So you think you know sterling silver?

So you think you know sterling silver?

Ready to put it to the test?

Give these a go...

  • Which type of silver is 925?
  • What does 925 and 999 mean?
  • Is silver found in gold?
  • Can you wear silver every day?
  • Does silver have to be hallmarked?

Feeling confident?


Silver what? Silver who?

Only 69% of people over on my Instagram knew that 925 meant sterling silver. This is something you will find nearly everywhere that sells jewellery.
925 is sterling silver. It means that out of 1000 pieces, 925 of them are silver. The rest is usually copper. The copper adds strength and durability making it last longer and stay in shape. 
Fine silver or 999 silver is quite soft and although stunningly beautiful, can wear quickly and isn’t great for an everyday piece of jewellery. Sterling can still achieve a beautiful glossy silver finish but gives a sturdiness that jewellers and clients can trust.

Can I wear sterling silver every day?

YES! For the people in the back, YES!
Sterling silver is sturdy and beautiful. With a little bit of TLC and avoiding harsh chemicals (such as chlorine, cosmetics and perfume) your jewellery will continue to shine without any worries!
Wearing your sterling silver jewellery in the shower or bath can build up residue of product and speed up tarnishing. If this is you, don't worry! With some well diluted warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush, it will come up sparkling.
Make sure to dry off your jewellery as soon as possible to help reduce any tarnishing.


 By Prickly Pear is 100% solid sterling silver and heart crafted in Shropshire, UK.

Can sterling silver stain skin?

In a nutshell, yes, silver can leave a colour on your skin depending on your skin type and environment.
The environment is the biggest factor and depends if you and your sterling silver jewellery come into contact with things like perfume and cosmetics, sulphur rich food such as egg or fish and household chemicals such as bleach. This can be worsened by humidity. Having a very light abrasive cleaner can help when used correctly. Try out our polishing pads, they're great at bringing back the shine -just click here.
Please remember to check out any reaction. It could be nothing but it's always better to check. With any jewellery you can have a build up of product causing an irritation, it may be staining or you could even be allergic. Always air on the side of caution.

Is there silver in my gold?

The majority of the other golds on the market are going to have silver in. I said it.
All you really need to know is the lower the carot, the lower the gold content. 18K has 75% pure gold and 9K is carrying 37.5%. What else is in your gold? Well, 18K yellow gold still has 5% silver in, white gold is up to 15% silver and 9K white gold has 62.5% silver meaning it’s actually more silver than gold.
If you’re trying to avoid silver totally then your only option is 24K gold. 24K gold is the purest gold on the jewellery market but this can break and scratch really easily so on the whole not recommended for every day wears.

Hello Hallmarking

You might be thinking “What is a hallmark?”

In short it is a certification that the metal being sold is what it says it is. For example, if a jeweller says it’s 18K gold, the hallmark will verify it’s 18K gold. In the UK there are only 4 places to get something assayed (verified) London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Sheffield. In the UK the only way around this is to a) not declare the material at all or b) make sure what you’re selling is below the required weight. For silver it must be below 7.78 grams to not require a hallmark, for gold it’s 1 gram.

Currently I don’t sell anything above 7.78 grams so although you can opt to have my collections hallmarked, I have chosen not to. This choice helps keep lead times and prices down. To hallmark personalised items, it would to add at least two weeks to lead times and up to £45 depending on how many items are being sent at once. What would you do? Would you vote for the hallmark?


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