We are isolating. Orders will be shipped out from 30th May. Production Time: 2-4 business days | Free NZ Shipping on orders $99+ We are isolating. Orders will be shipped out from 30th May. Production Time: 2-4 business days | Free NZ Shipping on orders $99+

Sterling Silver vs Stainless Steel? Whats the difference?

Sterling Silver vs Stainless Steel? Whats the difference?

Both Sterling Silver and Stainless Steel can be very similar in appearance but what makes these two metals the same and what makes them different?

Both metals are used in Jewellery making and it really comes down to your preference as both have their pros and cons. 

So let's take a look at each of these metals and do a little comparison.

A bit about Stainless Steel.

Stainless Steel is used widely around the world for jewellery making, cutlery or even surgical equipment. When it is polished up to a high shine, it is very reflective so it can make stunning pieces of jewellery that is both functional and durable. Think 'BLING BLING!'

Stainless Steel is a metal alloy which means it contains a variety of metals to make up a whole. There are many many compositions of Stainless Steel, but the most common being grade 304 for jewellery making. Better Jewellery brands use grade 316 which is considered hypoallergenic. Grade 304 contains Nickel and Chromium. Chromium contributes to Stainless Steel being corrosion resistant and low maintenance. 

Because there are so many types of stainless steel alloys, there are different types used on cutlery compared to earrings for example. 

Stainless Steel is very durable and incredibly scratch resistant. This makes it a great choice for those who are on the go and don't want to spend the time taking much care of their jewellery items.

A bit about Sterling Silver.

Sterling Silver is considered a precious metal and even an element on the periodic table-Ag. It isn't as rare as Gold or Platinum but it is considered in the same category as them, a precious metal.

Sterling Silver is also an alloy in that it is only 92.5% pure silver. Pure Silver is just too soft to work with in jewellery so other metals are added to give it the durability. Most commonly, 7.5% copper is used with pure silver to make up Sterling Silver. There are of course, also many other types of Silver alloys. 

Sterling Silver can be polished up to have a high shine and it is quite a bright coloured metal.

What I love about the Sterling Silver pieces I stock is that they are all 100% Nickel Free! This makes Sterling Silver a safer choice for those with sensitive skin. 

Every item that we have here at True Impressions is offered in Sterling Silver. 

Sterling Silver vs Stainless Steel.

So after looking at these two metals side by side we can see that they are quite different in their composition.

Stainless Steel offers a high resistance to corrosion and scratching while Sterling Silver will tarnish over time and does scratch easier. For those who want to buy a piece of Jewellery that will look the same 10 years done the track without any maintenance then Stainless Steel is for you.

If you want to buy a piece of Classic Jewellery that you might want to pass down as an Heirloom then Sterling Silver is for you. Sterling Silver exudes elegance, as it is a classic metal that takes a bit of up keep to keep it looking its best.

Stainless Steel is heavier than Sterling Silver so if you are after a more lightweight feel then go for the later.

Sterling Silver is a precious metal so it holds more value than Stainless Steel. That being said, it's really what is stamped on the piece that holds the value no matter what the metal is.

Sis Disc Necklace in Sterling Silver

So what should you choose?

Depending on your needs either option could work for you.

Stainless steel could trigger allergic reactions depending on its composition. Sterling Silver could scratch up more compared to Stainless Steel. 

Stainless Steel is known for its durability and low maintenance for everyday use.

Sterling Silver is more valuable and exudes a higher level of elegance, especially for Jewellery items.

Both are great metals. Personally, I prefer Sterling Silver as I love the vulnerability of the metal and the fact it needs a little extra loving care.