Title: What Does 925 Mean on Jewelry? | Craftd UK
Meta-description: The numbers on jewelry tell you crucial information if you know how to interpret it. Read here to find out more about 925 silver and other hallmarks.
What Does 925 Mean on Jewelry?
If you've ever noticed numeric markings on a piece of jewelry, you might have wondered what you were looking at. It's not an arbitrary marking, and learning more about these metal imprints can help you understand what kind of jewelry you're looking at and whether or not it's the real thing.
Today, let's talk about what a hallmark is on a piece of high-fashion jewelry. We'll show you different hallmarks retailers have used throughout history and teach you how to distinguish the value that accompanies each marking. When we're finished, you'll have essential jewelry knowledge that can allow you to shop for jewelry more efficiently and informedly.
What Is a Hallmark?
Essentially, a hallmark is a jeweler's authentication symbol that the jewelry they're producing follows a regulated quality standard. Different numeric notations can let you know how valuable the piece of jewelry in question may be.
This form of quality regulation in precious metals dates back to the fourth century. In the UK, Edward I instituted standards for sterling silver: 925 per thousand. Overall, these inscriptions provide data that allows you to spot real gold and real silver from counterfeit, cheap costume jewelry.
The Meaning Behind 925
Shopping online for jewelry can be confusing, and shopping in-store for accessories can be overwhelming. Unless you already know the exact details to seek and which jewelry attributes to avoid, you may be stuck comparing pieces on face value alone.
Understanding silver jewelry doesn't have to be complicated. A piece of jewelry marked "925" refers to the purity of the silver. The number stands for a percentage. Of 1000 parts of silver jewelry material, 92.5% must be pure silver, and only 7.5% of the material may comprise another alloy substance.
Millesimal fineness is the system dedicated to demystifying genuine sterling silver's purity. This system also denotes the purity of gold and platinum. Each of these goes by the same measuring system, measuring how much alloy material exists compared to pure metal.
What Is Sterling Silver?
When you see a piece of jewelry described as sterling silver, it's another way of saying it contains 92.5% pure silver compared to its other materials. The sterling standard "925" is what all pieces of silver jewelry are evaluated for.
Those with the correct silver purity get the hallmark denoting 925 sterling silver. The stamp means it's trustworthy and valuable.
Common Silver Hallmarks and What They Mean
Within silver jewelry, you may have noticed a few more hallmarks stamped on the inside of a ring or clasp of a necklace. These all communicate the silver content present in a piece of jewelry.
Let's explore them:
- 925 Italy: This marking indicates that the piece of jewelry is sterling silver and was crafted in Italy.
- 999: This is pure silver or fine silver. It contains 99.9% silver, so it is a very soft material.
- 835: German silver often portrays markings 800 and 835. An 835 marking indicates 83.5% pure silver
- 800: An 800 inscription indicates 80% pure silver.
More Recognizable Jewelry Hallmarks
Sterling silver isn't the only precious metal that gets a hallmark. In the same way sterling silver receives a "925" for its purity of silver, other precious metals like gold or platinum also receive hallmarks explaining their gold purity and platinum content.
These can help distinguish fine jewelry from costume jewelry:
- 375: This percentage of gold indicates that a large portion of the jewelry is alloy metal.
- 585: The gold content in a 585 piece of gold jewelry is 14 parts gold out of 24 parts. It is also known as 14k gold.
- 750: This material is what manyengagement rings are made of. These are 75% gold. They're much moredurable than solid gold and suitable for everyday wear.
- 999: Jewelry with this notation indicates solid gold. This pure gold is also called 24 karat gold.
What Is Gold Vermeil Jewelry?
Gold vermeil is a bonding process that binds a layer of gold to a strong base metal. This gold-plated jewelry offers a lustrous outer layer and an inexpensive, durable base layer underneath. For a piece of jewelry to be considered vermeil, it must have 2.5 microns of gold coating its surface.
Is Silver-Plated Jewelry As Good As Sterling Silver?
Silver-plated jewelry is similar to gold-plated jewelry. This jewelry option binds a thin layer of high-quality silver to a silver alloy base metal. This jewelry type is incredibly cost-effective but may not be best for those allergic to nickel silver with sensitive skin.
