I get a lot of questions and confusion about silver metals, so I thought I'd do a quick post about the difference between Sterling Silver, Fine Silver, and Argentium.
Sterling silver is always.925. What that means is it is 92.5% fine (or pure) silver with the rest made up of copper. This is a standard for sterling silver and there is no other more pure form of sterling silver.
There is also .999 pure or fine silver, which is generally pretty soft for jewelry making, which is why copper is added to it to make sterling.
Then there is Argentium silver, which is very similar to sterling silver, in that it is made up of .999 fine silver at. 93% with the remainder being germanium, which is added for strength. It is also more resistant to tarnish than sterling silver. Not tarnish free, but tarnish resistant. This is my favorite and gets a lot of use in my rings and stems.
All are good, high quality materials, and all have their specific uses and applications.
So there you have it - a bit more information about these three key players in jewelry making.