What Is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver, in one form or another, can be found in just about every home in the United States. This precious metal alloy accents our dinner tables and adds shine to our everyday jewelry.

  1. Sterling silver is an alloy metal containing 92.5 percent silver and a 7.5 percent amalgam of other metals.  It has been known since antiquity. Objects have been found dating from before 4000 BCE. It is believed the silver was discovered around 5000 BCE, making it one of the first five metals to be discovered.
  2. Ag is the chemical symbol for silver. Ag comes from the Latin word for silver, argentum. The word argentum is derived from a Sanskrit word which means shining

3. The words for "silver" and "money" are the same in more than 14 countries.

4. Prior to 1965 coins minted in the US consisted of about 90% silver.  The Kennedy    half dollars minted in the US contained 40% silver. 

5. Mexico is currently the leading producer of silver with Peru coming in second. Silver is also produced in the United States, Canada, Russia and Australia. 

The Value Of Silver

The price of silver is substantially less than the price of gold. The price of metals varies according to the demand, as well as the invention of new methods used to separate it from other elements. In ancient Egypt and Medieval European countries, silver was valued more highly than gold.

Sterling silver isn’t an “investment grade” metal because of its lower purity and overall value when compared to fine silver, which has a purity level of 99.9 percent. Despite having little appeal for precious metal portfolios and retirement accounts, sterling silver has many commercial applications. Sterling silver has been used throughout history to craft a variety of household item (dating back to 30BC). It is even used to make surgical equipment.

The following  is a list with some of the most common items made with silver:

  • Jewelry: Pendants, bracelets, earrings, and rings are often crafted with sterling silver.  Rare gemstones are often set into sterling silver mountings
  • Silverware:  Sterling silver is regularly used in the manufacturing of dinnerware.  The metal’s high polish finish is favored. Ornate designs in dinnerware were very common at one time. 
  • Musical Instruments: Silver components used in some woodwind instruments, including saxophones and flutes, create a distinct resonance.The distinct resonance is well regarded. 
  • Health Supplements: silver is germicidal, meaning it kills bacteria and other lower organisms. Colloidal Silver is taken internally by many as an antibacterial agent
  • The antimicrobial properties of silver make it useful for air conditioning and water filtration. It is used in electronics, to make mirror coatings, for solar energy applications, and for photography. Silver is the most reflective element. This quality makes it useful in mirrors, telescopes, microscopes, and solar cells.
  •  Dentistry
  • Currencies

🔹Because silver is a soft metal on its own - other metals are added to it to give it strength. Copper is often used for this purpose.  The addition of these other metals increases the chance of it tarnishing over time if the silver is left in the open air.  Silver tarnishes in the air basically because of a reaction with sulfur compounds to form a black sulfide layer.  Contact with body oils, lotions and perfume can also lead to tarnishing.


The chains sold by Satori Fire Glass are a high quality silver that is imported from Italy. They start out with an anti tarnish coating.  We highly recommend keeping your sterling silver chains in the bags provided.

Back to blog