Silver Jewelry Styles and Care
Silver jewelry comes in a wide range of styles, from chunky artist-crafted pieces to delicate chains and filigree. Appreciating and caring for silver jewelry is easy with background information and a few helpful tips about this precious metal.
Practical Information About Sterling Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver, also called 925 silver, is a valuable and practical choice for jewelry. It's actually an alloy, or combination, of different metals. This makes sterling silver different from pure silver. It's more durable, which is why many jewelers choose it for their work.
- Sterling silver looks like pure silver: Even though it has other metals in it, the color of sterling silver is still silver.
- Jewelers use special marks on sterling silver: Sterling silver features jewelry markings to identify it, including "925," "sterling," "sterling silver," and "925/1000."
- Sterling is a valuable material: Because sterling silver is mostly made up of silver, it's a precious material for jewelry. Sterling jewelry costs less than gold or platinum, but it can be very valuable.
- Sterling silver comes in many styles: You'll find sterling silver jewelry in everything from modern pieces to antique lockets and everything in between.
Silver Jewelry Types and Styles
Whether you already own some beautiful sterling pieces or are shopping for some new silver items, it's important to understand the wide range of styles. Silver is such a versatile jewelry material that you'll see it in many different pieces.
Silver Lockets and Pendants
Silver is a popular material for lockets and pendants because it's more affordable than gold or platinum but still very special and valuable. It's also strong enough to handle some abuse, which is important when choosing a piece that gets regular wear or handling.
- Many antique lockets are silver: If you love antique jewelry, you'll be pleased to learn that many antique Victorian lockets are silver. These designs can be very ornate and lovely, and they make wonderful heirlooms.
- Silver cross pendants are classic: Whether you like ornate styles with engraving or small, understated designs, silver cross pendants can be meaningful gifts and lifelong treasures.
- Silver pendants can be set with gems: Many artisan-crafted pieces are silver, as are those in jewelry stores. Often, you'll see silver pendants set with semi-precious gems like amethyst, topaz, and more.
Silver Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings, and Rings
Almost every type of jewelry comes in silver. In fact, as one of the primary precious metals for jewelers and one of the most durable materials, it's a top choice for jewelry that gets a lot of use.
- Silver rings hold up to daily wear: Sterling silver rings can last many lifetimes, even when worn daily. With regular wear, silver rings may not even need to be polished.
- Silver necklaces are versatile: You'll find silver necklaces in sun shapes, simple chains, beaded styles, and statement pieces. All of these are great for regular wear.
- Sterling silver earrings are popular: Silver earrings come in all kinds of styles, since they are popular and hypoallergenic. You'll see simple studs, long silver earrings, and tag designs.
- Silver bracelets are great for everyday: From bangles to hinged cuff bracelets and chain designs, there are lots of silver bracelet styles that are suitable for daily wear or special occasions.
Unisex and Masculine Silver Jewelry
Silver jewelry doesn't have to be feminine. There are many unisex styles and silver jewelry pieces designed for people who identify as male. Many of these are chunky and feature simpler designs.
- Silver rings can be substantial: Silver rings don't have to be delicate. Some masculine sterling silver rings are large and make a strong visual impact.
- Silver chains can add subtle sparkle: A silver chain can be the perfect, understated addition to any outfit or an everyday piece that becomes part of your signature style.
- Special charms work well in silver: For a meaningful gift or a way to celebrate an important event, you can give a silver charm to someone special.
Tips for Caring for Silver Jewelry
Silver jewelry can last a lifetime (and even longer) if you care for it properly. These tips can help you keep your silver beautiful:
- Recognize signs of tarnish: This is a normal part of owning silver jewelry, but it can make your pieces look less attractive. You can recognize tarnish on your silver jewelry because it becomes darker and duller.
- Minimize exposure to the air: Silver is vulnerable to tarnishing when it is exposed to the air, so keeping silver pieces in closed jewelry boxes can help reduce the formation of tarnish.
- Gentle cleaning is key: Skip the harsh abrasives and use gentle soap and soft cloths to regularly clean silver jewelry properly.
- Polish silver with gentle products: If your jewelry begins to look tarnished, polish sterling silver with gentle products designed for jewelry. Avoid harsh scrubs and chemical dips.
A Classic Choice
With proper care, all of your silver pieces can last for multiple lifetimes. This is a durable jewelry material that never goes out of style. Silver is a classic choice, and you'll find these are jewelry pieces you'll enjoy wearing for many years to come.