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Sterling Silver vs Sterling Silver plated

Most of the jewelry on Simplicity Charms are sterling silver. I sometimes get questions asking if the jewelry is "real" sterling silver or plated. There is a huge difference between these two. 

What is Plated Sterling Silver?
Plated sterling silver is jewelry made with a base metal consisting a mix of copper, brass, nickel, etc. These are then plated with a thin layer of sterling silver that can wear off over time. People with nickel allergy who usually get irritation should avoid these jewelry. This is a lower quality and therefore is usually priced a lot less. Simplicity Charms do not carry any sterling silver plated jewelry. If the listing say "Sterling Silver", you can rest assured that you will be getting real 100% Sterling Silver.

Sterling Silver Three Heart Charm Double Piercing

So what is Sterling Silver?
Sterling silver has a purity of .925 of pure Silver, which means it has 92.5% pure Silver and 7.5% of other metals (nickel-free). You can sometimes see the 925 symbol on sterling silver pieces but not all the time. My jewelry doesn't always show the symbol because most of the pieces are handmade and stamping this symbol may affect the results of my creations. I purchase all my sterling silver supplies from reputable sources and can guarantee you the quality is accurate to it's description. Just know that when a listing say "Sterling Silver", you can trust that it is 100% Sterling Silver".

Sterling Silver Personalized Star Necklace

Why don't I use pure Silver instead? Pure Silver is softer and is not usually used for jewelry. The other metals added in sterling silver help to produce a more durable jewelry piece but that also means it can tarnish. Tarnishing is caused by exposure to oxygen and other elements from the environment. However, there are many methods to delay tarnishing but it can easily be cleaned.

Rhodium Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Double Piercing

Rhodium Sterling Silver
I also have jewelry made from Rhodium Sterling Silver. This is Sterling Silver that is dipped with a thick layer of Rhodium, a member of the platinum family which has a bright finish resembling Sterling Silver. Rhodium Sterling Silver have the same benefits as Sterling Silver but it does not tarnish. It is a bit harder to come by and not a lot of jewelry can be made with this metal but it's quality is higher than Sterling Silver.

Other metals
There are other types you are able to find in this store such as gold-filled, rose gold-filled and 14k gold will be discussed in a separate post.

Shop Simplicity Charms 100% Sterling Silver


Shop More Sterling Silver

In an upcoming post, I will be explaining the other metals such as Gold-Filled, Rose Gold-Filled, and 14k Gold. Join our mailing listIf you have any questions or comments, please email me at I look forward to hearing from you.


I am the creator/designer/manager behind Simplicity Charms. I first opened Simplicity Charms etsy store in 2009 and have developed my craftsmanship through years of practice. Our vision is to create pieces that lasts where you can bring them along with you through life's journeys.



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