In silver jewelry, you can always look effortlessly cool if you know how to wear and take care of it. Its neutral color is so versatile that it can look both timeless and modern without stealing the show from other colors or your own beauty. Get all the details and answers you need to start embracing silver with style.

What is the difference between sterling silver and regular silver?

Sterling silver, the variant most commonly used in jewelry, is an alloy (a mixture) of both silver and copper. The copper helps to strengthen the silver, which on its own is a fairly soft metal.

What is 925 sterling silver?

925 sterling silver is just another name to refer to normal sterling silver. The 925 number indicates the percentage of silver present — in this case, 92.5%, with 7.5% copper. The other well-known type of silver is 999 fine silver, which is 99.9% silver and too soft for jewelry.

Does 925 sterling silver tarnish?

Yes, 925 sterling silver is susceptible to tarnish because of the copper it contains. 

A flat silver chain necklace with Greek patterning
Featuring: Silver Jewelry by JTV
A silver ring with an ornate knot and swirl pattern
Featuring: Silver Jewelry by JTV

Silver vs. gold and white gold

Silver jewelry is often pushed to the sidelines in favor of gold, but I’m here to tell you that there’s plenty of room for both! 

Gold is more durable than sterling silver, but silver is more affordable. Silver also has a more neutral, versatile color than yellow gold that can be paired with virtually any outfit. White gold is a very similar shade to silver, but its undertones are warmer and cream-colored, while silver has cool undertones.

How to clean silver jewelry?

You can maintain the shiny and clean state of your silver jewelry with a few easy steps. Whenever possible, it’s good to avoid getting cosmetics, perfumes, hair products or lotion on your silver. This will minimize the cleaning you’ll have to do in the first place. 

For silver jewelry that is only slightly dirty and dulling a bit, you can simply use a soft cloth to polish it. If your silver accessories happen to require deeper cleaning, soak them in a mixture of lukewarm water and mild soap for a few minutes before polishing. Finally, if you have some silver jewelry that is in a serious state of tarnish, a gentle scrub with a baking soda paste should do the trick. Mix two parts baking soda with one part water, apply it to the jewelry and let it dry, and then wipe the piece down with a soft cloth.

Use extra caution if your silver jewelry piece has gemstones and is not all-metal. Gemstones have different cleaning requirements from metal, and substances like baking soda can scratch many gems (especially delicate ones like pearl and opal).

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Silver jewelry and cleaning supplies, including a toothbrush, a water bowl, and cloths
Featuring: Silver Jewelry by JTV
A silver chain bracelet
Featuring: Off Park Jewelry by JTV

As I mentioned above, silver goes with nearly everything, but different color combinations can create different moods. If you’re interested in a bold, dramatic look that will make your silver jewelry stand out, jewel tones (burgundy, red, deep purple, pine green, royal blue), black, navy blue and orange are great choices. If you want an all-over subtle, delicate look, opt for pastels like light pink or neutrals like white or beige.

Another fun way to make the most of your jewelry is with stacking and layering. Wearing multiple silver rings, silver necklaces or silver bracelets can create uniquely textured looks and elevate simple, lowkey outfits, plus you can wear several of your favorite pieces at once without having to choose.

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A woman in a white blouse wearing a silver birth flower necklace
Featuring: Timeless Creations by JTV

Is it OK to mix metals in jewelry?

Yes, it is completely fine to wear multiple types of metal jewelry at once. While it used to be considered taboo from a fashion standpoint, now it is considered to be quite stylish. If you like the look, go for it!

Where to buy silver jewelry?

JTV features a number of brands that carry silver jewelry. Each brand also reflects a different style so you can choose one that fits your individual personality. 

  • Artisan of Bali Jewelry (heavily textured metalwork in nature-evoking designs)
  • Artisan of India Jewelry (sleek silhouettes and elaborate metalwork)
  • Artisan of Ireland Jewelry (intricate patterns and earthy gemstones)
  • Artisan of Israel Jewelry (jewelry with organic textures and shapes)
  • Bella Luce Jewelry (affordable luxury with a high sparkle factor and elegant details)
  • Southwest Style Jewelry (chunky, rustic items that channel the desert and Native American styles)
A silver locket necklace
Featuring: Paula Deen Jewelry
A variety of simple silver band rings sitting in a row
Featuring: Calvin Klein Jewelry

Erin McIntyre

Even though she is surrounded by gold lovers, silver is Erin’s favorite jewelry metal and she was excited to hype it up here!

Read more about Erin on her author page

Erin McIntyre