What is sterling silver?

Silver and sterling silver are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they do not always mean the same thing. Silver, which is usually called fine silver or pure silver, consists of 99.9% purity. On the other hand, sterling silver consists of approximately 92.5% silver, and the remaining 7.5% (or even more) is of other metals.

Pure silver cannot be used to make those daily rough silverware or jewelries since its too soft to be made or shaped into such items. Therefore, we add other metals like copper, brass, or nickel as mixing materials (about 7.5 to 8%) so that the jewelry we made can stay in their shapes. But since we found a lot of case where people are allergic to nickel, we never used it as mixing material anymore. This combination between silver and other allow is called "Sterling Silver"