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Article: What is sterling silver?

What is sterling silver? - Nolia Jewelry - Meaningful + Sustainably Handcrafted Jewelry

What is sterling silver?

Here at the Nolia studio, we only use high quality metals + materials to create our jewelry, and all of our raw metals are sourced directly from suppliers here in the USA! Our metal choice for our silver jewelry is no exception!


We use sterling silver for all of our silver jewelry. Sterling silver, by definition, is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloys (usually copper). So why don't we use pure silver you ask? Because pure silver (100% silver) and fine silver (99.9% silver) are extremely soft and do not hold up near as well for day to day wear. The 7.5% allows that are added to sterling silver strengthen the metal and make it more practical.


Sterling silver is a life long material choice for metal. It's beautiful, durable, and long lasting! It does have it's down sides though. Sterling silver can oxidize quite easily when exposed to the elements. It's a chemical reaction that is considered very normal with sterling silver jewelry. Luckily though, sterling silver is one of the easiest metals to clean! Our top choice here in the studio is to dip it in a liquid jewelry cleaner meant for sterling silver jewelry. These are inexpensive and last a long time! Simply follow the instructions on the cleaner that you have. Please note that it is not recommended to submerge gemstones or silk threads in liquid jewelry cleaners. That leads us to our second cleaning pick... polishing cloths! If there is a component on your jewelry that should be used with a liquid cleaner, or you want something that's a little easier to take on the go, you can buff a sterling silver piece back to it's original shine with any polishing cloth compatible with sterling silver jewelry.

BONUS TIP: We are proud to say that all of our jewelry is lead + nickel free!

Have questions about sterling silver or how to clean + care for it? Email us at We'd love to help!

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