Sterling Silver Jewelry: Bolder and Better Than Ever

Is silver the new gold?

Sea Urchin Pendant by India Hicks
Sea Urchin Pendant by India Hicks

In the jewelry industry silver has long been considered one of the “noble metals,” a category which includes gold and platinum. But the public has sometimes ascribed “junior” or secondary status to silver, treating it merely as an affordable alternative to gold.

Not so any more.

With the steep rise in the price of gold in recent years, more and more top jewelry designers have turned to sterling silver for their most innovative designs. Sterling silver is a mixture of 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent copper. While other metals can be used, copper has proven to be the best alloy, adding the necessary strength without affecting the cool elegance of silver.

Today, silver’s popularity is more than a just a reaction to price; it’s a full-blown fashion trend, a growing category of fine jewelry. According to the Silver Promotion Service, sterling silver jewelry sales have increased 70 to 80 percent year over year for the past four years. Jewelry designers, fashion leaders and those of us Obsessed by Jewelry have embraced sterling silver as a precious metal in a league of its own.

3 Key Trends

Narissa Teardrop Fan Earrings by Alex Woo
Narissa Teardrop Fan Earrings by Alex Woo

Although sterling silver prices have risen with demand, it is quite possible to find fashionable designer pieces — some with gemstones — from $300 to $500. Two current trends to look for occupy opposite sides of the coin: delicate, intricate filigree designs on the one hand; and bold, hard-edged geometrics on the other. These sterling silver jewelry trends follow in the footsteps of recent runway looks: we’ve seen an abundance of lace and floral designs juxtaposed by powerful silhouettes and graphic color blocking.

The third important trend is the mix of sterling silver with colored gemstones, diamonds and pearls. Up until a few years ago, you might only have found gemstones with traditional gold settings; but today sterling silver designs share pride of place in jewelry showcases throughout the country.

David Yurman Amethyst Infinity Ring
David Yurman Amethyst Infinity Ring

As more and more designers turn to sterling silver, people are getting used to it as an essential part of a fine jewelry collection. Once thought of as second tier or alternative, sterling silver is now mainstream and in demand…an important staple of every Obsessed by Jewelry fan’s jewelry wardrobe!

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