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925 & 990 Silver

925 & 990 Silver

Ok, so we’ve entered a jewelry shop, and we intend to select a piece of silver jewelry. This is when the question would pop up - S925 or S990? Which kind would be a better choice, and what’s their difference?

Normally there are 2 types of silver jewelry on the market in the present - one is the silver jewelry made of 99.0% silver, another is those made of 92.5% silver (i.e., 990 silver and 925 silver).


S990 is what we call pure silver, also fine silver. Just as demonstrated in its name, pure silver is harvested directly from the underground and has not been combined with any other metals. In this case, S990 equals pure silver.


S925 is often called as sterling silver, 925 here indicates it’s an alloy made of 92.5 percent fine silver and 7.5 percent of another metal, usually copper but sometimes nickel or zinc. Sterling silver (S925) tarnishes much quicker than fine silver due to the fact that the 7.5% alloyed with the silver is usually copper – which, as you may already know, tarnishes very easily.

A piece of silver jewelry is, in most cases, made of 925 silver, and usually mounted with one or more diamonds, zircons, pearls, etc. To avoid the material being oxidized, its surface is normally plated with Palladium and Rhodium. Secondly, the hardness of 925 silver and 990 silver are different - 990 silver is softer than 925 silver, so it’s widely used as the raw material of traditional silver jewelry.

Different from traditional silver jewelry, the price of a piece of fashion jewelry doesn’t depend on its weight, because generally it’s mounted with one or more other objects, such as diamonds or zircons. In addition, the precious metal plated on its surface is usually more expensive than silver. So, it’s very difficult to put a price on the value of a piece of fashion silver jewelry according to its weights.

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