Does Sterling Silver Have Nickel in It?

Does sterling silver has nickel in it

One of the questions that we encounter very frequently is, “Does sterling silver have nickel in it?” 

If you have the same question, then stick till the end, I’m going to answer this question with each, and every bit of it explained. 

What Is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver is an alloy of pure silver and copper. It contains 7.5 percent per weight of copper, and the remaining 92.5 percent is pure silver. 

How Is Sterling Silver Different from Pure Silver?? 

Here are the differences between pure silver and sterling silver 

Chemical Composition 

Pure or fine silver is made 99.9% from a single element of silver, while sterling silver consists of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper, zing, or nickel. 


Both forms of silver can tarnish, whether be it pure silver or sterling silver. However, sterling silver tarnishes much more quickly than sterling silver. This is because the alloy metals like zinc and copper tarnish more quickly. 

Therefore, sterling silver loses its luster much more easily than fine silver. 


Jewelry made of silver has certain marks engraved on it. These marks help identify the silver.  

The mark for sterling silver is 925, which means it contains 92.5% pure silver. The stamp on pure silver is 999, referring to its 99.9% purity. 


Sterling silver is somewhat cheaper than pure silver. It is because the metal alloys used in sterling silver are much cheaper than pure silver. Therefore, they don’t add any worth to the total value of the sterling silver. However, the difference is still very minute. 

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What Is Nickel and Nickel Allergy?

Nickel is a metallic element. It is a white color and is very ductile. It can be molded into any shape with ease. 

Nickel is commonly used in jewelry because it is very cheap. It is alloyed with gold or silver to make them stronger and resistant to bending.  

Nickel allergy is one of the most common types of skin allergies. When the skin is exposed to nickel, it turns red, forms a rash, and results in severe itching and irritation. Nickel allergic reactions usually occur due to jewelry, but nickel is also found in other substances like coins and eyeglass frames. 

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Why Is Sterling Silver Used instead of Pure Silver? 

Silver, in its pure form, is very soft. It’s difficult to mold it into different shapes properly. It, therefore, cannot be used in materials that are used on a regular basis. This also decreases its life span. 

Therefore, it is alloyed with some other metal, usually copper, to increase its strength and durability. 

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Does Sterling Silver Contain Nickel? 

Ideally, sterling silver should not contain nickel in it. Sterling silver is an alloy of pure silver with copper. However, in some cases, a small amount of nickel may be added to the alloy. That’s common with low-quality and cheap sterling silver jewelry. Therefore, it is advised to buy sterling silver from reputable jewelers. Jewelry made by some good brands can be much safer as the silver added is purer and free from any kind of impurities. 

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Does Good Quality Sterling Silver Causes Allergies? 

Even if your sterling silver is free from nickel, it can cause allergic reactions in some cases. Here are some cases where you can develop an allergy to sterling silver, even if it is free from nickel. 

1. Tarnishing of copper 

Although copper does not tarnish very easily, continuous exposure to water and moisture can result in oxidation and corrosion of the copper. The resulting copper oxide can induce allergic reactions in your skin. 

2. Skin Sensitivity 

Allergic reactions to sterling silver also depend on the sensitivity of your skin. Along with copper, sterling silver contains traces of other metals in very small amounts. These are in very low quantities that they won’t irritate most people, but if you have hypersensitive skin, you might get an allergic reaction to it.

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