Differences Between Sterling Silver Jewellery and Silver Plated Jewellery
All the Silver Jewellery sold at Yzill is 925 sterling silver. All the gold plated jewellery is gold plated onto 925 Sterling Silver. We do not sell the cheaper alternative that is silver plated jewellery. Please read on to find all the answers to common questions about sterling silver and silver plated jewellery.
What are sterling silver and silver plated jewellery made of?
There is a big difference between the structure of sterling silver jewellery and silver plated jewellery. Sterling silver jewellery are items of jewellery that are made of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% additives (copper, nickel, or a combination of metals). Silver plated jewellery is a cheap, but not durable, alternative to sterling silver jewellery. Silver plated items are made of another kind of material like copper, nickel or brass that is coated with a very thin layer of sterling silver.
How do you identify sterling silver and silver plated jewellery?
Silver plated jewellery and sterling silver jewellery certainly look very similar, especially if you don’t have much experience with precious metals, however you can separate them from each other by looking at the stamp or label.
Silver plated objects are normally labelled “EP,” “EPNS,” or “Silver on Copper.” In addition companies are not allowed to label silver plated items “sterling,” which is why the term “sterling plated” does not exist.
On the other hand, sterling silver is labelled “925,” representing its 92.5% silver content. Jewellery items over a certain weight must be hallmarked by the UK Assay Office.
How aesthetically pleasing is sterling silver jewellery and silver-plated jewellery?
In the long term sterling silver jewellery will look much better than silver plated jewellery, because if it becomes tarnished then you can polish it back to it’s full glory, however plated silver will not wear well when you polish it.
Silver plated jewellery is usually lighter in colour than sterling silver jewellery. For example if you hold two ring the same size and the same shape, sterling silver will be lighter.
What is the comparative value of sterling silver jewellery and silver plated jewellery?
Sterling silver jewellery is a far superior product with much higher value compared to silver plated jewellery. Due of it’s far higher pure silver content and durability, sterling silver jewellery holds it’s value over time. Sterling silver is a much better product, which is why sterling silver jewellery is more expensive than silver plated jewellery. Sterling silver can also be melted down, refined, and the silver content can be redeemed and up cycle to make a new jewellery.
Silver plated jewellery are more affordable in the first place, but they do not hold their value or retain their appearance at all well. This means that over time, silver plated jewellery will have very little or no resale value. Additionally, because the layer of silver in silver plating is very thin, reclaiming the silver through refining is barely worth the effort.