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What does 925 Mean on Jewelry?

Are you wondering what does the stamped inscription “925” on the piece of jewelry you just received as a gift mean? We will provide you with a satisfying answer in this short article.

Meaning of the designation 925

In fact, the stamp “925” is often found on sterling silver jewelry and it represents the percentage of silver that equals 92,5%. Therefore, 925 is the standard silver purity value. This rule means that any silver piece of jewelry that has a 925 transcription on it is composed of 92,5% of silver and 7.5% of one or more other metals.

Why only 92,5%

Silver jewelry can’t be 100% silver because it is a very malleable metal and it can’t keep its shape unless it’s alloyed with another metal, which is usually copper. Although, there are rare cases where pieces are made with 99,9 % of pure silver, which is the purest form of silver there is. But unfortunately, the 999 stamped ornament is fragile and too soft to be worn without losing its shape.

Variations of the inscription

Sterling silver jewelry can have stamps with either one of the following inscriptions: 925, .925, S925, 925S, 925 silver, 925 sterling, 925 sterling silver. All these inscriptions are considered to be valid. However, if the inscription is blurred, there’s a good chance that the jewel is fake.

To spot a fake silver jewel, put it near a magnet and if it gets attracted to it, that means it’s not genuine. Alternatively, you could expose it to nitric acid if it doesn’t turn into green or a greenish color that’s a proof that what you have is sadly not silver.

One exception

Sometimes the inscription 925 or any of its equivalents is found on gold jewelry. Now, beware! That doesn’t mean your accessory is 92.5% gold. In fact, 925 is not amongst standard purity values of gold, as it only represents the standard silver purity value. This affirmation allows us to conclude that the gold piece with the engraved percentage number (925) is, in fact, gold plated, and its underlayer is 92,5% silver.

You should note that if the gold ornament is gold plated with 10k gold or more, then your gold piece is gold vermeil.


As a matter of fact, silver jewelry is considered to be the best alternative to gold since it is much more affordable but with the same long-lasting proprieties. However, if you want to wear gold but you find it too expensive, gold vermeil is your best call.

We hope this short article succeeded in providing you with enlightening information.

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