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Choosing silver jewellery

Updated on February 25, 2016

When you are picking out a new piece of jewellery either for yourself or a loved one, one of the biggest questions is whether or not you should buy silver, platinum or gold (of which there are also rose and white gold equivalents).

In the case of silver jewellery, there are a few things to watch out for when you decide to purchase it.

Crucial criteria when buying silver

The silver that you buy from one seller may not be the same as that that is sold by another retailer. Whilst this is the same for any type of jewellery, silver differs in that it doesn’t have a carat class associated towards it like platinum, gold and precious gems do.

Having said that, it should be noted that whenever you purchase silver be it online or face to face in a store that you choose 925 silver. Due to the nature of silver, it is a fairly soft and fragile metal. However, with regards to 925 silver it has been mixed with other metals which are much stronger such as copper. In this case, 92.5% of the jewellery will be silver, and the remaining 7.5% of the jewellery will be composed of said metals.

In terms of safety however, you should always make sure that it is safe to touch and wear. In respect to this, a 925 piece of jewellery should not also be comprised of heavy metals such as nickel, lead and also cadmium as these are highly unsafe and can be hazardous to your health.

Another area in which some retailers may skimp on the jewellery is in the protective coating that they use on it. Since silver jewellery could effectively be classed as an alloy, it does under some circumstances have the potential to tarnish over time. Not only is this unsightly, but upon being tarnished, depending on the severity of it, it cannot be repaired.

It is however possible to protect silver jewellery from tarnishing. Without getting too bogged down in the chemistry behind it, it involves passing an electric current through the metal which confers anti-tarnishing properties to it. This is in effect the same as adding a protective barrier to car paint. For example, the paint on cars can be protected by the addition of a clear coat, and can further be protected by adding a sealant onto it as well. This is the same principle that occurs when an electric coating is applied to the metal.

Online or offline retailers?


Whilst the majority of people may feel that the best route to go down is to buy the jewellery at a bricks and mortar store i.e. an offline retailer, doing so can actually ramp up the cost of the items you are buying. One of the biggest things you have in terms of consumer rights in the UK when ordering products online is that you can return a product for a full refund within 7 days. This can be in the case if you are simply not happy with it, it wasn’t as described or in some cases, both of these criteria are met.

When buying online however, you should also make a note of their returns policy. Whilst it is a legal right that you can return it for a full refund in 7 days, the online retailer may not state this specifically if at all in their refund policy. When they do not state this, it does send out alarm bells that it may not exactly be the easiest to get your money back from them if you are unhappy with the jewellery that you have received.

Of course, you should also ensure that when buying silver especially that you make sure that they point out that they meet the criteria listed above when it comes to silver jewellery. There are a lot of retailers online that sell silver, but one of the best by far is MainlySilver. They meet all of the aforementioned criteria as well as having an excellent customer support and returns service.

With such a combination, you really will be getting peace of mind when buying from them. They also further protect the metal as mentioned above by plating the jewellery after the electric current has been applied to it. This also further improves the appearance of the silver.

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