Silver is a precious metal used frequently since the bronze age. Used to make various items, today we predominantly use silver to make rings.
Silver rings are an affordable option. However, silver is not a recommended choice for engagement and wedding rings. They are lightweight and malleable. Although easily customized to your preferences, the flexible metal can be easily scratched and damaged.
Because silver jewelry is so malleable, it requires extra care and attention.
Although you could save money purchasing a ring made from this material, you may spend more maintaining it.
In this article, you will learn the pros and cons of silver rings, average costs, and how to care for them to help you decide if it is the right choice for you.
Pros of Silver Rings
Silver rings are unique pieces of jewelry capable of impressing your friends or commemorating you and your partner’s love.
Keep in mind that silver rings are not pure silver.
Because silver is such a soft metal, it is very workable. However, pure silver is too malleable to be suitable for jewelry.
Jewelers add several less malleable metals to the silver to create what we call sterling silver.
Sterling silver is an alloy containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals, usually copper.
Although sterling silver’s actual percentage of metals may vary by country, the United States has a minimum silver requirement.
To be classified as sterling silver in the United States, the alloy must be at least 92.5% pure silver.
When you hear someone talking about silver jewelry, they are likely referring to a sterling silver piece.
Although sterling silver is less malleable than pure silver, it is still relatively flexible.
Increased malleability allows jewelers to make more than just the same simple designs used with other metals.
Experimenting with new jewelry designs is not a costly endeavor for jewelers. If the finished work does not look good, they can rework it into something else.
Silver’s malleable nature and low price tag allow all a chance to own uniquely designed jewelry.
Skilled jewelers can even rework an existing ring if desired.
Silver rings are simple for jewelers to alter. If your ring size changes over time, a jeweler can easily resize it.
Silver is a very lightweight metal, so you are not as likely to notice it on your finger and have it be a burden.
Silver rings also have a nice sheen. If you are looking for a flashy material that is known for its good looks, silver can help you reach these goals.
Another benefit not commonly discussed is silver’s antibacterial properties.
Silver kills bacteria, whereas other rings collect bacteria and germs that you touch.
This characteristic makes a silver ring not only fashionable but a healthy option as well.
Cons of Silver Rings
While silver might sound like the perfect ring choice, there are several cons to consider before making your decision.
The first con we will discuss was also used as a benefit! Silver is a very soft metal with low durability.
If you frequently use your hands while at work, the ring will likely get scratched or warped.
Additionally, if you work in the sun, the silver ring will tarnish quickly.
Wearing a silver ring requires one to be cautious when using their hands and frequently care for it.
If you do not have the time, money, or energy to care for a silver ring, consider a different ring material.
Tarnish is a common occurrence among items made from silver, especially rings.
Pure silver will not tarnish, but sterling silver will.
Because it is an alloy, the other metals will react with elements in the air and cause it to change colors.
The copper in the sterling silver causes the ring to turn a weird blue or green color that will also rub on your skin.
One thing to consider when buying a silver ring is its tensile strength.
Tensile strength is the resistance of a material to breaking under tension.
Excessive use and pressure on the ring could bend or misshape it.
If extreme enough, it can cause the band to squish, potentially smashing your finger in the process.
Average Cost of Silver Rings
All types of jewelry can be expensive. Currently, silver has a relatively low price.
The actual cost depends on the current price of silver and where you purchase your ring.
Silver rings in California will not cost the same price as silver rings in Nebraska.
Also, there were times when silver was more expensive than gold. In fact, during the first two Olympic games, silver medals were given to the winners instead of gold. During this time, silver was a rarer metal and therefore more expensive.
Therefore, the price constantly fluctuates, and depending on the day, you may get a great deal on your silver rings. Check the current price of silver on Money Metals.
The price you pay for your silver ring will depend on the ring’s size.
A regular-sized women’s band, with no frills or adornments, will cost you around $90.
A men’s band, which is usually broader than a women’s band, will cost you about $220.
This price is just for a plain ring. If you want any embellishments, such as a diamond or inlays, it will cost more.
How to Care for Silver Rings
If you own a silver ring, it is necessary to take great care of it. If proper care is not maintained, the silver ring will tarnish and lose its brilliance.
Although jewelers build wedding rings to last a long time, many things can harm a silver ring.
You may be surprised how many day-to-day activities can tarnish a silver ring.
Household cleaning products are the most important things to avoid.
The chemicals in the products react with the metals in the ring, impacting its color and shine.
Be sure to take a silver ring off while doing the dishes, cleaning bathrooms, or using any other cleaning products.
Many chemicals will tarnish and corrode your sterling silver ring just by being near to it.
