Silver items have long been known as symbols of wealth and prosperity. Sterling silver is what's known as a metal alloy. This means that sterling silver is a combination of metals: sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloy. Vermeil is sterling silver that has been plated in real, genuine 14K, 18K or 22K gold. Sterling silver is much more durable compared to fine silver because of the added metal alloys. This can help your piece stay looking its best and last a long time with proper care.