About Sterling Silver

About Sterling Silver and Hill Tribe Silver

About Sterling Silver and Hill Tribe Silver – This is our Two Hearts Sterling Ring

What is Sterling Silver?

Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver. In this form, it is stunning and suffers from minimal tarnish, but it’s generally too soft and malleable for making most silver jewellery. Instead, fine silver is alloyed with copper to create sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper.

This is why you will sometimes see sterling silver referred to as “925 silver”. The numbers 925 are hallmarked onto Sterling Silver to reflect the percentage of pure silver (92.5%). Hallmarks are very teeny, tiny imprints in the jewellery usually found on the underside or discreet places.

The addition of copper makes the silver strong, more durable and therefore much better to work with and use, without compromising on colour.

The only downside to sterling silver is that the added copper will cause it to tarnish. The metal will turn dark brown or black over time, especially in humid conditions. However, it’s easy to clean and beneath the tarnish your sterling silver will still be in great condition. It can be polished back to its original, sleek colour, no matter how much time has passed.

Some of Our Sterling Silver Rings

About Hill Tribe Silver

swirl design

Hill Tribe Silver is the name commonly used for handmade beads, pendants and findings made by Tribal Villagers in Northern Thailand. Unlike sterling silver, Hill Tribe Silver generally consists of 98-99% pure silver, making it amongst some of the highest quality of silver in the world.

Having such a high percentage of silver makes it much softer and malleable and allows the craftsmen to create intricate designs and textures, that are unique to Hill Tribe Silver jewellery.  What makes Hill Tribe Silver so special is that each piece is still handmade by skilled silversmiths using traditional methods so that no two pieces are exactly alike.

Sometimes you will find that hill tribe silver has a lesser percentage of silver (sometimes as little as 70%), depending on the need for intricate details.  At Distinct Impressions, we test all our pieces and our prices are indicative of this.

These skilled tradesmen lovingly craft these pieces with care and attention. And because of this care, these items are like beautiful pieces of art. You’ll find they are even excellent conversational pieces.

Caring for Your Sterling Silver and Hill Tribe Silver

You have your lovely pieces of jewellery  home, safe and sound with you. Congratulations! How do you care for them to maintain their exquisite lustre and quality?

Remember to store your jewellery in a safe and secure place. Avoid dust, moisture and direct light to ensure your jewellery does not tarnish and discolour. When wearing, simply follow the golden rule “Last On / First Off’. Put jewellery on last so that it is not sprayed with perfumes and hairspray. Take it off first, before your clothing and before you go to bed to  avoid it being snagged.

Never sleep, bath or swim in your jewellery.  Chains may kink, earring posts may bend, and contact with water, especially chlorinated or salt water is especially damaging to silver.

Sterling Silver may tarnish or oxidise. This is a natural reaction to chemicals in the atmosphere, heat and the body oils of the wearer. Discoloration can usually be removed by careful use of a good quality jewellery cleaning cloth. Try to avoid contact with perfume, hairspray, chlorinated or salt water or household cleaning products.