Affordable Jewelry: 5 Popular Alternatives to Precious Stones and Metals

All women love pretty things. Every girl fantasizes about owning diamonds or gold jewelry, but very few can actually afford it. Fortunately, all that glitters is not gold. Glittery, shiny, and attractive jewelry doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. There are tons of options out there that are just as lovely and elegant as precious stones and metals.

Let’s look at 5 great alternatives to precious stones and metals that anyone can afford:

  1. Cubic Zirconia (CZ)

The ever so popular diamond is more expensive than it is popular. It is no secret that buying a diamond is a huge event. And you always want to end up with the perfect stone. Cubic zirconia or CZ is a fantastic alternative to diamonds. It is crystalized zirconium dioxide that is hard and colorless, making it extremely similar in appearance to a diamond. Cubic zirconia is a man-made gemstone and is just a fraction of the cost when compared to a diamond. Wholesale cubic zirconia jewelry is easily available and does not put a strain on your budget. To a lay person, it is pretty hard to tell the difference between the two. So, if you want something pretty and shiny, cubic zirconia is a great alternative to diamonds.

  1. Sterling Silver

Precious metals like gold, platinum and white gold cost a fortune. They may look lovely, but they are far from being “affordable.” Enter sterling silver. A strong, durable, and sturdy metal, sterling silver has been used for centuries to create stunning jewelry and accessories. Sterling silver is an alloy of copper and silver which is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. how to tell if something is sterling silver.  Pure silver is soft and is not an easy metal to craft into jewelry. The softness of fine silver makes it prone to damage, especially when we consider jewelry that is used on a regular basis. Adding copper to it can preserve its beauty while giving it the durability it needs in order to be made into rings, necklaces, chains, bangles, and bracelets. Almost identical to white gold, sterling silver is a good alternative to its more expensive counterparts. Wholesale sterling silver rings are available easily online at very affordable rates.

  1. Tourmaline

Tourmaline is a mineral that is found in crystalline form in some rocks. It is primarily made up of boron silicate, but also contains elements like aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, and sometimes potassium. Since there are so many combinations of compounds, tourmaline can be found in many different colors. Tourmaline can be transparent, translucent, and even opaque. There are many different types of tourmaline, meaning you can find it for as little as $7 or as much as $1000 a carat! Simply put, it is an attractive gemstone that is easily available in jewelry stores at affordable rates in pretty much any color you can think of.

  1. Garnet

Garnets are usually a deep red gemstone that are very similar in appearance to rubies. Garnets are found in metamorphic rocks across the globe, meaning the gemstone is easily and readily available in all continents. Here’s looking at the six different types of garnet:

  • Pyrope – Hues may vary from rose red, scarlet, and violet to even deep indigo.
  • Almandine – Very dark tone, ranging from reddish orange, red, to purplish red.
  • Spessartite – Brilliant orange color.
  • Grossularite – Also called the “gooseberry garnet,” can be found in shades of white, yellow, brown, and green.
  • Uvarovite – Green and greenish black in color, rather rare in terms of availability.
  • Andradite – Hues of yellow, green, brown, gray, and black.

Garnets are a great alternative to rubies as they are available at a fraction of the cost and look absolutely stunning on jewelry pieces.

  1. Kyanite

Rapidly gaining popularity, kyanite is not a mainstream gemstone. It is a blue gem that resembles a blue sapphire or topaz. Because of its high transparency characteristic, kyanite has been extremely sought after by gemstone collectors. Kyanite emerges when aluminum silicates are formed layer upon layer. It may have shades of blue, from dark blue to pale sky blue. Kyanite is named after the Greek word kuanos, which mean dark blue. However, kyanite is also found in other colors like yellow, green, orange, and gray. But these are very rare and not easy to come by. Kyanite makes an excellent, affordable alternative to blue sapphire and is every bit as beautiful.

What makes these alternatives a good choice?

