Sterling silver, or 925 sterling silver is a silver alloy that is commonly used for jewellery making. You will often see the numbers '925' associated with sterling silver, more often than not '925' will be stamped somewhere on your finding. This is a form of certification to essentially prove the article is 925 sterling silver.
The number '925' represents the "fineness" of the alloy by weight, and literally means that it is 92.5% silver - the minimum standard for sterling silver.. It is possible to find fine silver jewellery findings (99% + silver), but as silver is a very soft metal they don't make for great findings. Sterling silver is usually made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper and other metals. This hardens the metal significantly so it can be used for effective findings.
We currently have a range of lobster claw clasps that are all 925 sterling silver and are stamped '925' to indicate they're authenticity. We are planning to add other sterling silver items to our range including pinch bails, jump rings and chains so sign up to our newsletter to keep informed.
Other metals than copper have been alloyed with silver to form alternative 925 silver alloys in an effort to reduce tarnishing, most recently argentium silvers 935 and 960. Both argentium silver 935 and 960 have a higher fineness than sterling silver and are achieved by increasing the silver content and replacing some of the copper with germanium. Argentium silver 960 also meets the standard to be hallmarked Britannia Silver.