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Sterling Silver v Silver Plated:

What's the difference?

From durability to colour, there are many differences between Sterling Silver & Silver Plated jewellery. Here's everything you need to know including why we only use 100% recycled Sterling Silver at Monica Vinader...

Sterling Silver Jewellery at Monica Vinader

Monica Vinader jewellery is crafted from sterling silver. In particular, we only use 100% recycled silver as it is better for the environment, and will outlast alternate silver options such as silver plating. Our contemporary silver designs are perfect for everyday wear, whether you're after a new pair of hoops, or elegant stacking rings - you'll look stunning in your new pieces. We use this same recycled silver as the base for our gold jewellery collection. Crafted from 18ct gold vermeil, there's no better way to wear it than to mix silver and gold jewellery together for modern style.

Step into the spotlight with gorgeous silver jewellery. Designed to bring elegance to every outfit, you won't want to be without sterling silver jewellery, from Monica Vinader.

Everything you need to know about Sterling Silver

Sterling silver jewellery differs from silver plated in what it is made of. Sterling silver is an alloy, made of 92.5% pure silver, and 7.5% other alloy. These other alloys tend to be copper or zinc. Due to the pure silver constitution, sterling silver is often known as 925 silver. Our 100% recycled sterling silver is more durable than silver-plated jewellery and is far less likely to chip, scratch or dull.

How to Tell Silver Plated and Sterling Silver Apart

If you're looking to tell silver plated vs sterling silver apart, there are a few simple ways. The easiest being to check for an authenticity stamp. Real sterling silver usually has a '925' or 'sterling' stamp, often on the inside of rings or on the fastening of necklaces. Other than this, pay close attention to the weight as you should be able to feel a difference between silver plated vs sterling silver, with the former being heavier. Finally, if you've been wearing a piece for a while and find it is irritating you, it is most likely plated rather than sterling silver. This is because the base metal on silver-plated jewellery is not silver, and is more likely to cause an allergic reaction.

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How to Clean Sterling Silver

When cleaning silver jewellery you want to be gentle, there are a few ways in which to clean silver:

  1. Take a mild soap in warm water
  2. Place your silver rings, bracelets, or necklaces in for a few minutes
  3. Taking the pieces out of the water, rub gentle with a soft cloth to remove any surface markings
  4. Rinse again in warm water
  5. Dry your silver before putting it back safely in your jewellery box

For less intensive cleaning, simply take a soft jewellery polishing cloth and gently rub away any dirt or debris. For pieces, such as earrings, that house beautiful gemstones it's best not to submerge them in water as it can loosen the gems causing them to fall out.

 

What is Silver Plated?

Silver plated refers to jewellery created by covering a base metal, such as copper or brass, in a very thin layer of sterling silver. The coating can be anywhere from 1 micron to 10 microns thick. This base metal can be more affordable than sterling silver or pure silver, which in turn can lead to a more affordable piece of silver jewellery.

This method of coating a base material with a valuable metal is also seen in gold plated and gold vermeil. Both of which use different plating techniques to coat base metals with gold.

Is Silver Plated Real Silver?

As silver plated jewellery consists of two parts, it does contain real silver, despite not being 100% so. In this way plated silver is real, but only its coating and not its core.

How Long Does Silver Plated Jewellery Last?

As silver plated jewellery only has a thin layer of silver bonded to its surface, it can be scratched or tarnished easily. However, with proper care and jewellery cleaning, you could see silver plated pieces last for a long time. A key difference between silver plated vs sterling silver is that tarnishes can be easily cleaned out of sterling silver, but not so easily with silver plated.

When comparing silver plated vs sterling silver, there are many differences between the two...

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Sterling Silver is pure metal, containing 92.5% pure silver. Whereas Silver Plated jewellery has a coating of silver plate over a metal such as copper or nickel.
Silver plated vs sterling silver can have a significant difference for those with allergies. As the plated version often contains nickel, it can irritate the skin more than sterling silver. Choose hypoallergenic sterling silver for irritation free wear!
There are commonly subtle differences in colour between silver plated vs sterling silver. Plated often has a lighter tone than sterling silver.
As sterling silver is crafted from a metal alloy, rather than a coating, it is often more durable than its plated counterpart. In the comparison of silver plated vs sterling silver, sterling silver is more durable as the coating of plated silver can wear off with improper care.
Sterling Silver pieces tend to be lighter vs silver plated, as the base metal weighs plated pieces down.

Monica Vinader's Wearable Jewellery

We craft beautiful jewellery from sustainable metals, vibrant gemstones, and diamonds. Our collection contains stunning engraved gifts, layering necklaces, and pearl jewellery.

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