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Any precious metal, like gold, platinum or silver is valuable because it is precious or rare, and there are limited quantities of it available inside the earth’s crust. And when shined perfectly, all of these metals give off a glitter and shine. That is why people love using such precious metals to make jewelry which is very attractive to look at and also very durable. Attractive jewelry made from precious metals is also a subtle way to flaunt the wearer’s wealth.

But because precious metals like silver are rare, they are also looked upon as a sound investment, because their value is expected to increase with the passing of time. As an example, let us consider the price of pure silver in the last 20 years. Silver prices touched a peak of around $45 per ounce in 2011-2012, up from levels of $5 per ounce in 1999. Today silver prices are down to around $15 per ounce, but that is still a 200% increase over the prices two decades back.

You might ask whether the Sterling Silver of your silver jewelry also is such a good investment. Yes it is, but you must understand that certain metals are added to pure silver to produce Sterling Silver which is used to make jewelry, so Sterling Silver might not appreciate at the same rate as pure silver. But it is still more valuable than the silver used in making coins, which is called Coin Silver. To get the best value from your Sterling Silver jewelry, you need to melt the jewelry and separate the pure silver from copper and other added metals. You can redeem most of the value of your Sterling Silver jewelry this way because almost 92.5% of Sterling Silver is pure silver.

That is how Sterling Silver can help you look good with attractive jewelry, and also provide great value as an investment.

Pure silver is slightly different from the silver you see in silver jewelry. That is because pure silver is too ‘soft’ to mould into shapes for jewelry. In order to make it suitably malleable, other metals (primarily copper, but also nickel or zinc) is used to make an alloy with silver. This alloy is referred to as Sterling Silver and it has less than 93% of pure silver, the rest being the other metals we mentioned. Although the metals added in Sterling Silver make it more durable, but the luster also reduces faster, which requires the jewelry to be polished in order to remove the tarnish. Since Sterling Silver does not have plates or layers which can come off, there is no limit to how often is too often for polishing.

This is just one of the ways Sterling Silver can be taken care of. There are three more things you can do in order to take good care of Sterling Silver jewelry :

Check The Rating First : Any jewelry made of Sterling Silver is given a rating. Pure Silver is allocated a rating of 999, which means it has 99.9% purity. As we said above, Sterling Silver has a 92.5% purity, which is why it is rated 925. You need to maintain a consistent polishing schedule if your jewelry has a rating of 950 or above.

Avoid Water : If you keep your Sterling Silver jewelry immersed in a jar of pure water, nothing will happen. But the water that you come in contact with in the shower or in swimming pools is not pure water by far. And those contaminants of water could be harmful for your silver. That is why it is important for you to try keeping your jewelry as dry as possible.

Air Can Be Bad : Exposure to air over an extended period can tarnish silver quickly but just putting your Sterling Silver jewelry inside a drawer might not be protection enough. It is best to have small pouches or jewelry boxes for individual pieces of your Sterling Silver collection.

If you take the above steps, and to it add a regular habit of polishing your Sterling Silver jewelry, you can assure a long and bright life for them.