Sterling silver is a silver alloy that contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. Due to the extreme softness of fine silver, it is mixed with copper to increase its hardness. Sterling silver is a bright white colored metal and an inexpensive alternative. However, sterling silver is a very soft metal in comparison to gold, platinum and palladium. Since wedding rings take a lot of wear and tear, a sterling silver ring will scratch, ding and lose its shape much faster than other precious metals.
Sterling silver is a very soft metal, and we don’t usually recommend silver for wedding bands. However, there are a few reasons you might choose a sterling silver band:
- For a men’s engagement ring, or a less expensive "starter" wedding ring that will be replaced with a gold, palladium, or platinum wedding band.
- You know you are prone to losing things (good for you for admitting that to yourself), and don't want the responsibility of something too valuable. A silver band is less expensive to replace than a gold one.
- You like the idea of a ring that develop a patina from wear, with each mark demoting the passage of time.
- To try out the fit and dimensions of a band before committing to a more expensive ring.
Because sterling bends easily, if you do choose a sterling silver ring, consider a thicker band (1.5-2mm thick), or a sterling palladium band. Sterling palladium is a 92.5% sterling silver alloy which contains 3.0% palladium. It is intrinsically harder than standard sterling silver and is more tarnish resistance. However, it is still a type of sterling silver, so it will not be as durable as some other metals.