Sterling Silver was used in artwork and adornments dating back to the Byzantine and Phoenician empires. Today's Sterling Silver styles are strongly influenced by the "Navajo" Indians who used Sterling Silver in braided designs and oxidized looks. Some feel that the term sterling is derived from the English currency of "pound silver".
Polished silver shines more brightly than any other metal on earth. But pure silver is too soft and easily damaged, so it must be combined with other metals, usually copper. Sterling silver is by far the most popular silver alloy in the world. It contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, so it is harder and stronger than pure silver.