Jewelry shoppers love sterling silver for various reasons. It’s hypoallergenic (fit for people with sensitive skins), incredibly durable, and cost-effective. Jewelry designers usually cannot experiment with expensive materials like gold or super-sensitive materials like pure silver. That’s why they turn to sterling silver whenever they need to up with the latest jewelry design trends. Many people have built outstanding jewelry collections, taking advantage of the fact that sterling silver jewelry is so cost-effective. These shoppers are bound to be aware of the “925” mark. This mark always appears on authentic sterling silver jewelry and sometimes even on gold jewelry. What does “925” mean? Let’s explore this classic jewelry hallmark.
925 in Sterling Silver
The “925” stamps in sterling silver jewelry pieces refer to their quality. It essentially denotes that 92.5% of that piece of jewelry is made of pure silver (Ag). The remaining 7.5% is made of different metals or alloys. Copper and zinc are the two most commonly present materials in this “7.5%,” but sometimes nickel may also be used. As stated above, pure silver is highly sensitive and prone to breaking and bending. Pure silver jewelry isn’t fit for daily use. This combination of pure silver (92.5% hence the hallmark 925) and copper or zinc alloys gives sterling silver jewelry immense durability. Sterling silver is far more user-friendly than pure silver.
925 in gold
Seeing the 925 jewelry stamp in high-quality sterling silver jewelry is common. But, what’s that mark doing on gold jewelry? Gold buyers and sellers use this hallmark to denote the authenticity and composition of the material. 925 gold isn’t real solid gold. It’s sterling silver plated with gold. So, jewelry shoppers on the market on the lookout for pure gold should probably avoid gold jewelry with the “925” stamp. The correct term of “925 gold” (silver plated with gold) is “gold vermeil.” For the trained eye, gold vermeil is easily recognizable. In the U.S., a piece of jewelry can only be qualified as gold vermeil if the gold plating is at least ten karats. Simply put, gold vermeil jewelry is only considered authentic in the U.S. if it is made of 42% gold (or more).
Don’t Use the 925 Hallmark for Gold Shopping
If you’re shopping for sterling silver, you should definitely look for the “925” hallmark. But, 925 isn’t a legitimate hallmark for denoting gold purity. The system of rating purity of gold jewelry is called “karatage.” Shoppers must look for gold karat markings to know about the purity of their gold jewelry items.