What’s the Difference between Fine Silver and Sterling Silver?

Silver is a popular precious metal used for making jewellery. From elegant designer rings to funky costume jewellery, silver is admired for its beauty. But, not many buyers are aware that there are two types of silver available in the market, fine silver and sterling silver.

Fine silver and sterling silver are often used interchangeably, but they differ in several areas. If you’re planning to buy or sell silver jewellery or any other item made of silver, then it’s important to understand the difference between these two varieties. Here are some key differences for your help.

What is Fine Silver?

Fine silver is considered as the purest form of silver. It has a millesimal fineness of 999, i.e., it contains 99.9% silver. The remaining part of fine silver is trace amounts of impurities. It has a density of 10.49 g/cc which is higher than sterling silver. Fine silver is mainly used for investment or trade on metal and commodities exchange such as bullion and bullion coins. It is stamped with a hallmark to certify its purity and fineness.

Generally, fine silver is not used for commercial, industrial and jewellery use because it’s too soft to be transformed into something complex such as a piece of jewellery. Since this metal is so easy-to-mould, jewellery made of fine silver is more prone to bending or breaking and can be easily scratched or dented. It has a purity of 99.9%; therefore, it leaves only 0.1% space to combine it some other metal to make it harder.

What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver is an alloy formed by combining pure silver with copper. It has a millesimal fineness of 925 which means it has 92.5% of pure silver and 7.5% of copper or any other metal such as zinc or nickel. It has a density of 10.37 g/cc, which is lower than fine silver, but it is more durable and less soft than pure silver.

Due to its durability and strength, sterling silver is used for making jewellery and other decorative pieces. The jewellery pieces you wear are made of sterling silver because it gives them strength to last longer without getting scratched. You can differentiate between sterling silver and fine silver by the colour. Sterling silver is not white in colour but it has a silvery lustre whereas fine silver is white in colour. Sometimes, jewellery items made of sterling silver are plated with fine silver to give it a shiny appearance.

Both varieties of silver vary in appearance, purity, use and strength. These differences between sterling silver and fine silver are helpful for buyers and sellers in understanding which silver is for investment and which one is for jewellery making. Be it a pure silver piece or sterling silver jewellery; if you’re planning to sell anything made of silver, then trust Oren is Better. We are one of the most reliable jewellery buyers in Toronto, to get the right amount for your silver.