One of the most common notations you will see in the world of silver jewelry is “s925”. Does it signify pure silver? Is it fake silver without the s925 marking? We’ll get into all the details in this article.
Fine jewelry terminology can be a bit confusing. Buying nice jewelry is an investment and any smart shopper wants to know how to spot quality, if they are being ripped off, or if their new favorite piece is made to last.
So let’s break down one of the most vague notations to the uninitiated: What exactly does s925 mean?
What does s925 mean on a ring?
When shopping for a silver ring or any other piece of silver jewelry, you may see a small stamp on the inside that reads “s925” or “925”.
This stamp means the piece is made of sterling silver, or in other words, the metal is 92.5% pure. Anything above 92.5% purity is considered real, pure, sterling silver. It’s a precious metal!
Is s925 silver good? Is it pure silver?
s925 silver is definitely good. It is considered pure silver! Here’s why.
This 92.5% composition is the silver purity standard in the United States and most other countries to denote high-quality and pure silver. Anything above 92.5% is considered pure silver.
While 92.5% of the ring is silver, the other 7.5% is typically copper, or some other strong metal like nickel or zinc, used to make the metal durable and flexible enough to shape it into the wearable jewelry you know and love.
s925 silver is one of the most popular metals in the world for fine jewelry and is renowned for being stylish and safe to wear, even for those with allergies or skin sensitivities.
What is the difference between s925 & 925 silver?
There is no difference between silver that is labeled as s925 or 925 — both of these stamps designate that piece of jewelry as high-quality sterling silver.
You may also see sterling silver stamped with things like “sterling,” “ss” or “ster,” which can also be used to indicate they meet that 92.5% purity standard.
When shopping for jewelry it is wise to look for one of these markings and to ask the jeweler if the piece you are eyeing is made of 925 silver before purchasing.
Keep in mind that there are several terms used to denote silver:
- ss (stands for “sterling silver”)
- genuine sterling silver
- 925 sterling silver
- 925 pure silver
- genuine silver
- real sterling silver
…and so on. But the “925” and “sterling” are the real signifiers of your silver jewelry’s purity. If a piece of jewelry is composed of less than 92.5% silver, it cannot be classified as pure silver or sterling silver.
Is s925 Sterling Silver real?
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that silver jewelry labeled with s925 Sterling Silver is absolutely, 100%, real silver.
My silver jewelry is tarnished… is this common?
Tarnish is natural and unavoidable with fine silver, but you can easily clean your pieces and keep them fresh.
Don’t be afraid to wear your silver jewelry often. Your sterling silver ring, necklace, or bracelet will last a lifetime if well taken care of. It reacts well to your skin’s natural oils, though you may need to occasionally clean it with jewelry polish (or one of those jewelry polishing cloths) when it tarnishes.
Depending on your jewelry’s design, the tarnish effect (where your silver turns a slightly darker, blackened hue) can give it a rugged, well-worn look you may find appealing.
What about s925 on gold jewelry?
There is no such thing as s925 gold… doesn’t matter if it’s white gold or yellow gold. So what does it mean if you see s925 on a gold ring or necklace?
Any gold item labeled with s925 most likely means you are looking at gold plated jewelry, which essentially is a thin layer of gold placed on top of a sterling silver base metal.
Gold plating and gold vermeil is a fine and affordable alternative to solid gold jewelry. Just know that what you’re getting is a sterling silver jewelry piece at the core (meaning not pure gold, obviously).
Gold plating does tend to fade with time and continuous wear. Tap to read more about the differences between gold plated vs gold filled (vs gold vermeil) if you’re interested.
Sterling silver is one of the most popular metals for men’s rings and jewelry. It is versatile, relatively affordable, and attractive in polished or matte finishes.
Checking for purity by spotting a s925 label is an easy way to make sure you are investing in a pure, quality, sterling silver piece.
Do you own any great sterling silver pieces? Are you spotting the s925 marking everywhere now? DM us on Instagram and let us know.