silver Jewelry Buying Guide

Beautiful. Feminine. Original. Just Like You.

This is what makes silver jewelry so alluring – it’s classy, easy to maintain, and affordable. If you’re in the market for quality silver jewelry, there are a few basics you should know that will guide you into buying a simply perfect and enduring item.

Spot the Markings

Quality silver jewelry is clearly marked with an industry stamp or engraving. Learn what the markings mean, and what it means when no markings are present.

  • Fine Silver Fine silver is what is known as pure silver — meaning that it’s 99.9% pure. Look for a 999 stamp if the piece is big enough, or ask the jeweler for the purity rating. Tip: Fine silver withstands tarnishing better than sterling silver, but it can be more likely to scratch easily.
  • Sterling Silver Sterling is regarded as the standard choice for quality silver jewelry, providing a jewelry piece that combines durability with a brilliant shine. In the U.S. sterling silver is required to be at least 92.5% silver. Tip: Always look for the 925 stamp or inscription on the jewelry. If you don’t see it, ask for documentation.
  • Silver Plate Most commonly found in silver costume jewelry, silver plated jewelry is made with a very thin covering of silver over an economic base metal (such as copper or nickel). Silver plating doesn’t come with a quality stamp, and it will tarnish and degrade over time with consistent wear. Tip: Even when buying costume jewelry, proper upkeep will extend the life of your jewelry piece. Clean silver plated jewelry frequently to delay tarnishing.
  • Nickel Silver Calling this silver is misleading; nickel silver doesn’t actually have any silver in it. It’s nickel combined with copper or zinc, which looks like silver. Don’t be fooled by this imposter if you’re looking for real silver jewelry. Nickel silver is also known as German silver or alpaca silver. Tip: If you are shopping for silver jewelry and you come across an item labeled “nickel,” run away.

Silver jewelry is arguably the most popular and preferred jewelry metal, and the sheer volume of silver jewelry available reflects the demand. Now that you’ve mastered the basics, you’re armed with the right information to shop confidently for that silver ring, silver necklace, or silver bracelet.

Finding the Perfect PieceHow to buy the perfect silver jewelry for any occasion

Knowing how to look for genuine sterling silver jewelry is just the first step in discovering beautiful silver necklaces, rings, and bracelets for yourself or that special someone. Here’s a helpful process for navigating the jewelry cases and online options to find silver jewelry that’s beautiful, feminine, and original – just like you!

  • Budget Ounce for ounce, sterling silver is more affordable than gold or other precious metals. Determine a budget that you can afford up front so you can begin your hunt with an appropriate target in mind. This will save time by helping you avoid jewelry that’s out of your price range.
  • Use Deciding what you expect from your jewelry will go a long way in helping you make the appropriate purchasing decision. If you’re looking for the perfect silver piece to commemorate that special occasion, you’ll likely want to buy fine silver jewelry. If you’re looking for jewelry that you can wear for those nights on the town as well as around the workplace, you’ll want to focus your search on sterling silver jewelry.
  • Personality When shopping for silver, consider its unique ability to match and blend well with other metals and colors a woman typically wears. Sterling silver jewelry blends well with platinum metals and white gold jewelry. Silver jewelry items can be found to match almost any style – from large and bold silver bracelets to small and understated silver earrings and delicate necklaces.

Skip the jewelry store and buy onlineWhy Jewel Exclusive is your one stop for silver jewelry.

You can do anything online today: watch your favorite shows, buy shoes, and talk with friends and family even if they’re thousands of miles away. So why should buying jewelry be any different? With detailed photos, IGI certification, free shipping and a hassle-free return policy, there’s no need to pay inflated retail prices. Quality jewelry at a great price is just a click away!

  • Guilt-Free Shopping! We want you to be delighted with your purchase. That’s why every piece of silver jewelry that enters our facility goes through a quality check before it goes on the site. We offer free shipping and free returns within 30 days (we’ll pay the return shipping, too).
  • Sparkling Jewelry You’ll Love! We pride ourselves on delivering the same exceptional jewelry that you’ll find at your favorite department stores, without the hefty price tags. We carry all the latest trends that you love, as well as classic designs!
  • Quality Sterling Silver Jewelry—Guaranteed! The 925 stamp tells you it's 92.5% pure sterling silver. Just like top retailers, we carry only sterling silver, the shiniest, most durable type of silver available on the market. Don’t settle for anything less.
  • Captivating Deals! Everyday, our jewelry is priced significantly lower than national department stores. During our weekly flash sales, Jewel Exclusive members enjoy access to even deeper discounts on already stunningly priced jewelry!

Making the most of your jewelry

Keeping your sterling silver shining for years to come

After a lot of searching, you’ve purchased the perfect piece of silver jewelry.
So how do you keep it shiny and tarnish-free?

Follow these tips to keep it looking like the day you bought it.

  • Store clean, dry silver jewelry in an airtight container or bag. Use an anti-tarnish strip for extra protection.
  • Keep silver dry and away from water and steam.
  • After taking off silver jewelry, clean it with a dry soft cloth before putting it back into an airtight container.
  • If you notice tarnish on your silver, use a silver polishing cloth to restore its shine.
  • If the polishing cloth doesn’t work, wash your jewelry (without gemstones or pearls) in warm water with a few drops of mild dish washing liquid. Dunk the sterling silver in the water and gently hand wash. Use a cotton swab or a small toothbrush for tight corners.
  • If your jewelry has gemstones or pearls, don’t submerge the entire piece in the water. Instead, use a cotton swab with mild dish washing liquid to wash only the silver. Make sure your silver’s dry when you’re done.

For even greater buying confidence

get to know the major silver jewelry industry terms

It’s easy to be intimidated by industry jargon while you’re out shopping. We defined some common industry terms for you below to bring you up to speed.
Alloy:
A combination of two or more metals usually formulated to provide or increase desired properties.
Alpaca Silver:
The same as nickel silver. No silver content. Typically, Alpaca silver refers to nickel silver from Mexico or South America
Base Metals:
Non-precious metals such as copper, zinc, nickel, etc.
Casting:
The method of duplicating an object by pouring metal into a hollow mold formed by the original object.
Coin Silver:
An alloy of 90% fine silver and 10% copper.
Electroplating:
In the jewelry industry, the use of electricity to deposit a thin layer of precious metal on the base metal of a jewelry item.
Fine Silver:
Silver that is 99.9% pure or higher.
German Silver:
Another name for nickel silver. A composition of nickel, copper and zinc, it contains no silver.
Handmade:
A term that can be applied only to jewelry objects made entirely by hand, without the use of machine tools.
Hand Wrought:
This term indicates that the jewelry article was made partly by machine and partly by hand.
Nickel Silver:
A composition of nickel, copper and zinc. It contains no silver. Also known as German Silver.
Silver Filled or Silver Overlay:
A layer of sterling silver bonded by heat and pressure to a layer of composition metal, usually #752 nickel.
Silver Plated Ware:
Made by electroplating fine silver on a base metal.
Sterling Silver:
Must be 925/1000 (92.5%) fine silver and 75/1000 (7.5%) copper. This proportion is fixed by law.
Sterling Silver Overlay:
The top layer - or 20% of the thickness of the metal - is Sterling Silver. This layer is typically used for engraving silver jewelry. 80% of the silver is nickel silver, which provides strength to the overall jewelry piece.
Troy Ounce:
From the troy system of weight used for measuring precious metals, based on a pound of 12 ounces and an ounce of 20 pennyweights or 480 grains. Precious metals are measured in troy ounces worldwide.

What are you waiting for?Start shopping for beautiful silver jewelry pieces today!

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