Originally considered more precious than gold, silver exhibits a timeless elegance and easy-care durability.
We coat our sterling silver with a layer of rhodium, which creates a lustrous and long-lasting shine.
Valued as a precious metal since ancient times, silver is used to craft many of the fine jewelry pieces on the market today. Once considered more precious than gold, pure silver is a soft metal with a white, lustrous hue. In addition to jewelry making, silver is used in a wide variety of industrial and decorative applications, including fine serving ware, flatware, decorative accents, personalized gifts, coins, and electrical components. Silver is produced as a by-product of the mining of other metals, including gold, lead, copper, and zinc.
At Brilliance, we proudly offer a wide assortment of sterling silver jewelry pieces. Preferred by many for its budget-friendly value and versatile coloring, silver exhibits a timeless elegance and easy-care durability.
Due to its high level of inherent softness, pure silver is actually too malleable to be used alone in jewelry making-it is easily dented and scratched when exposed to daily wear and tear. Instead, silver is typically mixed with other alloy metals. Copper is the most commonly chosen companion; its durable resilience lends stability and longevity to sterling silver pieces.
At Brilliance, each of our sterling silver pieces boasts a purity of 925, which denotes a silver content of 92.5% and an alloy composition of 7.5%. This is the standard that determines whether a jewelry piece can be designated as "sterling" or pure silver-anything less than 92.5% does not qualify.
The most reliable method of ascertaining the purity of a sterling silver piece is to examine it for hallmarks. First implemented in France and Great Britain as early as the 14th century, a hallmark is a stamp or marker applied to a piece of silver jewelry to indicate the amount of its pure silver content, and in some cases also signifies the date of production and country of origin. These stamps are usually applied with a special branding tool or small hammer. A stamping of ".925," "Sterling," or "coin" all indicate that a silver jewelry piece meets the "sterling" or pure silver standard.
Although it is not a government-mandated law in the United States to stamp a piece of jewelry with its hallmark, Brilliance stamps each piece of our high quality silver jewelry as a means of ensuring a confident, informed jewelry shopping experience.
Pure silver possesses a milky white or grey color that has inspired the nickname "metal of the moon." At Brilliance, we coat all of our silver jewelry pieces with a layer of Rhodium metal to create a lustrous, long-lasting shine comparable to white gold. The Rhodium coating can be re-applied periodically to return the piece to its original high gleam.
Silver is more prone than other precious metals to tarnishing from oxidization, which can cause its surface to turn dull or black. You can help prevent these undesirable effects by following the proper guidelines for polishing and storage.
Silver is much less expensive than other precious metals like gold and platinum. The main factor considered when pricing a piece of silver jewelry is the metal's current market price per gram. As a general rule, the heavier a piece of sterling silver, the more expensive it will be. The base price is a calculation of the item's weight and the current cost per gram, although that's not the only contributing factor. Other considerations include labor costs to forge and finish the piece, added materials such as Rhodium and gemstones, and the level of intricacy and craftsmanship required.
To help extend the longevity and beauty of your silver pieces, you should follow the proper guidelines for care, cleaning, and storage. Since it's much softer than other metals and gemstones, silver requires special methods to retain the integrity of its texture and composition.
To remove oil, dirt, tarnish, and smudges from the surface of silver, you should polish it regularly with a soft cloth. Never use rough or coarse fabrics, as these can result in scratching. Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners, which can cause discoloration. Every few months, you might consider taking your silver piece to a professional jeweler for a thorough cleaning, and perhaps a fresh coating of Rhodium to recapture its original shine. At Brilliance, each of our fine silver jewelry pieces comes with complimentary professional cleaning and polishing services to restore your purchase to its original luster. Perhaps even more important than a proper cleaning regimen is the method of storage used for your silver pieces. To prevent the oxidization that can cause dullness and tarnishing, each silver piece should be stored in its own dedicated soft pouch, plastic bag, or box lined with tarnish-resistant material. Avoid keeping silver in warm, moist environments, such as bathrooms. Instead, store jewelry in a dry, cool area.
Silver has enjoyed a long and heritage-rich history. In ancient Egyptian times, the metal was revered as possessing religious and spiritual significance, and was often used during worship. Originally considered much more precious than gold, silver did not become available to the middle class until the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 1800s, nobility began using silver in their tableware, flatware, and other serving accessories.
Dating back to the time of primitive man, silver has been referred to by many different naming conventions. The story of how the word "sterling" was incorporated into the name is rooted in 12th-century lore. As payment for English cattle, an association of eastern Germans compensated the British with silver coins dubbed "Easterlings." Eventually, the Easterling was widely accepted as a standard of English currency. The name was ultimately abbreviated to "Sterling," which is now used to refer to the highest grade of silver metal.