All about Sterling Silver


Why is Sterling Silver so Cheap?

Sterling silver is often perceived as cheap, primarily because it's cheaper than gold, platinum, and other precious metals. But why is this so? To begin with, the abundance of silver plays a significant role. The earth crust contains more silver than gold or platinum, making it more available and therefore more affordable [1].

Secondly, sterling silver is not pure silver but an alloy, usually made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals (often copper). This combination was devised to make silver more durable, but the addition of a less expensive metal also reduces the overall cost [2].

What is better Silver or Sterling Silver?

When comparing pure silver to sterling silver, the answer largely depends on the intended use. Pure silver, also known as fine silver, is softer and more malleable than sterling silver, making it less suitable for items that endure wear and tear, such as jewelry or silverware.

On the other hand, sterling silver, with its addition of more robust metals, is more durable and hence preferred for everyday use items. However, due to the presence of other metals, especially copper, sterling silver is more prone to tarnishing than pure silver [3].

Therefore, if durability and longevity are your primary considerations, sterling silver is a better choice. But if purity of the metal and tarnish resistance is your priority, then pure silver would be the better option.


  1. Jefferson, L. (2020). Why is Silver Cheaper than Gold? [Blog post]. BullionByPost.
  2. Benyus, J.M. (2002). Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. Harper Perennial.
  3. Wapner, K., & Tremblay, G. (2008). The Handy Science Answer Book. Visible Ink Press
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