The difference between 925 Sterling Silver and Silver Plated Jewellery

The difference between 925 Sterling Silver and Silver Plated Jewellery

The jewellery industry has come a long way since the days of costume jewellery turning our skin green, in this blog I am going to walk you through the differences in 925 Silver- and Silver-plated jewellery, ultimately the choice is always yours but hopefully we can beat those common misconceptions about Silver Plated Jewellery!

Let’s start with 925 Sterling Silver

925 sterling silver and silver plated might look similar, but they behave differently…

Ok so what does the 925 Silver mean? This just means the piece of jewellery in question is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% metal alloy. Ok so now you’re going to ask what alloy is, way ahead of you! when a piece of jewellery is described as alloy this typically means it is a solid solution of a variety of metal elements. It is very difficult to mould pure silver as it is quite soft, therefor to mix it with another metal makes it stronger and more versatile.

Just because an item of jewellery is 925 Sterling Silver, this doesn’t mean its exempt from tarnishing I’m afraid… 925 Sterling Silver can begin to tarnish when the 7.5% of metal alloy in the jewellery reacts to the ozone and hydrogen sulphide in the air resulting in the silver tarnishing.

All 925 Silver is likely to tarnish overtime unless kept in airtight containers which isn’t much fun when you want to actually wear it! So, to contradict my last comment there, if you where your 925 silver jewellery very frequently believe it or not the oil in your skin works as cleanser and you will find it will tarnish in a lot less time the more you wear your jewellery, than the pieces that have been left on your dressing table for weeks on end! You can also try anti tarnish tabs which can be found on sales platforms such as Etsy & Amazon at great prices and we have used them here at Letterbox Love, they work a treat!

Silver Plated Jewellery

We LOVE costume jewellery and silver-plated jewellery is equally as bright and sparkly as 925 sterling silver and costs a lot less but like all costume jewellery, it is inevitable that they may tarnish over time but from experience and a personal opinion, silver plated jewellery doesn’t tarnish as quickly as 925 sterling silver.

Will it turn my skin green?

The base metal in Silver Plated jewellery is usually copper or brass. Silver plated means that the metal underneath is some other metal (could be brass, copper or similar) with a very thin layer of silver on top of it. Our best-selling silver-plated bracelets typically with a base metal of copper have the thin layer of silver over the top to prevent early tarnishing, to look pretty and of course to prevent your skin turning an unpleasant shade of Shrek!

To get the best longevity out of your beautiful silver plated jewellery take a look at our 'Jewellery Care Page' at

The choice between 925 sterling silver and silver plated is entirely dependent on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and budget.