All these alternatives are very popular today. This makes them easily available and affordable to everyone. Since they are very similar in appearance to their more expensive counterparts, they are just as lovely. Unlike precious stones and metals, these alternatives are a lot more durable, too. They do not succumb to wear and tear as easily and are very easy to replace when lost.

When buying a diamond, one has to think about various aspects. Spending so much money puts a lot of pressure on the buyer and one tends to become extremely anxious about one’s purchase. All this stress simply takes the fun right out of jewelry shopping.

At P&K Jewelry, we believe that jewelry shopping should be a pleasant, exciting, and joyful experience. We offer the widest selection of affordable jewelry – explore our catalog today!

Why Sterling Silver Continues to Be a Top Choice for Jewelry Makers and Shoppers

Sterling silver jewelry has earned itself a reputation of being versatile, reliable, and affordable over the last couple of decades because what you see is exactly what you get. Irrespective of where you reside or what your individual preferences are, silver is a common thread that binds jewelry makers and shoppers around the world together.

Take a deeper dive into what makes sterling silver such a hot favorite in the world of jewelry.

Understanding Sterling Silver

Contrary to popular belief, all silver jewelry that you see online or in stores is not pure silver. There are several reasons why jewelers do not use pure or fine silver to manufacture jewelry items and accessories. For starters, it is too soft and prone to damages, meaning a piece made from fine silver won’t last long. To address this, jewelers prefer using silver alloys to craft their products.

Sterling silver is one such silver alloy that is among the most popular materials used by jewelers around the globe. By definition, sterling silver is expected to have a composition of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals like copper. Sterling silver gets its other name from these percentages or portions – yes, it is also called .925 silver.

Top Qualities and Properties of Sterling Silver

So, what is it that makes sterling silver the ideal material for jewelry making? Let us explore the salient features and key properties of sterling silver.

  1. Hardness

As mentioned above, fine silver is susceptible to losing its shape and getting damaged and that is the primary reason why jewelers prefer working with silver alloys like sterling silver. Sterling silver is harder and more durable in nature, making it perfect for crafting jewelry pieces.

  1. Versatility

The alloy is easy to shape and this makes it simpler for jewelry makers to craft intricate designs. There is a wide variety of jewelry items that can be made using sterling silver, including several types of earrings, rings, bangles, necklaces, and bracelets. For the buyers, this means endless options to choose from.

  1. Affordability

While sterling silver qualifies as a precious metal, it is way cheaper than other precious metals like gold or platinum. This aspect makes jewelry made from sterling silver extremely affordable, giving you a great solution for your casual everyday jewelry needs.

  1. Appearance

The fact that sterling silver looks exactly like pure silver means that as a buyer, you are getting silver jewelry for a fraction of the actual cost of silver. Sterling silver jewelry has a gorgeous sheen which tends to retain its shiny properties over long periods of time if you keep your jewelry in top shape.

  1. Maintenance

It is quite easy to keep your sterling silver jewelry clean and shiny. All you have to do is ensure that it stays away from humidity and moisture, maintain a regular (quarterly) jewelry cleaning schedule, and remove the sterling silver jewelry when you expose yourself to water. Read on to find handy sterling silver maintenance tips.

  • Keep your sterling silver jewelry away from harsh chemicals that may be present in cosmetic products and cleaning agents.
  • Jewelry must be kept away from things that contain sulfur, which includes onions, eggs, and wool.
  • At home, you can use warm water, gentle soap, and a soft toothbrush to clean any grime or dirt that gets accumulated over a period of time. Always remember to wipe your jewelry clean and dry with a soft microfiber cloth.
  • Get your sterling silver jewelry polished every year to retain its original look, shine, and sparkle.
  • Keep your sterling silver jewelry in a cool, dry place. Use a quality jewelry box or ziplock bag if possible.

Shop for Sterling Silver Jewelry Online

At P&K Jewelry, we offer the best selection of dynamic sterling silver jewelry, including:

As one of the largest wholesale sources of sterling silver, we offer the latest designs and trending styles to our customers. Our belief that the world is an inspiration drives us to adapt our design processes to create the most exquisite designs that are based on the latest trends and styles.

