp them with these stamps. To ensure you are buying from a reputable manufacturer, this stamp must be accompanied by a maker's mark or registered trademark. Do not buy off the beach in Mexico unless all you are looking for is a fun piece of jewellery you don't want to spend more than $5 on. It is common practice to melt down currency coin to make jewellery. Nickles, (5 cents), are favorites. When they are finished they ad the 925 we are all familiar with to mislead us.
Because pure silver is so soft, it should only be used when malleability is required, such as in handcrafted jewelry featuring weaving and other intricate designs.
Sterling silver is most often used for jewelry and household accessories because of its combination of beauty and durability. Acceptable quality marks for sterling silver include:
Clean Your Silver Regularly
Care should also be taken to prevent silver tarnish build-up, a dulling that naturally occurs when silver reacts with sulfur or hydrogen sulfide in the ambient air. To clean your silver, use polishes formulated specifically to remove tarnish. You can find fine silver polishes, solutions, or cloths appropriate to remove tarnish at La Mode Fine Jewellers. Tarnish is most easily removed when it first becomes visible.
Fine silver or pure, silver does not actually tarnish. The 7.5% copper found in sterling silver is what turns black over time and is what needs to be polished periodically.
With proper care, your fine quality silver will last a lifetime. To minimize scratches and other damage, store your silver jewelry either in a cloth pouch or in a separate compartment in your jewelry box. Avoid exposing your silver to household chemicals when cleaning with bleach or ammonia, or when swimming in chlorinated water, as these chemicals can damage silver.