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Sterling silver engagement rings are oftentimes chosen by couples who are looking for inexpensive but gorgeous wedding jewelry. When people talk about silver engagement rings, they are specifically referring to sterling silver rings.
What Is Sterling Silver?
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver. It is made up of at least 92.5 percent silver with the other 7.5 percent being copper or other metals.
Jeweler Jasmine Carter enthuses, “I would say the color is the most appealing element of sterling silver. It looks almost identical to white gold and is a much more affordable option! Additionally, there are so many designs on the market that brides are almost destined to find something they love.”
Meet the Expert
Jasmine Carter is the founder and CEO of Balacia, a growing Black-owned bridal jewelry brand. As a young, female entrepreneur, Carter understands the needs of brides, and she designs custom engagement rings and wedding bands to fit all budgets.
Wondering if sterling silver is the best ring metal for you? Read on for everything you should know about sterling silver engagement rings.
Pros and Cons of Sterling Silver Engagement Rings
Carter reports that sterling silver engagement rings are very affordable, hypoallergenic, and extremely versatile. Of course, with that inexpensive price point, comes some disadvantages, too. She cautions, “If sterling silver is used for rings, especially engagement rings, the ring will have to be re-dipped several times over the years. Most brides decide on solid gold rings to avoid the maintenance that a silver ring requires. Sterling silver should be considered a temporary option for those on a budget, which is why it’s often used for ‘starter rings’ that the couple plans to upgrade later.”
What to Look for in a Sterling Silver Engagement Ring
Here are a few questions and answers you should know before purchasing a sterling silver ring.
- Is sterling silver good for engagement rings? Fine silver is far too soft to be used in engagement or wedding rings, but sterling silver has been used to make rings for centuries.
- How does sterling silver compare to other metals? “When it comes to color, a brand-new sterling silver, white gold, and platinum ring will all appear the same to the naked eye. What really sets them apart is time and durability,” explains Carter. "White gold rings are a lot more durable and require less maintenance. Platinum is by far the purest of all the metals, which makes it desirable." The biggest reason to choose sterling silver over white gold or platinum is affordability.
- Can sterling silver rings tarnish? With sterling silver rings, tarnishing typically occurs within one to two years because many brides become less careful with them as time goes on, according to Carter.
How to Care for a Sterling Silver Engagement Ring
Carter cautions that sterling silver engagement rings cannot be treated the same way that you’d treat gold rings. She says, “It is a completely different metal and reacts to other elements in a way that could cause damage or discoloration much faster. For example, you can't hand sanitize your sterling silver ring five times a day and then take a shower, expecting it to stay in perfect condition for a lifetime.”
She adds, “My greatest recommendation for sterling silver products is to remember to take them off before showering and washing your hands. Also, avoid harsh chemicals. Only clean them using solutions designated for their maintenance. Proper care will give sterling silver pieces a longer lifespan.”
Scroll through to see all of our favorite sterling silver engagement rings.
JTV Strontium Titanate Rhodium Sterling Silver Engagement Ring
With its dazzling center jewel, this sterling silver engagement ring from JTV immediately commands attention. Its lab-created, oval Fabulite strontium titanate center stone is framed by a halo of 14 round white zircon stones. It offers glitz and glamour without the high price point.
Lafonn Cushion-Cut Halo Engagement Ring
With a style and look similar to Princess Diana’s famous engagement ring, this silver engagement ring from Lafonn has a lab-grown cushion-cut sapphire at its center. The dazzling sapphire is surrounded by round simulated diamonds and the band is made of sterling silver that’s bonded to platinum. For extra sparkle, each side of the band is lined with simulated diamonds.
Miadora Sterling Silver Morganite Engagement Ring
The pink, black, and white colors of this engagement ring all complement each other beautifully for a stylish, memorable overall look. The sterling silver ring features a round-cut morganite gem at its center and black and white diamonds line the ring’s broad split shank.
Zales Three-Stone Sterling Silver Engagement Ring
Three-stone engagement rings are supposed to symbolize love, fidelity, and friendship. This three-stone sterling silver engagement ring features three princess-cut, lab-created white sapphires as its centerpiece. Smaller round white sapphires line the sides of the silver band.
Kohl’s Black Diamond Heart Engagement Ring
This sweet engagement ring showcases the beauty of contrasts and the charm of a heart-shaped stone. It has a heart-cut black diamond as the center stone that’s framed with two round-cut black diamond accent stones. They are contrasted with a shimmering, lab-created white sapphire that lines the braided-style type of the sterling silver band.
Tiffany & Co. Green Quartz Ladybug Engagement Ring
For brides who have always wanted an engagement ring from Tiffany & Co., yet also want something fun and unique, this sterling silver ring is delightful. It features large green quartz as the center stone and has a ladybug layered over the quartz. The sterling silver band is simple and elegant.
JTV Fabulite Strontium Titanate and White Zircon Rhodium Engagement Ring
JTV’s sterling silver engagement ring with the Fabulite strontium titanate jewel is sparkly and fun. The polished ring has a rhodium finish. It has a large jewel at its center with a prong setting, and two small jewels are on each side.