Because of its beauty and special shine, silver has fascinated people for thousands of years. It reflects over 99.5% of the light that hits it, making it the whitest and brightest of all metals. Like all precious metals, it is particularly durable and resistant and does not corrode in air or water.
Alloying optimizes the properties
However, although pure silver is easily malleable, similar to gold, it is also very soft and not very suitable as a precious metal for jewelry, coins or cutlery. In order to optimize its mechanical properties, especially its hardness, the very soft fine silver is usually alloyed ( fused ) with other metals. This creates silver alloys with different levels of purity but with a significantly higher degree of hardness. The most common alloys are 800, 835 and 925 silver. We only use 925 sterling silver with a purity of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. This very high-quality silver is one of the most beautiful jewelry metals, but also very demanding to work with. Gold, for example, is much easier to process.
The origin of the name lies in England
Only the 925 silver alloy bears the name sterling silver, which is derived from the British pound sterling. was sterling silver the metal of early English silver pennies in the 12th century, also called sterling. This name was in turn a contraction of the word Easterling, indicating the origin of these coins from mainland Europe (coming from the East). Today, the moniker Sterling is used only to distinguish the British currency from the currencies of other nations that also use the word pound. However, the term sterling silver has remained for this high-quality and beautiful 925 silver alloy.