Stainless Steel vs. Sterling Silver

Stainless Steel vs. Sterling Silver

Should I choose Stainless Steel or Sterling?

Short Answer: It depends on what is important to you.

If affordability is your goal, go for stainless steel. If having to gently care for and maintain your jewelry is a deal breaker, go for stainless steel. If you like precious metals then go for sterling silver. It all comes down to your preference, style and budget.

About Stainless Steel

  • Made from steel and chromium
  • More scratch resistant
  • Does not tarnish, rust, or corrode
  • Comes in several colors: Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver
  • Mirror or Brushed finish (depending on color)
  • Hypoallergenic 
  • Durable: ideal for everyday use 

About Sterling Silver

  • Sterling silver contains 52.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper
  • Less scratch resistant than Stainless Steel
  • Will tarnish over time, faster without proper care
  • Requires proper care and cleaning
  • Thinner, lighter in weight
  • Value: It is the most brilliant precious metal, but is more affordable than gold or platinum

Lora's Pick: Stainless Steel

"I tend to go for stainless over sterling simply because it will last forever and look 'like new' even after years of wear. Stainless requires no maintenance care, polishing, or proper storage. The color of the metal will never change, tarnish, or fade."


What about you? Do you prefer Stainless or Sterling?

Share your pick and why in the comments below.

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Lora Douglas - November 6, 2019

@Macie – When you set a stone using sterling silver, the walls of the setting (aka bezel) are pushed onto/over the edge or lip of the stone itself. In other words, the metal is molded around and over the stone – creating a custom fit. With stainless steel, the setting walls are immovable. With a stainless steel setting, the stone would be glued into it. Over time, the glue could deteriorate & the stone fall out. So, to answer your question – sterling.
**Full disclosure, I’ve only ever set stones using sterling and fine silver settings/ bezels. Maybe someone with experience could chime in and correct me if I’m wrong about the process for stone setting in steel. But my understanding is that all stones are glued into stainless steel settings.

Macie - November 6, 2019

I want to know what metal is better for holding CZs in regard to which one will hold them better and longer without them falling out; stainless or sterling silver - September 11, 2019

Thanks for sharing!! Really its a very informative blog.. I love it.. Keep Writing.

hf - September 11, 2019

sterling all the way!

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