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Sterling Silver Jewelry

Pure silver possesses a unique, lustrous white color, which makes it very desirable for use in jewelry. The alloy known as sterling silver originated in continental Europe around the 12th century, well before white gold was created in the 19th century and before platinum could be produced in commercial quantities. You can check out how silver is combined with gold to create vermeil jewelry. The lustrous sterling silver alloy is a combination of 92.5% silver, with the remaining 7.5% most frequently copper. You may also find sterling silver designated as 925 silver. Per the FTC guidance, it is unfair or deceptive to mark, describe or otherwise represent…..an industry product as ‘silver,’ ‘solid silver,’ ‘sterling silver,’ ‘sterling,’ or the abbreviation ‘ster,’ unless it is at least 925/1,000ths pure silver. We use 925 sterling silver in our 100 East and Sas E Gems branded jewelry.

What is the major drawback of sterling silver jewelry?

Vermeil Gemstone Bracelet Vermeil Gemstone Cuff

Sterling silver has a long history of use in high value items, including coinage, jewelry, hollowware and cutlery. Since the 1840s, sterling silver has been used extensively for luxurious flatware and jewelry. One of the most desirable attributes of sterling silver is its luster, as new, shiny silver eventually is worn down into patina glow, which many jewelry buyers find quite desirable. Some jewelry makers purposely weather the surface prematurely to bring about this effect.

One of the biggest concerns with sterling silver is tarnishing, a darkening of the surface of the jewelry item. This effect is caused when the copper portion of the alloy comes in contact with ozone, hydrogen sulfide or sulfur. There are many factors which determine the rate of tarnishing. If the article is worn against the skin or on leather the tarnishing will be more pronounced than when worn on a wool sweater. In particular, certain skin types, soaps, lotions, perfumes and leather tanning fluids will react with the sterling surface turning the silver color dark.

A new sterling silver alloy has been developed to reduce the rate of tarnish. The new alloy meets the 92.5% minimum silver content requirement, but replaces some of the copper with materials which inhibit tarnishing such as zinc, gold, palladium or platinum.


The primary precious metal alloys comprising our current jewelry inventory are gold, sterling silver and sterling silver vermeil. A microscopic layer of another precious metal, rhodium, is plated onto many of our sterling silver and white gold jewelry pieces. Rhodium is used to cover any tinge of yellow which remains from the natural gold color and gives the item an ultra-white appearance. Rhodium also accepts [...]

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Platinum’s natural greyish-white color is similar to white gold, but not as silvery-white. Platinum is among the rarest and most expensive metals in the world. It is also one of the strongest and most durable metals known to man.Platinum’s popularity for use in jewelry comes from its beautiful luster, resistance to tarnishing and its ability to move with force rather [...]

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Gold has been used since antiquity for jewelry, coinage, sculpture, vessels and as a decoration for buildings, monuments and statues. As early as 3000 BC, gold jewelry was worn by both men and women in Mesopotamia (today mostly Iraq, but also parts of Syria, Iran and Turkey). Gold purity or fineness (the amount of pure gold contained in the product) [...]

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 Precious metals are those metals in the Periodic Table which are rare and possess high economic value. Eight Periodic Table elements are considered precious metals: gold, silver and the six metals comprising the platinum group of metals (platinum, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium and iridium). The six platinum group metals have similar chemical and physical characteristics, are neighbors on the [...]

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Metals are either elements (shown in the Periodic Table) or alloys. The major precious metal elements are gold (Au), silver (Ag) and platinum (Pt). While jewelry can be made from each of these elements in its pure form, jewelry makers found they are not ideal choices for jewelry. Pure gold and pure silver are quite soft and malleable which causes [...]

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Vermeil, pronounced "vehr-MAY," simply put is a metal product created by coating sterling silver with gold. In the US, to be designated as vermeil an item must be: Made using sterling silver as the base metalThe gold portion must be of reasonable durability and a minimum of 2.5 microns thickThe gold must be 10 karats or higher in fineness. Most [...]

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Inspirations for My Jewelry Designs!

Inspiration for each of my fine gemstone jewelry designs usually occurs one of three ways. Something I encountered in everyday life triggers a design idea, I see that rare gemstone which captures my imagination, or a brainstorming session with a family member gets the creative juices flowing. Here's a little behind the scenes look at the process I went [...]

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How To Determine If a 100 East Fine Jewelry Ring Will Fit You

You’re going to learn in this blog that the best way to start is by measuring your ring size using ring gauges, as pictured towards the middle of the blog. If you’re located in the US, we are happy to provide you with a complimentary set of these ring gauges. Just email info@100eastfinejewlery.com or call 812-202-2143. We’re happy to send [...]

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​June Birthstone: Alexandrite

For the month of June, three lovely gemstones were selected as the birthstone, Moonstone, Pearl and Alexandrite.Photographed by David Weinberg for Alexandrite.net and released to the public domainAlexandrite: “Emerald by day, ruby by night,” is a phrase frequently used to describe alexandrite’s most famous magic trick; color-change. Outside in daylight, it is a cool bluish [...]

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