The Difference Between Sterling Silver and 925 Silver
There are so many varieties of silver on the market that it is easy to get confused when you hear these terms, such as sterling silver, silver plate, pure silver, fine silver, 925 silver, coin silver, nickel silver and so on.
One common question that is asked is, what is the difference between sterling silver and 925 silver. The short answer is, there is none. Sterling silver and 925 silver are different names for the same silver alloy.
Let’s break this down.
Because pure silver is much too soft to be used in jewelry, it is often combined with other metals to create a more durable metal. When 92.5% of pure silver is mixed with 7.5% of other metals (often copper, nickel or zinc) the resulting alloy is called sterling silver. To identify it as such, the number 925 is stamped upon the silver, often in a hidden part of the jewelry. This number is known as the hallmark and denotes the percentage of silver purity in the alloy. In other words, 925 is the same as sterling silver, meaning that if there is any other stamp on the metal, it is not sterling silver. Alternately, the hallmarks STER, STG, SS and Sterling Silver may be stamped in place of 925.
However, there is a caveat to this.
This strict standard is followed in the USA but other countries may have their own sterling silver grades. For example, the French standard for sterling silver requires 95% purity, which is higher than other countries. Always check the purity of the silver before you buy.
So, to wrap up, there is no difference between the terms sterling silver and 925 silver, however the standards of sterling silver may differ depending on the country it comes from.
Purchasing from a reputed vendor will ensure that you’re not getting ripped off.