Sterling silver is a metal alloy consisting of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper.
Fine silver is a relatively soft metal, so silver is usually alloyed with copper to increase its strength.
Sterling silver is used to create flatware, hollowware, coins, bullion, jewelry, accessories and other trinkets.
Sterling silver dates back as far as the 1200s, when Germans would use silver coins, known as Easterlings, to pay for English cattle. Later, Easterling would be shortened to sterling.