Sterling silver is an alloy of pure silver containing 92.5% (925 stamp) by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. Pure silver is a soft metal which needs a mix of other metals to strengthen it. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925.❥

Vermeil is a specific kind of gold plating. The process of creating a vermeil piece of jewelry involves coating sterling silver with a thin layer of gold that is at least 10 karats and 2.5 microns thick.