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Silver - Wedding Rings Buyer's Guide

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What is Sterling silver?

Sterling silver is an alloy which is made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals, usually copper. You may have heard of it referred to as 925 silver. Fine or pure silver, ( at least 99.9% pure silver), is relatively soft. Due to this, silver is usually alloyed with copper. This increases its hardness and strength.

Silver has antibacterial properties and is also the most conductive metal element. It is often in nature in its pure state, or as a natural alloy with gold, lead, and zinc.

Used throughout history for tableware, jewellery, ornaments, silver has had an integral role in many cultures. It is also used in electronics, mirrors and even stained glass.

Silver and 9 karat gold sand cast engagement ring
Silver and 9 karat gold sand cast engagement ring.

Why Choose Sterling Silver for Your Wedding Band?

Sterling silver wedding rings are a great option for those without a big budget who still want to buy precious metal for their wedding bands. Silver has a beautiful shiny lustre which compliments every skin tone. The metal is relatively soft, light and comfortable to wear. Due to its malleability it is highly unlikely to crack. Due to this, it is ideal for things like hammered ring designs.

hammered sterling silver wedding rings
Sterling silver wedding band with hammered finish.

Silver Oxidisation and Tarnish

Sterling silver is an alloy made with silver and copper. This creates the perfect material to make long wearing jewellery. The drawback to the use of copper in the alloy is that it can cause the silver to oxidise when in contact with water or oxygen. This is characterised by a blue hue which covers the surface of the silver and the skin around it.

Even pure silver will tarnish however, as silver reacts with atmospheric pollution resulting in a blackening of the metal over time.

Some people cause silver to oxidise more quickly than others due to the pH level of their skin, or their daily activities. This is completely normal so do not be alarmed if this happens to your jewellery! It is not indicative of a fault in the piece of jewellery. As long as your sterling silver wedding rings are hallmarked by the British Assay Office, you can be certain they are made from fine sterling silver.

This oxidisation or tarnishing is easily removable with a silver cloth, or a silver polish such as Silvo. We would highly recommend purchasing some silver cloths and Silvo when you purchase your sterling silver wedding rings. Regular cleaning will keep the jewellery looking beautiful and prevent any blue staining to your skin.

Laser engraved sterling silver wedding rings
Sometimes the oxidisation of silver is a desirable quality! It can be used purposefully to enhance a design, like this laser engraved ring.

Caring for Your Sterling Silver Wedding Rings

It is not recommended that you subject your silver to prolonged periods underwater. Please ensure you remove your jewellery when washing your hands, doing the dishes, and swimming.

Be aware that sterling silver is a soft material, so daily wear will result in scratches and dents. This is inevitable with any precious metal worn on the hand, but worth bearing in mind. Wedding rings develop a nice patina overtime which shows the history of wear which we think is rather romantic. If you prefer your ring to remain shiny and perfected you can send it back to the jeweller who made it for regular polishes. Be aware that some scratches may be too deep to polish out.