A pretty straightforward question. As we all know, sterling silver tarnishes and it firescales and I always assumed these were the main problems with it. I always knew sterling was a softer alloy, much softer than 14 or 18 karat gold. However it seems that a lot of the alternative silver alloys are marketed as being harder, does sterling really need more hardness? What design would be so thin as to require something harder than sterling? Claw settings on a ring put through plenty of abuse maybe? (ie engagement ring)
Also, why do you not see many sterling silver claw set rings? I always thought it had to do with the cost of the stone and therefore it wouldn’t cost much more to go with gold but is softness another concern with silver and claw settings?