What Should I Consider When Buying Silver Jewelry?

Sheri Cyprus

The most important consideration when buying silver jewelry is to be sure of the quality of the silver. As pure silver is extremely soft, metal alloys such as copper are added to harden silver. Silver jewelry must contain at least 92.5% silver to be considered real, or sterling, silver. Coin silver contains 90% silver, while silver bonded to any base metal is referred to as silver plated and not real silver. When you are buying silver jewelry, look for marks such as sterling, sterling silver, "ster" or 925 imprinted on the jewelry itself.

Length is important to consider when purchasing a silver necklace.
Length is important to consider when purchasing a silver necklace.

United States law requires the company vouching that the jewelry is sterling silver must also include their U.S. registered trademark on the jewelry item. Another important consideration when buying silver jewelry is its design. Is the piece consistent when you view it from all its sides? Is the silver jewelry something you really love and will wear many times?

Some silver rings contain cubic zirconia stones.
Some silver rings contain cubic zirconia stones.

When buying silver jewelry, consider buying several pairs of earrings. Silver earrings are available in many different shapes and sizes to suit many different occasions. Dangling silver and cubic zirconia (cz) drop earrings may be perfect for a cocktail party, while medium-sized silver hoops or studs may be ideal for the office.

Necklaces are good pieces to consider when buying silver jewelry as there is sure to be a type of silver necklace to go with every outfit. For example, a silver dog tag pendant on a leather cord may be great with jeans and casual wear, while a silver and cz pendant on a silver chain can look very elegant with an evening dress and formal wear. Necklace length is an important consideration when buying silver jewelry as choker length necklaces are often better for blouses, while longer silver chains can be worn with lower cut necklines.

Some people think of rings when buying silver jewelry. Casual rings may have an antiqued silver finish, while cz and silver rings can look very elegant and diamond-like. Buying silver jewelry can even be in the form of wedding bands, if that is what you are looking for. Silver wedding bands are an alternative to traditional gold wedding bands and are available in many styles and in both round and square ring shapes.

Bracelets are also popular options when buying silver jewelry. Silver bracelets range from wide, hammered silver cuffs to narrow, simple linked silver chains. An engraved silver bracelet is a timeless classic to consider if you are buying silver jewelry as a gift.

Some couples choose silver over gold for wedding bands.
Some couples choose silver over gold for wedding bands.

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Discussion Comments


Does anyone know where the best place to buy silver jewelry wholesale is? We want wholesale prices on pieces that are handmade or have a limited run.

My friend and I are thinking about adding some jewelry to her clothing store so we can offer more accessories for her customers. Right now we have some gold pieces but we want to offer something a bit less expensive. We would prefer to buy from someone who sells their own creations at wholesale prices so that we can get a unique look. We don't want boring jewelry in my friends store but something that really stands out.


@drtroubles - If you insist on buying your wife silver jewelry you might want to look into purchasing what is called "fine" silver. This kind of silver jewelry is 99.9% pure and while it is a soft metal, if you take care of it you certainly keep it looking perfect for years.

Another option is to find some jewelry wholesalers and see if you can get your hands on some palladium close to cost. Palladium is a white metal that looks very much like silver, but doesn't tarnish. As it is part of the platinum family it is more expensive than silver, but you might be able to get a good deal on some pieces if you shop around.


My wife absolutely loves silver jewelry but has recently had trouble with some of the handmade silver jewelry she owns hurting her skin. I am pretty sure she is allergic to nickel. Does anyone know if it is possible to buy silver jewelry that is hypoallergenic?

I know that cheap silver jewelry has a whole mix of metals added to it, so we have always avoided buying that, but it seems that even my wife's sterling silver jewelry is causes problems. She currently has her favorite pieces covered in clear nail polish to protect her skin, but I am hoping to find some new pieces for her that she doesn't have to worry about.

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