How You Might Properly Use Silver Jewelry

ShoppingFashion / Style

  • Author Tracey Halvorson
  • Published February 8, 2011
  • Word count 554

Bold, strong statements can be made with your adornments, but a lot of time, a more subtle approach is appreciated. Silver jewelry is one of the best ways to achieve a classy yet bold fashion statement, and many pieces are versatile enough to be worn with an evening gown or jeans and a t-shirt. It is one of the most popular metals for making fashion adornments.

Spending a lot to find nice silver jewelry is not necessary. The cheapest items are likely painted or plated instead of solid, and these coatings can rub off, so they should be avoided. But solid is not very expensive, either. The pure metal is too soft to be made into wearable pieces, though, so don't look for anything to say ""pure"" on it.

Sterling is the name of the nicest kind of alloy. This alloy is at least 90% pure, and only contains just enough other metal to give the substance strength and an ability to hold its shape. Sterling is prized for being strong and lustrous, thus combining the best qualities of silver and the secondary metal added to it.

The term ""German silver"" refers to a metal alloy that does not actually contain the metal. It is made of copper, zinc and nickel in varying proportions, and is a strong and corrosion-resistant metal with a silvery sheen. But it is not the same metal, and the many people in the world with nickel allergies cannot wear it against the skin.

Silver is most commonly known for its famous sheen and color, but the oxidized version is very popular, too, and actually has been for longer. Adornments made from the oxidized variety are dark in color, and often the metal is oxidized in patterns in order to create shapes with shades and patterns. The hue is somewhat more versatile than the shiny variety, and can be used to make a much more casual piece. The setting of gemstones in the oxidized type of this metal is traditional, and common.

If being fancy or making the piece extra special is on your mind, shiny silver does make a beautiful, if non-traditional, setting for pearls, diamonds, and other gems. Just because these items are usually set in gold doesn't mean they have to be, and they can be just as gorgeous on a backdrop of a shiny, silvery color. Rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets with inset gems all make great adornments.

Most, if not all, types of jewelry come in the familiar silvery hue. Shiny and oxidized versions of earrings and rings are probably the most popular, in a variety of patterns, shapes and sizes, but you can find bracelets, necklaces, cuff-links, tie-pins, any almost anything else you can think of. This type of metal holds patterns beautifully, and oxidizing only portions of the design can add to the beauty of the etchings.

Silver jewelry is just as at home at a formal ball or a park picnic. It can be black or a shiny silvery color, and comes in all sorts of pieces. Sterling is the best of the varieties, and plated or painted adornments should be avoided, because these coatings can rub off and expose the cheaper base metal. Affordable enough to attract many people yet classy enough for the richest to wear, this metal enjoys great popularity.

In the market for Silver Jewelry? Get the low down on one of the best jewelry instantly in our comprehensive exquisite Tiffany Silver Bangles guide.

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