Humans have long been entranced by sparkling Silver: as jewellery, coinage, high status home wares and status symbols ... and much more besides. Silver is often used to celebrate milestones, achievements, celebrations and ceremonies, as well as for its beautiful ornamental value. Silver is one of the seven metals of antiquity which were known to prehistoric humans, the others being Gold, Copper, Tin, Lead, Iron and Mercury. As it has been in use for so long the history of its discovery and early use are not known. It's a more reactive metal than Gold and is also harder to extract from its ores when mined. This meant that in antiquity supplies of Silver were rarer and therefore more expensive until around 1500 BC when the Egyptians discovered new methods of refining it.
Fine Silver is 99.9% pure Silver. In this form the metal is beautiful and suffers from minimal tarnish, but it's generally too soft and malleable for many uses, including making most jewellery. Instead fine Silver is alloyed with copper to create Sterling Silver, which is 92.5% pure Silver and 7.5% Copper. This percentage of fine Silver is why you will sometimes see Sterling Silver referred to as '925 Silver' or hallmarked with a 925 stamp.
Sterling Silver jewellery is an excellent, high quality choice in most circumstances. The metal will not rust or perish, plus if you look after your jewellery it will look great well into the future. You should even be able to pass your Silver jewellery on to future generations.