Sterling Silver Eternity Rings are, undoubtedly popular; although usually with synthetic, simulated gem stones of the paste or cubic zirconium type. The reason for this is fairly obvious in so much as precious metal bands (gold or platinum) cost much more than any type of silver and the same price principal applies with natural gems like diamond, ruby or sapphire.
There are three main reasons for people wearing rings on their fingers; for symbolic significance; or to indicate a person’s rank and position in a hierarchy; or, simply for decoration. In all three cases; it is a human trait to want the ring’s appearance to be attractive and impressive to others. In other societies than ours; rings of precious materials were (and, in some, still are) considered a safer way to store your wealth and/or flaunt it.
Silver is classified as a precious metal but its desirability factor has decreased and its price has lagged behind that of other precious metals; although, historically it was second only to gold. In its most pure state (99.9% purity); silver is known as “fine silver”; but, in this state it might be fine for investment in ingot form; but, it is generally too soft to be used for making functional; or even decorative items; such as ring bands. To be functional, fine silver must be alloyed with other elements. Copper is a common addition; but, other elements may be used to produce the required end results (reducing tarnishing for example).
There is some doubt over the origin of this term; but this type of alloyed silver was around in Europe as long ago as the 12TH Century. The Saxons in England were probably the first to regulate the ratio of silver to alloying materials and the standard became 92.5% of silver by mass to a total of 7.5% alloying materials. It is this standard that became known as sterling silver and in many places, items claiming to be made of sterling silver have to be assayed and given a confirmation stamp (often known as a “hallmark”) to confirm that they do indeed meet the standard.
Most silver jewelry items are likely to use sterling silver. Some people simply like the look of silver; while others only consider its lower price; however, when it comes to Sterling Silver Eternity Rings; the metal for the ring band is not all that visible since the eye is drawn to the ring of shining stones around the visible circumference; so, why pay more for a metal that is not often being noticed?