Sterling silver vs fine silver fingerprint jewellery

If you’ve been shopping around and looking at different artists you may have noticed that some offer fine silver keepsakes and other offer sterling silver.

But what is the difference between fine silver and sterling silver?

The basic differences between fine silver and sterling silver is simply the purity of the silver. Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver, don’t ask me what the other 0.1% is, I do not know!

Sterling silver is a minimum of 92.5% silver. The other 7.5% is an alloyed metal, usually copper, which adds strength to the silver and makes it more durable for everyday use.

So what are the pros and cons of fine silver and sterling silver?

Fine Silver Pros

  • It’s super shiny with a high luster, so it looks lovely when it’s polished up.
  • It does not tarnish (darken) as quickly as sterling silver might.
  • It has a higher silver content, so from a scrap metal perspective it would be higher in value.
  • It has no nickel so will not cause allergic reaction.
  • From a silver clay artist’s point of view it is easier to work with as there are no base metals to cause firescale during the firing process, also it can be torch fired so it requires less expensive equipment to use it.

Fine silver cons

  • It’s very soft and scratches easily.
  • Fine details such as fingerprints can eventually wear away
  • If torch fired, it is not as strong as if it is kiln fired.

Sterling Silver Pros

  • The copper content makes it up to 60% stronger than pure silver.
  • *It is more resistant to scratching so better for everyday use.

Sterling Silver Cons

  • It can be slightly duller in appearance and not quite as shiny as fine silver.
  • It can tarnish quicker if not warn or polished regularly.
  • SOME (not all) sterling silver can have nickel in the alloy mix which cause skin allergy. My sterling silver contains no nickel.
  • From an artists perspective it is trickier to work with, it’s harder to get a smooth finish and the polishing stage takes more time and effort. It requires a kiln to fire and the cycle takes longer than for fine silver.

So which is better for fingerprint jewellery?

Well it really depends on what you want from your piece. If you are buying as keepsake jewellery that’s will be saved for special occasions and it likely to be stored in a box most of the time, then fine silver is a good choice for you.  The purity means that it will not tarnish as quickly as sterling silver when it is not worn.
Fine silver can of course be worn every day and the print will last several years, however it will look scratched and worn far sooner than sterling silver.

If you plan to wear your fingerprint jewellery regularly, then sterling silver will stand up to wear and tear much better. If it’s worn it will not tarnish quickly, however if it is going to be stored in a box try to keep it in an airtight one to minimise the tarnish and the amount of polishing that is needed to keep it shiny.

All of my handmade keepsake jewellery is made from sterling Silver as standard.  However if you would prefer a fine silver fingerprint or hand and footprint keepsake instead then just ask as I can work with that too. Take a look at what I have to offer at

One of these handprint jewellery bracelet charms is sterling silver and the other is fine silver, but can you tell which is which?  Feel free to comment below.

Top 5 handmade gifts for Mother’s Day

Hi Dads!  Are you looking for the perfect Mother’s day gift?  Something that says you really thought about it, something so personal that she’ll be overwhelmed when she see’s it?
You are in the right place, us women just love this stuff.  What says ‘I know how much you love our children’ more than their little hand or footprints set in a handmade piece of jewellery for her to keep with her always?

So here are my top 5 gifts for the woman in your life this Mother’s Day.

  1. Fingerprint Necklace.The fingerprint necklace is by far my best selling product, it is simple but beautiful and can be customised with different writing styles. You can even have your own children’s writing on it if you wish.
    More than one child? No problem, why not consider the cascading charms option.
    Triple fingerprint necklace with cascading heart jewellery charms Double Fingerprint necklace with 2 heart jewellery charms  Large Fingerprint Charm
  2. Handprint Charm BeadIf your partner already has a charm bracelet this could be the perfect addition to it.  The heart, start, circle and square beads can be double sided with a print on either side.   If she doesn’t already have a Pandora or similar bracelet, why not get one of my gorgeous coloured nappa leather bracelets for the bead.
    Footprint or Handprint heart Bead (fits pandora)  Handprint or footprint Square Bead (fits pandora) Footprint or Handprint Circle Bead (fits pandora)Footprint or Handprint Star Bead (fits pandora)
  3. Fingerprint stud earringsThese are new to the range and perfect if you prefer something a bit smaller. The studs can be made with the same print or 2 different fringerprints.  I can also do these with tiny hand or footprints if you prefer.
    Tiny Fingerprint stud earrings
  4. Memory LocketI can can make little fingerprint or hand and footprint charms to fit inside your memory locket.  I can supply the locket for you, or just the charms if you already have one. The beauty of these is that other charms can be added to really personalise it and make it unique.
     Fingerprint Charm in locket2 Floating Handprint Charms in memory locket Mini Fingerprint Charms (for memory Locket)
  5. Handwriting or doodle charmLast but definitely not least is the handwriting charm.  Your child’s own message shrunk down to fit on a charm that mummy can treasure for ever.
    Can’t write just yet? No problem, this can also be done with little one’s doodles and simple drawings.
    Large handwriting Message Charm

Guest Post from the lovely Natasha at McLaren & Wall Ltd

Welcome to McLaren & Wall Ltd, formerly Cheekies Treasures Ltd!

Thank you to Lasting Touch for featuring my blog on their wonderful website.

In August 2015 I began my keepsake business journey launching Cheekies Treasures in Fleet, North Hampshire. As the business grew, I developed a passion for the art of 3D casting. My new venture began with the opportunity to work with lots of gorgeous babies and their lovely parents. To begin with, I focused on creating lasting memories by casting the beautiful and perfect hands and feet of newborn babies. From there, I progressed to work with older children and families and now create bespoke keepsakes to mark beginnings, celebrations and memorials.

High praise

In August 2016 I was flattered to be offered the chance to work with the world leaders in casting. However, my passion lies with providing a personal service and so I decided to apply my skills and attention to detail to my own business.

Around the same time, I was approached by Artu. I felt honoured that they wanted to work with me and our partnership now means I can offer 3D miniature jewellery.

All these exciting developments required a business restructure and so McLaren & Wall began life specialising in 3D castings.

Why memorial keepsakes

While I was in the concept stage of the new business approach, I was approached by a gentleman who had recently lost his wife. He commissioned me to take the precious plaster cast he had made of his wife’s hand and to make it into a number of bronze casts with stands for various family members. This made me realise that everyone should have the opportunity to capture the most precious of memories.

New casting product range

McLaren & Wall now specialise in 3D casting and 3D miniature jewellery.  Customers can choose to have their casting in various materials such as plaster, glass, bronze and silver, and the jewellery is also offered in gold.

You can have hands and feet or two hands or two feet.  You can also choose from a hands holding sculpture symbolising a bond between two people or have this made into a pendant.  The possibilities are as wide as your imagination.


In the next week or two I will be sending out a newsletter with more details about some exciting new offers and plans.  You can sign up by clicking on the little paper aeroplane on the left of my website