lorenzo_citrine_ringSterling Silver jewelry has been around for quite a while. It dates as far back as to the time of primitive man, and was named several different names before the word "Sterling" was created during the 12th century.

During this time, the Germans used "Easterlings" (later shortened to "Sterling") as a payment for English cattle. Eventually, the Easterling became the Standard English currency.

Sterling Silver had its "time to shine," during the Victorian Era. The Victorian Era is known for its lavish affairs including affairs that involved eating. During this time it was frowned upon for food to be touched without an eating utensil. Eating utensils were made of sterling silver, and dpse0059this is where we get the term "Silverware" that we use today.

Pure silver, which is also known as fine silver, is a malleable and very soft metal. Fine silver can become damaged very easily, so it is usually combined with other metals to become more durable. All Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver mixed with 7.5 % alloy (usually copper) metal to give it more strength.

All Sterling silver tarnishes, and can tarnish more quickly when exposed to sulfur and certain other chemicals in the air. Sterling silver jewelry is unlikely to tarnish when it is worn because it is constantly rubbing against skin or clothing.

signatureSome manufactures will plate sterling silver jewelry with a hard, bright metal called rhodium. A rhodium plated chain will not tarnish. It will have a bright silver color at all times. However, most people prefer not to purchase a rhodium plated chain because it does not have the natural, dull patina finish that is common to pure sterling silver.

If a sterling silver chain is stored in a sealed plastic bag with an anti-tarnish strip in the bag, it generally will not tarnish.

rsoam03531Tarnish can be removed from a piece of sterling silver jewelry by dipping it in a tarnish removal liquid for a few seconds then rinsed. It can also be removed by rubbing it with a specially treated silver polish cloth.

Usually when people think of sterling silver jewelry, they think of something plain and silver in color. However, as you can see that is far from the norm!