Topics: Sterling Silver vs. Silver-Plated Chain and Findings
For chain and findings, what are the pros and cons of sterling silver versus silver-plated?
Sterling silver is made with 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% another alloy like copper; silver plate is made with 0.15 to 0.25 mils of sterling silver over a base metal, often brass. Sterling silver is a precious metal and is more expensive than silver-plated chain and findings. However, sterling silver is easier to polish, gives designs a higher value, will not chip and is less brittle, so it is often preferred for long-lasting jewelry designs.
See the Beader's Guide to Jewelry Metals to learn more about the characteristics of both sterling and plated silver.