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Jewellery Blog / Engagement rings

Stainless Steel vs Sterling Silver: Which is Right for You?

Stainless Steel vs Sterling Silver: Which is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing jewellery, there are a lot of options available in the market. However, two of the most popular materials used for jewellery making are stainless steel and sterling silver. While both these materials have their unique properties and advantages, it can be challenging to determine which one is right for you. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two metals and help you decide which is right for you.

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Stainless Steel vs Sterling Silver.

Stainless Steel Jewellery: Stainless steel is a durable and affordable metal that is resistant to tarnishing, scratching, and corrosion. It is a popular material for jewellery, especially for men's rings, watches, and bracelets. Stainless steel is also hypoallergenic, making it a safe choice for people with sensitive skin.

Advantages of Stainless Steel Jewellery

  • Durability: Stainless steel is a highly durable metal that is resistant to scratches, dents, and corrosion. This makes it an ideal material for jewellery that will withstand everyday wear and tear.
  • Hypoallergenic: Stainless steel is a hypoallergenic metal that is less likely to cause allergic reactions than other metals like nickel or brass. It is therefore a fantastic choice for those with sensitive skin.
  • Affordability: Stainless steel jewellery is often more affordable than other types of jewellery, such as gold or platinum. This makes it a great option for those on a budget who still want to enjoy the look and feel of quality jewellery.

Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Jewellery

  • Allergies: While stainless steel is hypoallergenic for most people, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to certain grades of stainless steel or the metals used in the alloy.
  • Scratches: Although stainless steel is relatively durable, it is not completely scratch-resistant. Scratches can occur over time, especially if the jewellery is worn frequently.
  • Maintenance: Stainless steel jewellery requires regular cleaning to maintain its appearance. It can be prone to smudging, and it may require special cleaning products to remove tough stains or tarnish.
  • Limited variety: Stainless steel jewellery is generally only available in silver or grey tones, so it may not be the best choice for those looking for a wider range of colours and finishes.
  • Weight: Stainless steel jewellery can be heavier than other materials like plastic or aluminium, which may be uncomfortable for some individuals to wear for long periods.
  • Difficulty resizing: Stainless steel jewellery cannot be easily resized like other materials such as gold or silver. This can be problematic if the jewellery needs to be adjusted to fit properly.

925 Sterling Silver Jewellery

925 sterling silver jewellery is a type of jewellery made from an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. The term "sterling silver" is used to describe this alloy, which has been used for centuries to make fine jewellery and other decorative objects.

The reason for adding copper to the silver is to make the metal stronger and more durable. Pure silver is too soft to be used for jewellery as it would easily scratch, bend, or break. The addition of copper improves the metal's strength and durability, making it more suitable for everyday wear. The hallmark of 925 sterling silver is the number 925 stamped on the metal, which indicates that the jewellery contains 92.5% pure silver. Sterling silver jewellery is a popular choice for its beauty, durability, and affordability, and it is used to make a wide range of jewellery pieces, including rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more.

 Advantages of Sterling Silver Jewellery

  • Affordability: Sterling silver is more affordable than other precious metals like gold and platinum, making it a great option for those who want high-quality jewellery without breaking the bank.
  • Durability: Sterling silver is a hard metal that is resistant to scratches and dents. With proper care, sterling silver jewellery can last for many years.
  • Versatility: Sterling silver can be shaped and molded into many different styles and designs, making it a versatile material for jewellery.
  • Hypoallergenic: Sterling silver is generally safe for people with sensitive skin or metal allergies, as it is less likely to cause irritation.
  • Timeless appeal: Sterling silver has a classic, timeless look that can complement any outfit or style.
  • Tarnish resistance: Sterling silver jewellery is treated with a special coating to help prevent tarnishing, which can keep your jewellery looking shiny and new for longer.
  • Easy to maintain: Sterling silver is easy to clean and maintain. A simple polish with a soft cloth can restore its shine and beauty.

Disadvantages of Sterling Silver Jewellery

  • Tarnishing: Sterling silver can tarnish over time, especially if it's not worn regularly. However, regular cleaning can help to prevent this.
  • Allergies: Some people may be allergic to the other metals used in the alloy, such as copper or nickel, which can cause skin irritation.

Stainless Steel vs Sterling Silver

Some of the key differences between stainless steel and sterling silver are mentioned below:

  • Composition: Sterling silver is a precious metal alloy made of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. It is a popular choice for jewellery and tableware because it is elegant, malleable, and has a distinctive luster. However, pure silver is relatively soft and can easily be scratched or dented, so the addition of other metals makes sterling silver stronger and more durable.

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is an alloy made of iron, chromium, and sometimes nickel. It is a highly durable material that is resistant to corrosion, rust, and tarnishing. It is commonly used in kitchenware, cutlery, and jewellery.

  • Appearance: In terms of appearance, sterling silver has a warm, luxurious look that is often associated with fine jewellery and formal occasions. Stainless steel, by contrast, has a cooler, more industrial look that is often associated with modern design.
  • Properties: Sterling silver is a relatively soft metal, which makes it malleable and easy to work with. It is also highly reflective, and it tarnishes over time when exposed to air and moisture. In contrast, stainless steel is a much harder and more durable metal, making it resistant to scratches and dents. But sterling silver jewellery also lasts longer if used properly. 

925 Silver vs Sterling Silver

925 silver and sterling silver are often used interchangeably. 925 silver refers to silver that is made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, such as copper, to improve its strength and durability. This is also known as "925 sterling silver" or simply "sterling silver." The reason for this is that sterling silver must be at least 92.5% pure silver by weight.

So, 925 silver is another name for sterling silver and they both refer to silver that is 92.5% pure and 7.5% other metals.

Is sterling silver the ideal metal for jewellery?

Despite all the variations between sterling silver and stainless steel, sterling silver has a certain advantage when it comes to jewellery. This is due to the fact that it is primarily composed of the prestigious and expensive precious metal, silver.

Despite the fact that it costs little more than stainless steel, wearing it as jewellery has a number of wonderful advantages. Because of its widespread accessibility and malleability, jewellers adore experimenting to create enduring classic pieces.

When it comes to engagement rings, or earrings or other jewelleries; sterling silver engagement rings and other sterling silver jewellery can be a great option for those who are on a budget or who want a more unique look. Sterling silver engagement rings can be designed with a variety of gemstones, such as diamonds, sapphires, or cubic zirconia, and can be customized to suit your personal style.


Both stainless steel vs sterling silver have their own pros and cons. But, when it comes to jewellery, sterling silver is preferable. While buying sterling silver jewellery, there are several things to consider to ensure that you get a high-quality product that is both beautiful and durable. Also, be aware of fake sterling silver because fake sterling silver jewellery is also prevalent in the market. Be sure to look for high-quality sterling silver that is marked with a stamp of authenticity. You can consider purchasing sterling silver jewellery from us at Silveright Jewellery; as we are a reputable jeweller who specializes in sterling silver jewellery to ensure that you are getting a quality product.

Prakash Lahar
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