How-To: Read Stamps For Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is the most common alloy mix found in jewelry. It must be at least 92.5% pure silver, but the other 7.5% can be any metal. Hence, that is why sterling silver jewelry is always stamped; which is used to indicate the percentage of silver it contains.

Usually, this appears as 925, .925, 0.925 or 92.5. In the U.S., anything less than 92.5% is not considered sterling silver. To make the silver jewelry we're accustomed to, silversmiths mix other metals into it; the most common being copper and zinc. These metals are added to 92.5% fine silver to make .925 sterling silver. This grade of silver is durable, stands up to normal, everyday dings, and is up to jewelry-making quality. The 92.5% silver content is what gives sterling .925 silver its name.

So, basically, you will know that your sterling silver is real sterling silver by how it is stamped or advertised with: 925, .925, 0.925 or 92.5. It could also say sterling, sterling silver, ster, or ss or S925. For example, our jewelry is stamped with S925. 

Sterling Silver Stamp on PMJ

You can also tell when your sterling silver jewelry is not real. The general threshold of 92.5% is becoming a worldwide standard, but since official standards still differ in various countries, it's possible for some jewelry to be marketed as sterling silver while being below that percentage. Not real sterling silver could also be marked with EP, EPNS, Silver Plated, Silver on Copper, or Layered in Precious Sterling Silver. 

You could also consider the price of a piece of jewelry since that is pretty much a dead giveaway. Real sterling silver doesn't come cheap. You get what you pay for - steer clear of cheap, knock-off jewelry and buy from a reliable retailer at a price that makes sense.

Follow these guidelines, and you won't be fooled into buying anything less than .925 sterling silver. Now that you know what you're looking for, you're ready to go shopping. Check out our real sterling silver jewelry collection!

Leave a comment (all fields required)

Comments will be approved before showing up.