Our jewelry is sourced from countries like India, China, Mexico, and Thailand. With the choicest of materials and industry-standard jewelry making processes, thousands of retail and wholesale customers in the United States trust P&K Jewelry for their needs. Since 1995, we have established ourselves as the leading source of sterling silver jewelry.

Broaden Your Horizon On Sterling Silver – Some Facts

Sterling silver is the most popular jewelry of everyone in the fashion industry. The classic silvery charm of the metal is the most appealing and not to forget the fact that it is a fashion statement. The lavish designs have remade this precious metal and have made wholesale sterling silver jewelry so attractive. No doubt cost is something that has added value to its popularity.

If you are looking to buy accessories, there is a wide variety of sterling silver earrings, sterling silver bracelets, sterling silver rings, and wholesale sterling silver necklaces available out there. But before you jump in on the sterling silver rush, here are some must-know facts about sterling silver.

How is sterling silver jewelry finished

Often jewelry is coated with a thin layer of .999 pure silver which is known as flashing. This gives the metal piece a shimmering finish. Most of the jewelers apply a coating of nickel or copper on the jewelry piece before applying the plating of .999 silver. Some silver jewelry pieces are rhodium plated that also gives a bright and shining finish. Flashing or coating of silver jewelry will help to reduce discoloration or irritation for people who have sensitive skin.

Important facts to know about sterling silver

Let’s get started!

  1. Sterling silver is more sturdy than pure silver: Just like gold, pure silver is a very soft metal so it is not suitable for jewelry making as it gets damaged, scratches, and dents very easily. It is best for display decor but not any item that you use daily. As sterling silver is made up of 7.5% of other metals, it is much stronger than pure silver and is practical for jewelry manufacturing.

Adding copper and other metals to sterling silver make it harder and more durable than pure silver.

  1. Sterling silver gets easily tarnished: Because sterling silver has an alloy content so this makes it easier to become tarnished. Copper is the main reason for tarnishing as it comes in contact with oxygen. With time, tarnishing can seriously damage your sterling silver jewelry. So we advise you to clean your sterling silver jewelry with a silver cleaning solution that is not abrasive and keep your sterling silver jewelry looking new.

To keep your jewelry pieces looking the best, you have to clean your sterling silver jewelry regularly.

  1. Storage plays a vital role: As important as regularly cleaning, there are many ways to avoid tarnishing. The worst culprit of tarnishing is high humidity. So you are advised to store your sterling silver jewelry pieces in individual compartment boxes, display cases, cloth pouch, or in another enclosed place. This will help in absorbing the humidity in the case and keep the oxygen away which will protect your jewelry. Never store your sterling silver jewelry in uncoated wooden boxes as this will definitely cause it to lose its shine and color.

Consider keeping your sterling silver jewelry boxes inside an interior closet which should be dark and cool.

  1. Some chemicals and minerals are dangerous to sterling silver: It is challenging to keep sterling silver safe from oxygen and moisture, so there are other precautions you can take.

Chlorine and bleach are some of the most harmful chemicals for sterling silver. So never wear your sterling silver earrings, necklaces, chains, rings, and other jewelry while you go swimming or while using bleach. Remember to take off your jewelry pieces as salt also corrodes sterling silver.

Hair spray and perfumes are also dangerous for sterling silver jewelry. So when you are getting ready try to first apply the perfume and hairspray.

  1. Variety of designs to win hearts: The variety of jewelry designs you get in sterling silver is abundant. The wide range of designs exhibited at various online and physical stores selling at wholesale prices will make you wonder more about the creativity of designers. The design of every piece is different and unique from each other. So for the lovers of sterling silver jewelry, this is one of the most advantageous things that they have a vast array of options and do not have to wear the same designs every time.

