Sterling silver vs Stainless steel. Stainless steel is more durable than sterling silver. But the jewellery made from stainless steel is cheaper. Both are shiny and polished. An expert jewellery maker can make stainless steel jewellery look like sterling silver so that you can wear high-quality jewellery at low prices. Also, stainless steel is rust-resistant, tarnish-free, and corrosion-resistant.

In this article, we will discuss stainless steel vs sterling silver and their definitions.

What is sterling silver?

When copper is added to pure silver, we can call it sterling silver. In pure silver, there is 99.9% of silver content. There is only 92.5% of silver, and the remaining contain copper and other metal types such as zinc or nickel when it comes to sterling silver. Also, there should be 925 stamped on them. Less than 925 has lower silver levels. Sterling silver is close to purity. But it is not 100% pure. Adding copper and other metal types make sterling silver more durable and stronger. Furthermore, sterling silver is used to create jewellery, plates, silver-plated items, etc.

There are some reasons for using sterling silver instead of pure silver. One is cost-benefit. Pure silver is more expensive since there is more silver percentage. But sterling silver cost low even it is close to purity. Additionally, sterling silver is easy to shape the pure silver. Adding additional metals help makers to create different shapes easily. Pure silver is not quite durable. But, sterling silver is more durable and stronger.

What is stainless steel?

Stainless steel has become more popular among jewellery makers and buyers due to its cost-benefit, durability, and expensive look. Stainless steel is a combination of carbon and metal, and chromium has added to it to make it corrosion- resistant. Usually, there is 10.5% percent of chromium on stainless steel. This chromium reacts with the oxygen and creates a protective skin for the steel. It stops rusting.

Not only the above contents, nickel, iron, titanium, etc are also added to the stainless steel. Nowadays, stainless steel is using from kitchenware to jewellery and even to biomedical devices. This offers more durability than sterling silver and a more expensive look for jewellery. There are many categories of stainless steel, and the one using to make jewellery is 365L. Choosing the wrong and low-quality stainless steel for your jewellery and other items can damage your skin and cause allergies.

Sterling silver vs Stainless steel – Sterling silver

Pros of sterling silver

  • More affordable compared to platinum and gold. But the quality of sterling silver is high even the price is low.
  • It has a more attractive look and classical finish.
  • Offers more versatility and malleability.
  • It can take a variety of colours and finished according to your preference.
  • Even Sterling silver tarnish faster, it can be brought back to the original look quickly.
  • It is highly durable compared to other types except for stainless steel.
  • It is easy to repair damages.
  • Sometimes the tarnishes can make the jewellery more natural.
  • It is easy to mold.

Cons of sterling silver

  • Sterling silver tarnishes faster.
  • Sometimes it doesn’t have the look of new jewellery.
  • More vulnerable to scratches and damages due to the softness.
  • There are more fake sterling silver items than the original one.
  • It requires regular clean to maintain the shine.
  • It cost more than stainless Steele.

Sterling silver vs Stainless steel – Stainless steel

Pros of stainless steel

  • It does not get scratched like sterling silver.
  • Cheaper than sterling silver.
  • Chromium makes steel corrosion-resistant and rust-resistant.
  • It’s harder than sterling silver.
  • It doesn’t require regular clean to maintain the shine.
  • No need to worry about tarnish.
  • More beautiful finishing than other types.
  • More durable than sterling silver.
  • Comes in attractive colours, finishing, and an expensive look.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Ideal for the people who use items daily.

Cons of stainless steel

  • It’s hard to repair when this gets damaged.
  • Some people might experience allergies.
  • It’s hard to resize.

Conclusion – Sterling silver vs Stainless steel

  • It’s all up to your preference. Both types have pros and cons. So, you should decide which pros and cons you should choose. If you are more concerned about the value of the jewellery, sterling silver is the best choice.
  • One might expect easiness, regular usage, and low cost. So, stainless steel is the best choice. As mentioned before, it is up to you to decide what is better. Usage, value preference, price, finishing will be the deciding factors between these two.
  • According to my preference, I will select stainless steel items. Because I don’t need to worry about tarnishing, scratched, and daily clean. Also, I can get an expensive-looking item for a low price.
  • But stainless steel doesn’t have an actual value like sterling silver. So, if you are more concerned about value and there is no regular usage, sterling silver is for you.



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