Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925.

The sterling alloy originated in continental Europe and has been used for commerce as early as the 12th century in the area that is now northern Germany. In England the composition of sterling silver was subject to official assay at some date before 1158, during the reign of Henry II but its purity was probably regulated from centuries earlier, in Saxon times.