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Silver is another precious metal widely used in jewelry manufacturing. It is not as expensive as gold, which makes jewelry made of it more affordable. Here is some information you may want to know about silver if you are about to buy a silver piece.

What is sterling silver?

Since pure silver is too soft for jewelry, sterling silver is the most common alloy used for this purpose. It is a mixture of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Instead of copper any other metal could be used in sterling silver production, but copper proved to be the best option to increase durability and hardness of the alloy. Sterling silver is usually marked with the words “sterling”, “sterling silver”, “ster” or with numbers “925”.

What is oxidized silver?

Silver could be oxidized to create a smoky look instead of a usual shiny one. The color of oxidized silver varies from light gray to black and often this technique is used to add an antique feel to the piece of jewelry. Please be aware that you cannot clean an oxidized sterling silver the same way you clean a non oxidized silver piece, as the dark coating could be lost.

What is vermeil?

Vermeil is a gold plated sterling silver. To be able to call a piece vermeil a manufacturer must ensure that the gold used in plating is at least 10 Karat and the thickness of the gold layer is at least 2.5 microns which is 9.84251969 × 10-5 inches. For our vermeil pieces OPENJART is using 18K yellow gold.

As gold is softer than silver, the gold plated pieces of jewelry could be scratched as easily as the gold ones and therefore could not be polished the same way as sterling silver creations.

How do I take care of my silver jewelry?

In order to keep your silver jewelry in fine condition, please store it in zip bags in the dark place to avoid exposure to light and air which cause silver to tarnish. A mild soap and water solution as well as a special commercial silver jewelry cleaner could be used for cleaning and a piece of felt or special polishing cloth is suitable for polishing. Do not use paper tissues or towels as they may scratch your piece. To clean an oxidized silver jewelry only warm water mixed with soft soap should be used as hot water can damage oxidation.