Moreover, sterling silver jewelry is very affordable so you can introduce new designs to your wardrobe every now and then.

  1. Sterling silver has assayer’s symbols: Have you ever noticed some marks on your sterling silver jewelry pieces other than 92.5 stamps? They are mostly called assayer’s marks. These marks tell you the creation of your sterling silver jewelry. You will find a symbol of an animal or another mark that will signify that in which country it was made.

92.5 marking tells you about the authenticity of silver. As sterling silver is made up 92.5% of silver, so it has the marking of 925. This means that the piece contains 7.5% of alloy and 92.5% of pure silver.

  1. Compliment with other colorful stones: Cubic zirconia is the most popular simulated diamond. It is very cheap even with naked eyes you can not differentiate between the real one and the simulation. The popular colors in CZ are yellow, red, blue, pink, black, and green. Sterling silver is the best metal to match with colorful Cz stones if you want a wealthy look at affordable prices. As sterling silver is a white metal so it complements the CZ stones very well.

The jewelry worn by you should be an extension of your personality, style, and who you are. So put on the pieces that you love the most and wear them with confidence.


Now that we have shared all the facts about sterling silver jewelry with you. The facts shared above will help you to keep your sterling silver jewelry tip-top for a lifetime.

To find your new favorite piece of sterling silver jewelry, you can shop our latest collection of wholesale sterling silver necklaces, sterling silver earrings, and sterling silver bracelets today!

5 Qualities that Make Sterling Silver the Best Choice for Jewelry

Used extensively for a variety of purposes, including jewelry manufacturing, sterling silver is among the most popular materials in the jewelry industry for several reasons. If you, too, have wondered what makes sterling silver so awesome and why you should prefer jewelry made from sterling silver over other metals, read on.

Here’s discussing five properties or qualities of sterling silver that make it the perfect choice for a variety of jewelry.

Understanding Sterling Silver

In the jewelry industry, we use sterling silver to create a massive assortment of items and accessories, including bracelets, bangles, earrings, necklaces, chains, pendants, rings, and more.

Sterling silver is often referred to as .925 silver because of its composition. As the term suggests, it is made of 92.5 percent silver (pure silver). This 92.5:7.5 ratio makes the resulting material stronger and shinier, giving it an irresistible charm and appearance.

The remaining 7.5 percent is usually some other metal (copper, for example). This mixing is typically done in order to prevent the fine silver from losing its shape or being prone to scratches and dents. The process is carried out in a controlled environment and the resulting alloy is called sterling silver.

How is Sterling Silver Jewelry Manufactured?

Jewelry makers generally use a process that is called flashing. In this process, the jewelry is plated with a layer of pure silver (.999). Another way to go about it is plating the jewelry pieces with copper or rhodium before flashing it in this way. The flashing techniques ensures that the final output has a delightful, glossy finish.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Sterling Silver Jewelry

So, what is it that makes sterling silver jewelry so good? Here are some undeniable reasons:

  1. It is easy to maintain

We strongly believe that the upkeep of your jewelry shouldn’t give you nightmares. When you spend your hard-earned money on a piece of jewelry, the last thing you want is for its maintenance to be an uphill task. Sterling silver is extremely easy to maintain – all you need to ensure is that it is stored in a dry place when it isn’t in use and cleaned or polished once in a while.   

  1. It is hypoallergenic

People who are allergic to nickel may struggle with some types of jewelry that contain this metal. Sterling silver jewelry doesn’t cause any allergies because nickel is rarely used in the alloy, thus preventing skin irritation and keeping you safe.

  1. It is highly durable

The unparalleled strength of sterling silver makes it a top choice for people who wish to wear their jewelry on a regular basis. Sterling silver jewelry remains largely unaffected by frequent usage and exposure to natural elements, thus making it more durable than fine silver or pure gold jewelry.

