Sterling Silver is made of 92.5% pure silver which is alloyed with 7.5% other metal, normally copper. Pure silver is too soft and malleable to be used for jewellery, and so, the copper alloy makes the silver harder and therefore more durable without compromising on the colour of your silver. Want to know more? Check out our Sterling Silver Guide.
The answer to this is yes – but don’t worry.
The copper alloy in Sterling Silver can cause silver to ‘tarnish’, causing a black or brownish coating to form on your jewellery. This is easily removed using an Essential Sterling Silver Polishing Cloth and underneath the tarnish your silver will not be damaged. Chemicals such as cleaning products and chlorine can cause damage to silver and so we recommend removing your jewellery before coming into contact with any chemicals. For more tips on cleaning and caring for your jewellery click here.
Yes – Sterling silver does not have any nickel in it and is therefore wearable by most people. Allergies to silver are rare.
The process of hallmarking is adding a mark to the item which shows that it has been independently tested and verified as matching its description, and conforming to all legal standards of purity or fineness of the metal. Sterling Silver is legally required to be hallmarked if the item weighs over 7.78 grams. Most items under this weight will not have a hallmark as the item may be too small or the mark would detract from the design. In most cases, your jewellery will be marked with a 925 stamp.
Our rings are sized using the UK sizing system. To convert your EU or US size to UK, use our conversion chart which can be found here.
If you do not know your ring size, you can either pop into one of our stores where a staff member will be happy to size you or check out our ‘How to Measure your Ring Size at Home’ guide.
As we have so many choices, we unfortunately can’t stock every ring in every size, but we try to include as many small sizes and larger sizes as we can. Each ring will have the range in which it is stocked displayed on its product page. If you can’t find the ring you want in the size you need, fill out a contact form and we can look into this further for you.
For a standard necklace, we would recommend an 18 inch/46cm chain. This falls between the collar bone and chest on most people, but it will depend on your individual anatomy. For smaller frames try a 16-inch/41cm or for larger frames try a 20-inch/51cm. We’re proud to stock a wide range of chains in a variety of lengths so we’re sure we will have something just right for you. For a more in-depth guide, click here check out our ‘Guide to Chain Lengths’ blog.
Cartilage piercings can be tricky, not only do you have different lengths and diameters, but different gauge (thickness) as well. If you’re stuck, click here to read our 'Quick Guide to Cartilage Jewellery'.
Yes – we started a long time ago, much before internet shopping was a thing! Our first store opened in 1990 in Southampton’s ‘The Bargate Centre’. Since then, we have expanded to having 7 wonderful shops packed full of treasures. To read more about our stores or find your nearest, click here.
Essential was started in 1990 by Clare with the help of her husband, Martin. Since then, the company has grown to include 7 stores across the South of England and a website but has never lost its family-owned roots. Clare and Martin continue to run the business today, with the help of their children and dedicated staff. Want to know more? Visit our About Us page.
We prefer the term ‘good-value’ but we’ve heard this plenty of times!
We believe in great quality at affordable prices, we don’t hide the cost of gift packaging in our prices but offer this for a small extra fee. As well as having a great relationship with our suppliers which allows us to pass on discounts to our customers.
Delivery & Returns
We aim to send out all orders made before 12pm on the same working day, however, during busy periods it can take 2-3 working days to dispatch your order. We send all packages to mainland UK addresses via DPD, who will give you a 1-hour time slot for delivery with tracking information. Addresses in Northern Island, Channel Islands and Scottish Highlands are sent using Royal Mail 1st Class.
If you need to cancel your order, please email us at email@example.com or use a contact form. While we will try our best to accommodate your request, if the order has already been dispatched we will not be able to cancel the order but can advise you on how best to return.
We hope you love every piece you receive, but if something isn't quite right for you then items that aren't pierced jewellery can be returned for a refund or exchange.
Unwanted items must be packaged in their original packaging along with your delivery note and returned to one of our stores or via post to PO BOX 636, Winchester, SO22 within 30 days of delivery. We regret that pierced jewellery including earrings, cartilage jewellery, nose piercings and navel bars cannot be returned or exchanged for hygiene reasons. We do not offer free returns for unwanted items. If your item is faulty, please contact us here before returning. For more information, please see our Delivery & Returns.
We regret that pierced jewellery including earrings, cartilage jewellery, nose piercings and navel bars cannot be returned or exchanged for hygiene reasons.
To keep our prices as low as possible, we do not include the cost of gift packaging in our prices. We do offer a choice of gift box or organza bag which can be purchased for a small extra fee. We do not make any profit on our gift packaging, it is simply there as an option for gifters.
Yes – an option to add a gift message to your order is available at checkout.
Not currently - but watch this space!