Differences in Silver

Hello out there. I’m new to jewelry making and I have a question
about the differences in silver. I have heard all of you talk about
"fine silver", “sterling silver”, and “.925 silver”. Could
someone explain the differences in these three metals. And is
nickel plated metal good or bad.

Thanks for any you can give me.

Hi Donna, Fine Silver is generally .9999 pure silver .925 is the
actual designation used in the US for Sterling silver and in some,
but not all other countries. .925 means that there is 92.5 % pure
silver in the metal and the balance is an Alloy .Regular sterling
silver is alloyed with 7.5% copper to make a 100 % mixture. There is
also De-Ox silver which may have a variety of alloys totalling 7.5%
and the balance pure silver. There are quite a few countries where
the term "sterling Silver " can actually be 80% silver by their
government rules… This is why the European market and the
American market prefers , or, should use the % markings instead of
words… In Finland , Switzerland, France and other countries .925
is the standard for “sterling”. Daniel Grandi


Hi Donna Fine Silver is 999% pure Silver. Sterling Silver or 925
Silver contains 95% (925/1000 parts) pure Silver and Balance 7.5%
(75/1000), Copper or any other alloy.

The Silver Jewellery should have minimum 925 parts of pure silver,
if it has to be called sterling silver, silver or 0.925 silver,
according to the British and United States Law.

Best regards to all my orchidian brothers and sisters God Bless us
all with good health (Mental -Physical- Social-Spiritual)

Umesh Chauhan
Mumbai -India.

Donna - sterling silver and .925 silver are two terms for the same
thing. the “.925” means that it is 92.5% silver. which is what
sterling is. Fine slver is pure silver, with no alloying. On the
nickel plating I will defer to someone who knows more about plating,
as I have never used any plated metals. Margaret @Margaret_Malm2,
in Utah’s colorful Dixie

Could someone explain the differences in these three metals.  And
is nickel plated metal good or bad. 

Hi Donna, Fine silver is pure silver, basically 99.9% pure.
Sterling silver and .925 silver are the same thing – sterling is 925
parts out of 1000 parts fine silver and 75 parts copper. The copper
gives the alloy strength (and also makes it subject to fire scale
when heated :-). No plating is good or bad in itself: It depends on
the use to which the metal will be put and whether or not the plating
is disclosed to the buyer. Nickel plating does two things: gives a
silvery finish and prevents oxidation. It has its purposes, but
would never be used in fine jewelry.


Dear All,

As someone who has lived and worked in Japan I want to point out
that the main silver they use is 950 not 925

It is expensive but beautiful to work with. I have a good number of
sheets stamped with the 950 and when I make something using this
prized (by me if no one else) I make sure it is something to be very
happy and proud of. Remember this is the country which developed
shakudo for the swords handles and I also have a nice collection of
sheets of this plus the bag of mysterious 'chemical’s to bring out
the lovely deep black color on the copper + gold mix metal. I had
contacts when I lived there but could still not get a list of the
chemicals in the dip nor the percentage of gold in the copper-gold

Japan like the rest of Asia. or maybe more than the rest of Asia is
on the ‘keep it all a mystery’ system to make sure the methods are
kept secret and special.

This is not a criticism but just a piece of

Keep up the beauty of life.

Sharron in Dry, hot, and sandy Bahrain. Moving soon…and happy
to get over to lush K.L.

Think of 1000 coins of the same weight, 925 are fine silver, 75 are
copper, you melt them all and you have sterling. When you have 950
and the other 50 are copper, you have the metal you described.

The difference in relation to the value the customer is getting is
negligible. If it easier to work with, the benefit is to the
craftman. Japan might use that alloy from their historical use, not
from any intrinsic quality that one is better.

Some sterling from american manufacturers is higher than .925 anyway,
I have asked about alloying, and they advised me on percentages. It
was higher in fine silver. They error on the safe side. Richard in

hello sharon shakodo mix can be from %4-%10 fine gold and for color
transfer we used distiled water amoniac and grated korean radish —
i mixed some 10/100 prts gold with copper and got this beutifull
DEEP dark gray black that still shines after 3years . and how is
bahrai? i am going to be in the golf region in 2 weeks best of lucks

Sharron; In Chile we use 950 (95%)silver too. To make chains we use
980 (98%)silver. Adriana in Santiago de Chile