STERLING SILVER: Also known as "Standard Silver," sterling silver is silver alloyed with other metals to increase the hardness and durability. Generally, sterling is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. Some sterling silver jewelry is plated with 14kt-18kt gold and referred to as "vermeil," or "gold over sterling."
POLISHED: A buffed-out finish used to produce a mirror-like shine.
WIRE: sometimes called "shepherd's hooks" or "fishhooks," earwires are a thin, hook-shaped earring backs. They thread onto the ear and can sometimes be squeezed into place or held on with a rubber clutch.