Sterling silver which is hallmarked 925 comprises 92.5% silver and 7.5% of base metal. Jewellery makers usually choose between copper or nickel as the base metal/alloy. When the alloy is made with copper, this combination allows for the perfect balance of hardness, versatility, and that famous shine.
The added metals in sterling silver make it an incredibly durable material — it's even stronger than gold. In addition to its lightweight, this quality makes it an ideal choice for jewellery that will be worn daily or often
Rings made from sterling silver can last between 20 to 30 years if you maintain them properly. They can last even longer (forever) if you only wear them occasionally and store them correctly. Because it lasts such a long time, sterling silver pieces are ideal for passing down to your kids and grandkids.
The metal that makes up a silver-plated product is not actually silver, but another metal that is then covered with a thin silver plate on top. Depending on the type of metal used, such as copper, your jewelry can be pretty durable. However, because it is only a coating, silver-plated jewelry can tarnish easily.