Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog.

I am on a blogging hiatus as I would like to focus on my jewelry craft work. Hence, I will not be taking in requests for reviews of any nature in the future. If you do have queries on my jewelry work instead, please get in touch via email : oon.adeline@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Silver or Silver Plating. Which Jewelry Component Is For You?

I've always received questions if there is a difference between sterling/925 silver and silver plating. Yes there is and its just that fine line which could either suit your skin or not. 

In this post, I have compiled a list of the components which I regularly use in my creations so that as a consumer, you will have an informed choice when you do your shopping.

Sterling silver
or 925 silver
contains over 92% of silver with the rest of the percentage a mixture of copper in it. This would be the highest end silver material that I can provide in my creations and would recommend for those who have sensitive skin as it is hypoallergenic. 

Sterling silver exudes a bright, classy and expensive looking finish which doesn't exactly burn a hole in your pocket if it's meant to be worn for special occasions or presented as gifts.

The surefire way to know that a commercial pair of earrings is sterling silver is to find an embossed '925' mark on an inconspicuous part on the metal. Unless it is stated that it is a handmade wired sterling silver pair, which I also offer at my shop, then you would have to trust the seller completely that he or she is providing the said material even if you do not see the mark.

Silver plating is the most popular choice with my customers and also one of my most used material in my creations. As the name suggests, silver plating is just a fine layer of silver coating over metals like brass or nickel - which are common and inexpensive materials. Nickels alone are allergenic and may cause your sensitive skin to itch when you wear them.

This also brings about the non-allergenic issue because even though it is "coated" with silver, it's coating will oxidize over frequent use thus your skin comes in contact with the exposed base materials which may cause sensitive skin to itch. So lucky you, if your skin is able to take this material well because it will save you a lot of money and with plenty of choice designs to wear!

*Do sterling silver tarnish?*

Yes! As with all silver wares, they will tarnish if left exposed or not taken care of. There is no such thing as a silver that doesn't tarnish unless it is white gold. My advise is to wipe your jewelries clean with a soft cloth or tissue paper before storing them into a jewelry box. If you don't have one, a zip lock bag would do. The idea is not to leave it exposed to air if its unused. You can also buy a silver polishing cloth (available in major hardware stores) and polish your sterling jewelries to give it a bright shine. Do note though that these polish cloth only works on sterling silvers.


Brass (or antiqued brass) is my favorite material which I personally wear more often than not. Brass is actually an alloy with of a combination of metal. Antiqued brass is another procedure to make the brass look aged which gives the vintage feel.

If your skin is sensitive to silver plating, brass material may also not be suitable for you. But then again, it works okay for some even though they are sensitive to silver platings.

Surgical steel is a type of stainless steel that is used in medical applications. Thus, I would quite safely say that this material would also suit those who have sensitive skin as it is also hypoallergenic. It is usually darker and grayer than sterling silver. The cost of this material is quite equal or lower to sterling silver. I do carry this material for earring components from time to time.

The other alternatives for non-allergenic materials would also be suede, leather or fabric chains. They all come in assorted colors.

I hope you have gained extra insights of the choice of materials that would work best for you when you go shopping the next time!

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Till the next post, have a blessed week!

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