Sterling silver, silver plated, gold plated? What is the difference?

Stering silver earrings, silver jewelry, gold earrings, 925, silver plated, gold plated, stainless steel... you see all these terms on the internet. Do you know the difference between these materials and their quality? Then read on.

Real silver jewelry: sterling silver or 925

At Jewels with Flair we use sterling silver, gold-plated sterling silver and gold-filled parts for our handmade jewelry. All sustainable materials used for the handmade jewelry of Jewels with Flair. However, you will find many more terms online: silver plated / gold plated, stainless steel... Do you still understand? On this page I explain all terms.

If you are looking for a unique piece of silver jewelry , you will often come across the designation Sterling silver or silver 925. 925 means that the silver consists of 92.5% silver, to which 7.5% copper has been added.

Pure silver (999) is too soft to use in jewelry. The name Sterling applies to all 925 jewelry and originally comes from England.

Gold plated sterling silver jewelry and gold filled jewelry

If you prefer to wear real gold, you will also find gold-colored jewelry made in gold-plated sterling and gold-filled parts in the shop.

Gold-plated sterling silver jewelry is gold-colored jewelry with a layer of real gold of at least 18 to 24 carat gold on sterling silver. This layer is not so thick in every store. If you buy a gold-plated piece of jewelry, always pay attention to these specifications. I really choose to use a good quality plating with extra coating to protect the gold color. With this quality gold plated jewelry you will enjoy your jewelry for years to come.

Besides gold plated I also use a lot of 'gold filled' parts for my handmade jewelry. At Jewels with Flair, gold-filled wire, open earring hooks and charms are used in the designs. Gold filled consists of two or three layers with jeweler's brass or copper as the base material. On top of that is a high-quality layer of at least 12 carat gold. This makes Gold filled a high-quality product that will last a 'lifelong' with normal use.

In addition, gold-plated sterling silver / gold-filled is a lot nicer for your wallet than real gold and looks the same as real gold .

Stainless steel jewelry

jewelry that we do not have in the range are jewelry made of stainless steel - stainless steel.

Stainless steel has a number of advantages. Stainless steel hardly discolours due to the pH value of your skin. Be careful with chlorine and make sure that your jewelry does not come into frequent contact with water. Stainless steel doesn't do that well. In addition, it is also super hypo-allergenic: most people do not get an allergic reaction.

Gold-colored stainless steel jewelry resembles gold-plated or gold jewelry in terms of appearance. The silver variant has a vintage look , also called antique silver.

Despite the advantages of stainless steel, I no longer sell stainless steel jewelry because the color of gold-colored stainless steel just does not have that beautiful color of real gold and the silver-colored stainless steel cannot approach the beautiful shine of sterling silver.

Gold plated and silver plated jewellery

Gold-plated or silver-plated means that a metal has a thin layer of gold or silver. This means that the material is also much more affordable than the sterling silver or the gold sterling silver variety.

Depending on your pH value, this layer can remain beautiful for a long time or, if you're unlucky, discolor quickly.

In the shop I do not sell silver-plated & gold-plated metal jewelry because I prefer a durable piece of jewelry that you will enjoy for a long time.

Does gold-plated or silver-plated also have disadvantages?

If you polish these materials too often, there is a good chance that the layer of gold or silver will be polished away. In addition, you also have to be a bit lucky with your pH value. The lower your pH value, the faster the jewelry will discolor.

On the other hand, these jewelry are much more affordable.

Handy fact: sterling silver oxidizes!

Sterling silver jewelry will oxidize. This means that the silver turns black. Fortunately, you can always polish this nicely with a silver polishing cloth.

Jewelry does not like moisture. So don't store your handmade silver jewelery on a rack in the bathroom, as this will speed up the aging process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sterling Silver Jewelry

Allergic reaction

If I would like to buy jewelry and I am familiar with allergic reactions on the skin, which one is best for me to purchase. Sterling silver or silver plated jewelry?

Then I definitely recommend real silver jewelry (sterling silver). Under the silver-plated drawer of a silver-plated piece of jewelry is a type of metal that you cannot stand.

All my jewelry is hypoallergenic and nickel free. If you want to test whether your sterling silver jewelry does not cause an allergic reaction, you can always buy a separate pair of ear hooks to see if you do not get an allergic reaction.

What does 925 stand for in jewelry?

925 stands for sterling silver. This means that the handmade piece of jewelry consists of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of another metal. A piece of jewelry can never consist of 100% pure silver because pure silver is too soft to process in handmade silver jewelry.

What is the difference between gold filled and gold plated sterling silver (gold plated)?

Gold filled consists of two or three layers with jeweler's brass or copper as the base material. On top of that is a high-quality layer of at least 12 carat gold. This makes Gold filled a high-quality product that will last a 'lifelong' with normal use.

Gold plated sterling silver (also called gold plated) is a layer of gold on real silver. Many different qualities can be found in this. At Jewels with Flair you will find a sustainable variant with a plating of 18 to 24 carat gold. On top of that is a coating for extra long wearing pleasure.