Silver in its pure form is too soft to be used for durable jewellery and so it is alloyed with copper to produce Sterling Silver. Sterling Silver comprises 92.5% Silver and 7.5% Copper. The 7.5% can be replaced by other metals but copper remains the most used. A sterling silver piece of jewellery is stamped 925 to indicate 925 parts per thousand of pure silver. Polished silver is the brightest of metals reflecting over 90% of incident light.
Silver is relatively rare being only 20 times as abundant as Gold. It is only 50% more abundant than Platinum but suprisingly much less expensive due to the relatively low cost of mining/refining when compared to Platinum.
Be aware that “Nickel silver” is an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc and actually contains NO silver.
Sterling Silver jewellery is often rhodium-plated in order to provide some scratch resistance but more importantly to prevent tarnishing for a period of time. The rhodium will eventually wear off and will need to be re-applied.