Sterling Silver Metal Guide

Love sterling silver jewellery? So do we! In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you’ve always wanted to know about our signature material. From care tips to styling tips, pendant necklaces to promise rings, it’s all here, so let’s dive right in.

What is sterling silver?

You’ve heard it said in many different ways – silver, sterling silver, pure silver. But what does it all mean? And what’s the difference between them? Let’s get this straight once and for all. Sterling silver is a kind of metal alloy. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s a mix of at least 92.5% pure silver and other metals like copper. The other metals are added to make it more durable, so you can love it and wear it for longer.

Most popular sterling silver jewellery

What is the difference between silver and sterling silver?

As the name suggests, pure silver is made up of 99.9% silver. But, it’s far too soft to keep its shape. That’s why other metals are added to create sterling silver, so it can take on the shape of jewellery pieces, like our iconic snake chain bracelet, that you can wear over and over. Adding metals like copper keeps the colour and lustre of the silver on point, while making it more resistant to wear and tear.

Read on for more facts about sterling silver.

Using sterling silver alloys

It’s actually standard practice in the jewellery industry to mix pure silver with harder metals to make it more durable. We love using sterling silver so much that it’s our signature metal. And we’re not alone – it’s the world’s most popular silver alloy, too.


Same colour, same lustre, same mass

We enjoy using sterling silver for our jewellery because it retains the colour, lustre and mass of the pure silver without compromising the quality. By using sterling silver, we give your jewellery a longer lifespan by making it more resistant to wear and tear.

The natural tarnish of silver

Like other metals, sterling silver naturally tarnishes over time. It’s a completely natural reaction that eventually turns the material a slightly darker shade, as the outer layer reacts to its environment. Tarnishing is a bit different from the oxidation process, since it’s a part of the original jewellery design. Sometimes we like to highlight special details with a darker finish with this technique, which means that oxidation is an intentional design feature that’s a part of the piece from the beginning.


About the hallmarks

We’re proud of the high-quality materials we use (did we mention we love sterling silver?), which is why all our jewellery features several hallmarks that let you know more about its purity and where it’s from. The hallmark for Pandora sterling silver jewellery is S925, symbolising the alloy of 92.5% silver.

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How to care for sterling silver jewellery

Want to keep your sterling silver jewellery looking brand new? Follow our tips below to get started.

Use the Pandora Care Kit to clean sterling silver jewellery

Our Care Kit makes it easy for you to clean your Pandora jewellery. It comes with a gentle cleaning solution and a polishing cloth. Use the white side of the cloth for polishing and the solution to keep the shiny finish.

Store it in a jewellery box

Jewellery boxes aren’t just nice to look at. They actually have an important role to play when it comes to keeping your sterling silver pieces scratch-free and dust-free. You can read more about how to store your jewellery safely here.

Remove jewellery before swimming

Remember to take off your sterling silver jewellery before swimming, showering or bathing. No water-based activities, please.

Sterling silver jewellery

We love sterling silver jewellery because it’s super versatile and looks good with every single outfit. Plus, you can wear it in endless different ways. It’s the metal that keeps on giving.

That’s why at Pandora, we’ve made it our mission to make sterling silver as accessible as possible. Sterling silver necklaces. Sterling silver bracelets. Sterling silver charms, earrings, and rings... It’s timeless, easy to care for and available in all the sizes you might need for yourself or someone special.

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Recycled sterling silver jewellery

Sterling silver is the most-used metal in our jewellery and therefore the most impactful place to start our journey towards circularity. By 2025, we will purchase only recycled silver and gold for crafting our jewellery.