Pure silver, or 99.9% silver is never used in jewelry, because, like gold, silver itself is very maleable. A purely silver piece of jewelry would bend and deform rapidly when subjected to every day actions. A silver alloy is thus needed to create jewelry that can resist a lifetime.
In most cases, the alloy used is composed of 92.5% of silver, and 7.5% of another, non-precious metal, usually copper.
This alloy has numerous names including Sterling silver, Premier Titre silver, and simply 925 silver.
On Poemana, we use the "Sterling silver" denomination, as it is the most commonly known.
Every piece of Sterling silver jewelry large enough to accomodate it is stamped with a "925".
For example, this ring with a Tahitian pearl presents itself with a "925" stamp inside the ring, to the left, proving that it is indeed Sterling silver.
Silver is a metal prone to oxydation, and with time, silverware without a protective coating will tarnish.
Jewellers protect the jewelry from oxydation using a very thin rhodium plating.
Rhodium is a very rare metal, in the same family as platinum. A 5 to 10 micron layer is deposited using a chemical reaction all over the silver.
This layer protects the piece of jewelry for years before starting to erode. However, a lot of jewellers can add another layer, when the silver starts tarnishing. The process is quick and inexpensive, costing around 20€
Sterling silver has the distinctive silver shine we all know. It is the traditionnal aspect of silver, with its vibrance, and with proper treatment, resistance that makes silver jewelry so universally appealing, and easy to combine with Tahitian pearls, like on this pendant.