  1. It is quite affordable

Not all jewelry is priced at a premium! You would be surprised to know that compared to some other forms of jewelry, sterling silver is inexpensive. This makes it perfect for people who want to wear it on an everyday basis. The affordable nature of the alloy means that when it comes to getting yourself an entire set of matching jewelry, you don’t have to think twice or burn a hole in your pockets!

  1. It is trendy

When we talk about jewelry, we invariably tend to think about what is trending and what isn’t. Well, the good thing about sterling silver jewelry is that it is a hot trend that won’t die down anytime soon. What makes it so trendy is the fact that the alloy can be used to create a variety of jewelry pieces. This gives modern-day jewelers a chance to experiment, be creative with their collections, and keep up with the latest jewelry trends.

Apart from these five reasons, sterling silver jewelry also gives you the option to pair it up with other metals like platinum or gold. There is literally no end to what you can do with mixing and matching metals to create a unique look.

Sterling silver looks absolutely stunning with all kinds of outfits – casual, formal, trendy, ethnic, festive, partywear, and even your PJs! Given the mind-boggling variety of sterling silver jewelry designs and makes at P&K Jewelry, you will find it difficult to choose just one piece of jewelry here.

What to Look for When Buying Sterling Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver of the highest quality always comes with a hallmark. Look out for a .925 stamp on your sterling silver jewelry, or the letters STG, STER, or STER engraved on it. If you can’t find such a stamp on a piece of jewelry, ask the seller about it and make sure it is genuine before you make a purchase.

Where to Buy Sterling Silver Jewelry Online?

On the lookout for a wholesale or retail jewelry vendor? You must look at the product categories, prices, customer reviews, quality, shipping policy, and the returns and refund policy, too. P&K Jewelry is the one-stop shop for all your sterling silver jewelry needs. From classic pendants and dainty earrings to trendy bracelets and gorgeous necklaces, you can explore our selection online.

We have grown over the last 25 years to become a leading source of sterling silver jewelry of the highest quality.

And while you are at it, why don’t you check out our highly sought-after jewelry collection?

How to Prevent Sterling Silver from Tarnishing

The trend of jewelry keeps on changing every now and then. But the sterling silver jewelry never goes out of fashion. So if you want to keep up with the trends, then you must buy sterling silver jewelry pieces. This beautiful alloy is versatile, sophisticated and timeless. Sterling silver is one of the most commonly used metals in high-end and high-quality jewelry pieces and accessories.

Silver is cheaper and easier to maintain when compared to gold and platinum. Gold and platinum retain their shine and luster for a very long time without tarnishing. Also maintaining these precious metals is not very pocket friendly. Buffing and polishing of gold are very costly. 

Sterling silver and even real 925 sterling silvergets easily tarnished with time. Wondering how to prevent that from happening? Read on we have put together a list to answer all of your questions about caring for silver jewelry. 

Does sterling silver tarnish?

This can be a tricky question to ask. Technically pure silver does not tarnish. However, in jewelry crafting pure silver is too soft to be used. Hence, to strengthen the silver, a small quantity of copper is added by all the jewelers. The resulting product is 925 sterling silver jewelry that contains 92.5% of pure silver and 7.5% of copper. Copper is the primary material used for silver jewelry.

Unfortunately, as metal gets added, sterling silver, even real 925 sterling silvertarnish.

Why does sterling silver tarnish?

Tarnishing of silver is the discoloration of silver pieces that develops a yellow or black tint. However, at room temperature the pure silver in sterling silver does not react and tarnish, the copper added quickly reacts with the salt and sulfur in the air, making sterling silver rust.

Silver tarnish can take place even faster if it comes in contact with detergents or cosmetics. The chemicals in our sweat are enough to cause corrosion in silver jewelry pieces when worn.

The great news is that with sterling silver jewelry, regular care can quickly slow down the tarnishing. And in case your sterling silver jewelry pieces have already been spotted with tarnish, good home clean up and professional polishing can make it look like new. 

