Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver mixed with other metals such as copper. 100% silver or "fine silver" is too soft to be used for jewelry and would quickly lose it's shape. Products made of sterling silver will usually be stamped with "925" , "SS" or "Sterling". Sterling silver will tarnish over time because of the copper content in the metal. There are new designer blends of sterling silver such as X1 Silver that contain copper alternatives that are less prone to tarnish however these blends are much more expensive and not often used because of that fact.
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