How To Spot Fake Silver
You can follow a few steps to determine whether a piece of silver jewelry is genuine or fake:
- Before anything else, check the piece for hallmarks.
- Feel the piece of jewelry. If any element of it bends easily, it may be authentic silver.
- Test it with a magnet. Silver is not magnetic by nature, so if anything sticks to it, you'll know the jewelry contains a significant amount of alloy metal.
- Smell the piece of jewelry. That might sound bizarre, but it can help. Since real silver doesn't have an odor, it may be fake if it smells like anything.
- Place a piece of ice on the silver jewelry. Authentic silver has a small thermal conductivity, so it will melt faster than if you had merely set the ice on another surface to melt.
What Do You Do When Silver Tarnishes?
Contrary to what some might think, real silver can tarnish. It's a chemical reaction, and it doesn't mean your piece of sterling silver jewelry is doomed.
Mix one-half cup of white vinegar with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to clean the tarnish. Let your sterling silver jewelry soak for a few hours, rinse it with water, and let it dry in the open.
What's the Best Metal for Silver-Colored Jewelry?
Perhaps you've been itching to add some more silver jewelry to your collection and want to know which metal to choose. Sterling silver isn't the only choice for silver-colored jewelry. You can evaluate these alternatives to select the silver material you prefer.
- Palladium: This material is perfect for someone who prefers luxurious jewelry. It's an incredibly durable metal, and you'll pay a pretty penny to have a piece of jewelry made from it.
- Sterling Silver: Sterling silver is a solid option for silver-colored jewelry. Still, it's worth weighing the risk of it tarnishing over time.
- White gold: White gold is a cool-toned metal with an almost colorless look. If you prefer gold jewelry, this option can give you a more neutral appearance.
- Platinum: Platinum has a reputation as a sturdy metal. You might select this option if you're looking for a silver-colored piece of jewelry to make a valuable gift for someone.
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is an underrated jewelry material. At CRAFTD, we use a premium type of stainless steel called 316L. This type is durable for daily wear and doesn't tarnish the way silver does.
Seven CRAFTD Pieces To Add to Your Silver Collection
Let's freshen up your silver jewelry stash. Here are a few of our favorite CRAFTD pieces to boost your fits:
The CRAFTD Crown Pendant
Our CRAFTD Crown pendant is a symbol you can wear to remember your place. You weren't made to sit back and watch your life; you're meant to be first in charge. Wear it with layered chains for a coordinated look.
The CRAFTD Connell Chain
Our Connell chain is a perfect piece to keep on deck when you need something subtle. Wear it with your lounge-around-the-house t-shirt and sweats, or you can layer it with a suit and tie.
The CRAFTD Cuban Bracelet
This silver piece of jewelry is another staple you can wear often. You can coordinate our CRAFTD Cuban bracelet with silver rings if you want to go for a more outgoing appearance.
The CRAFTD Tennis Bracelet
The Tennis bracelet is a well-known classic in jewelry history. It's timeless, simple, and fresh as hell. Try it on when you want people to stare for all the right reasons.
The CRAFTD Crucifix Pendant
Wearing a crucifix means something different to everyone. To us, it's a classic symbol that evokes themes of sacrifice, passion, and determination. Wear the CRAFTD Crucifix pendant alone, or pair it with varied chains for a look that always passes the vibe check.
The CRAFTD Vitruvian Man Ring
You're multi-faceted, to say the least. This ring's design is an ode to your complexity. Wear the Vitruvian Man statement ring alone or pair it with other rings and bracelets for a more curated appearance.
The CRAFTD Lion Pendant
You? Sit on the sidelines to watch your life? Never. Our CRAFTD Lion pendant is a symbol that can remind you of your fierce leadership and place of power in your life.
Elevate Your Fits With CRAFTD Silver Jewelry
Knowing about 925 silver and other hallmarks takes you one step closer to being a jewelry connoisseur. Ultimately, you deserve to be in the know about the jewelry you're considering.
At CRAFTD, you have all the information you need. You can wear our silver jewelry in any circumstance because our pieces are crafted to handle it. So go ahead and elevate your wardrobe with fresh statement pieces and everyday staples. When it's CRAFTD jewelry, it will look clean for years.
Thermal Conductivity | Georgia State University
Nickel Allergy - Symptoms and Causes | Mayo Clinic
Silver Hallmarks | Antiques Gazette