Thus sterling silver jewelry is a popular and budget-friendly alternative to gold or platinum. Hence becomes a go-to metal for jewelry when you want a glamorous piece without breaking the bank. Check out our best collection of wholesale sterling silver jewelry at affordable prices.

How much time does it take for sterling silver jewelry to tarnish?

It isn’t easy to put a precise time frame on how fast silver pieces get tarnished. Numerous things can affect the rate of tarnish on silver. It quickly tarnishes faster if you come into regular contact with chemicals, like using beauty products often or going to the pool.

Always try to take good care of your precious jewelry and keepsakes so that they can look good and last for years to come!

How to prevent sterling silver from tarnishing?

1. Keep away from solution: If silver gets into contact with salty solutions or chemicals, it gets easily corroded. Hence it is essential to keep your jewelry away from chemicals or any house products or toiletries solution.

 You cannot shower with sterling silver jewelry. One must avoid wearing your sterling silver when showering. Generally, water does not harm the sterling silver jewelry, but there is a probability that it could lead to tarnishing.

 You should not wear it when doing dishes. Also avoid wearing the silver pieces in activities that make you sweat, like outdoor chores or sports.

2. Learn the special rules for storing sterling silver jewelry: There are many ways for storing silver jewelry that helps prevent excessive tarnishing and also keep it from getting damaged. You should store your silver pieces correctly so that when you want to wear them, they’re just in need of a quick polish instead of major repairs. 

 One of the simple ways to prevent silver from getting tarnished is to store it properly. If you protect your silver jewelry from moisture, air and humidity, it will be safer from tarnishing. 

 For this, you should store all your silver pieces in airtight boxes or bags which will prevent air contact. You can make use of anti-tarnishing strips which are easily available on the market. You need to put it inside the boxes to prevent them from tarnishing. 

 Also, silica gel and pieces of chalk are used to absorb all the air and moisture presents in your storage boxes.

 3. Take off your jewelry first and last to put on: Another important factor to prevent sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing is that your jewelry should be the last thing you put on, after you apply makeup and perfume and the first to be taken off, before going to shower or activities.

 This helps to prevent contact between any possible chemicals of salty water to your jewelry.

 4. Take care of your home and work environment: You should first check your work environment that if you are dealing with chemicals or other solutions regularly or not. If this is the case, then you should remove your silver jewelry piece before working with chemicals. 

 People living in a rather polluted environment, your jewelry might tarnish faster due to the high level of sulphur in the air. Hence it will need more regular polishing as well.

 5. Wear it regularly: After reading this all, you must be thinking to store your silver jewelry and never wear it. But this should be the last thing to do. 

 One of the top ways to keep sterling silver jewelry beautiful is to wear it. It should look new and last for a longer time if you wipe it off regularly and take good care of it.

 You must take them off at night, and keep them wrapped under a soft cloth in zipped bags to minimise reaction with the air.

 Or you can also polish them more regularly to maintain their perfect shine.

How to clean sterling silver jewelry?

 There are countless ways of cleaning your silver jewelry. 

  • Soap and water: It is the most common method because of the gentleness of soap and water. Before you try anything else, this should be your first line of defence.


  • Baking soda and water: Avoid the use of toothpaste instead use baking soda and water. Toothpaste has many ingredients that may damage your silver. Make a paste from baking soda and water, apply a small amount onto a cloth and rub gently.


  • White vinegar and baking soda: This method will help remove heavy tarnish. You can soak your sterling silver in a cup of white vinegar and 2tbsp of baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse your jewelry and pat dry.


  • Finish with polish: After all the cleaning you can finish the process by using a polishing cloth that’s specifically used for sterling silver.


Now that you know everything about sterling silver jewelry, and you are sure how to handle them next time you purchase more. Check out our beautiful wholesale sterling silver jewelry collection.

Remember that it is easy to prevent tarnish rather than is to remove it after it occurs. If you find that tarnish beginning to form, be sure to clean it immediately. These tips will surely help to keep your sterling silver jewelry looks new for years to come!