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What is Sterling Silver?

What is Sterling Silver - Royal Bull - Feature

Sterling silver has more value than what your great-auntie told you. It’s worth almost as much as fine silver, and the pile of sterling silver hidden away in your relative’s dining room buffet hutch could be worth significant sums. 

Silver is a metallic grey chemical element (the symbol “Ag”) that has been used in many cultures around the world, often used as a material to trade with. Fine silver products sold by Royal Bull are 99.9% pure silver and are quite soft.

To make silver stronger, an alloy is added. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% alloy (usually copper, but also can be nickel or zinc). This is why sterling silver is often called “925 silver”. The addition of copper gives sterling silver its durability, allowing it to be used for practical purposes, such as jewellery, cutlery, coins and more. 

Unfortunately, sterling silver isn’t perfect. In common scenarios, the copper will cause the silver to tarnish as it reacts to salt in the air. That’s why when sterling silver is left unpolished, a dark and dirty film will appear over it, which you may need to use polish on to rub away.

To confirm if your item is made with sterling silver, look for the words “sterling silver”, the letters “ss”, or a stamp indicating its silver purity: “0.925”, “92.5” or “925”.

Now, the Big Question: “Is My Sterling Silver Worth Anything?”

The answer of course is a resounding “YES!” Being 92.5% silver, its weight is worth 92.5% of the current silver spot price. To determine your particular piece’s value, simply multiply the spot price of silver by the weight of your item. Then multiply it again by 0.925 (the percentage of pure silver in the item). There you have it – today’s value of sterling silver. 

Thank you for learning more about sterling silver. If you have any questions about buying or selling your precious metals or sterling silver products here in Canada, reach out to Royal Bull.