Some of these chemicals include but are not limited to chlorinated water, rubber, and sulfur.
Even dust and mildew can cause problems for sterling silver rings.
Other activities such as cooking and chopping up food or partaking in physical activity can also lead to tarnishing your ring.
You should also keep your ring away from lotions, perfumes, hairspray, and sunscreen.
These beauty products use many of the same chemicals used in cleaning products.
The sunlight will also tarnish a sterling silver ring.
The UV rays will make it so that your sterling silver ring reacts with chemicals already in the air and cause a quick tarnish.
A way to avoid this is by keeping your jewelry in a cool, dry place.
At this point, you may feel as though your ring spends more time off your hand than it does on it.
As well as being cautious of exposing your ring to things, it is essential to clean silver rings often.
Cleaning silver rings do not require complicated cleaning products or techniques.
Clean your silver ring the same way you would clean silver utensils or picture frames.
Start by using a little bit of mild dish soap. Ensure the soap you choose will not corrode the silver.
Rub this on the ring and rinse. Use of mild dish soap should remove mild tarnish from silver rings.
Dry off the ring and use a polishing rag to bring out the metal’s shine.
After you have done this, some tarnish may remain. If so, line a casserole dish or your sink with aluminum foil.
Pour boiling water into the container. Make sure that there is enough water to cover your jewelry in its entirety.
Add 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of salt to the boiling water.
After everything dissolves into the water, place your item into the water. Remove the silver jewelry from the solution after 30 minutes.
Dry the ring and use the polishing rag again.
Why does this work so well? The combination of baking soda, salt, silver, and aluminum creates a small electrical current in the water.
This electrical current then removes the tarnish from the silver ring.
There are more than just these two ways of cleaning your silver jewelry.
Another common way of cleaning silver jewelry is with vinegar and baking soda.
Prepare this mixture like the one above, adding a bit of vinegar this time.
The key here is the acidity in the vinegar. It sparks a reaction bigger than before and increases the mixture’s cleaning power.
Other ways that you can clean your silver is with ketchup or even lemon juice.
These two foods are also very acidic and will get the job done.
Many places will tell you that it is okay to clean your silver products with toothpaste.
While toothpaste may work, make sure that the toothpaste itself does not have any chemicals that may harm the silver in any way.
Once applied, make sure to rub the toothpaste off quickly.
There are many tips and tricks for taking care of sterling silver and finding the right ring for you.
When storing silver jewelry, it is best to keep it in an airtight space. A zip-top bag will work perfectly for this; it will ensure no air gets in.
Another thing that could harm your ring in storage is humidity.
Prevent humidity from damaging your silver ring by adding silica packets to the zip-top bag.
Find these silica packets in shoe boxes and bags of beef jerky (be sure to clean the bag first).
The silica will absorb water, keeping the humidity down.
Since its discovery, silver has been a popular material throughout the world.
Both the Egyptians and Romans used silver in coins. Elegant palaces also featured silver decorations.
Although silver once was a sign of wealth and status, its popularity has declined.
However, silver will never entirely fall from society’s favor.
Sometimes silver bands are used as temporary wedding bands until you can purchase a more expensive one.
No one wants to lose a wedding band or invest in something that will break easily.
Keep this in mind as you consider silver rings (or other malleable materials) while shopping for wedding bands.
As you are out looking for wedding bands, be cautious.
While silver is a good choice for necklaces or small family heirlooms, jewelers do not recommend it for wedding or engagement rings.
Sterling silver is not usually a good ring for a wedding band.
Any diamonds that you get placed on it have a higher chance of falling off due to the weak strength of sterling silver.
Because the metal is so malleable, it can be easily scratched, tarnished, misshapen, or damaged in other ways.
Regardless of its soft material, it will forever remain a precious metal used as an act of love or demonstration of kindness.
Remember, most people who say “silver” are referring to sterling silver. Pure silver is too soft to work. Jewelers only make pieces from the slightly stronger sterling silver.
Silver rings are shiny pieces of jewelry best worn for fun or to impress others.
Since silver rings are relatively low in price, you do not have to spend an arm and a leg to get a piece of jewelry that looks spectacular.
Silver rings can look as unique, intricate, or simple as you desire. The metal’s high malleability makes it a flexible material for jewelers to design.
If you purchase a silver ring, make sure to take proper care of your jewelry. If your silver ring is well-maintained, it should last multiple lifetimes.
Many people still have sterling silver jewelry from their great grandparents that could date to over 100 years ago.
While silver may not be the most durable type of jewelry, its lower price tag allows everyone the chance to purchase a beautiful ring.
If this ring is to be a symbol of your love, putting a little extra effort into its care and maintenance is well worth it.