Is sterling silver really that soft?

posted 3 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@Grafton86:  It does wear more than white gold.  I’ve got a sterling silver diamond band I wear on my right hand.  There are visible scratches on the sides from where my white gold diamond ering hits it when I put them in a dish at night.  And the bottom is far more scratched up just from general wear and tear whereas the ering shows no signs of wear and I got them only 1 day apart.  I don’t think it would necessarily fall apart on you, but if you’re thinking this is a forever ring, I could see it needing to be replaced eventually.  But many, many years down the road.

Post # 4
3570 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I had a thick silver band that I wore for 10 years and then it finally bit the dust.  Definitely won’t last forever.

Post # 5
2484 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

I have a sterling silver promise ring. I’m super hard on my hands. (I have a 21 month old) I feel like the quality and craftsmanship of the ring plays a huge factor in the ring “lasting.” I’ve never seen any warping in the band or anything like that. The bottom of my ring is definitely scratched up, but it doesn’t bother me. My ring is/was rhodium plated, so i’m sure if the scratches bother you, you could always have yours re-dipped. 


Lets see a picture of that ring!

Post # 6
3659 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Sterling silver bends easily — all of my previous silver rings conform to the shape of my finger. If you’re hoping to get a silver ring that has stones in it, I wouldn’t trust that for long-term wear because the metal can bend and the stones can fall out. If you wear silver all the time, it won’t tarnish, but if you take it off, it will. I had a ring I wore for two solid years that looked great (besides it bending), but now that I don’t wear it anymore it’s really tarnished.

I would spend the extra money for white gold.

Post # 7
9856 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

ditto previous posters – silver won’t hold up as well, I’d recommend white gold.  Silver is softer and more maliable, it will show wear, dull, and bend.

Post # 8
276 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My one promise ring was sterling silver and held up very very well. I banged that bad boy on everything:tables, doors, walls, got run over by a bike, the list goes on. It was very strached up, but I took it to the jeweler and batta bing batta boom nice and shiney again.

If you care for it I think it will last, but gold is a more secure route. Could the caster use a lower karat of gold to lessen the price?

Post # 9
2675 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

I agree that silver might not hold up for a lifetime. You typically can’t get it resized. Especially if there are stones in the ring they seem not as secure – most of my silver rings have lost stones over the years. I do have some better quality rhodium plated silver rings that have held up as RHRs for 5+  years but I don’t wear them daily. I keep all my silver jewelry in a special “Silver Keeper” jewelry cabinet. I love it but much of it hasn’t held up well after 10-20 years with just occasional wear.


Post # 11
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I love me some silver rings! But with daily wear, the band always crack in a few years…

Post # 12
4494 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I have silver rings I love – but they have gotten scratched and bent out of shape.  I lost one of the stones on my favorite after a year because a prong bent.  Silver’s pretty and affordable, but I think you have to have realistic expectations on the durability.

Post # 13
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

Do you have silver jewelry? I have had a lot over the years, and it’s always become bent, discolored, and tarnished.

I’d spend more if you want it to last forever. Save a bit longer.

14K white gold is very affordable.

Post # 14
3230 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 1997

Interestingly, silver and gold rank the same on Mohs scale, and silver is higher on the Vickers scale. However, those rank the minerals, not the alloys used to make jewelry. Given that most gold jewelry is at least 25% other metals (it is less common to have higher than 18K gold in the US, although it is much more common in some other parts of the world), it is generally harder than silver. Sterling is 92.5% silver, making it much softer than most alloyed gold. Add to that that silver is slightly more reactive than gold (not a lot, but slightly) and that it oxidizes, and overall it is simply a less durable and less lasting metal to make heavy-use jewelry from. A lot of people also do not like the idea of their wedding band tarnishing, although that is a relatively minor issue.

Post # 16
425 posts
Helper bee

For an engagement ring, I would reccommend you to invest the extra money for gold instead of sterling silver. The gold itself is not hard material; usually the nickel is the hard metal used, so 10k gold is often harder than 18k gold. 

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