When most people think of jewelry, only gold and diamond come to mind. However, silver jewelry has been around since the earliest civilizations. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, but jewelry enthusiasts know its value and worth. If you are on the market for quality, affordable accessories, sterling silver jewelry should top your list. This guide delves into how you can tell if 925 sterling silver is real in order to help you buy authentic jewelry.
925 Sterling Silver Explained
Silver in its natural form is soft and is not ideal for everyday jewelry, and this is where 925 sterling silver comes into play. This is an alloy containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper or other stronger metal. The idea is to strengthen silver without compromising its impressive qualities.
The added metal does not change the beautiful appearance of silver but only its structure. Sterling silver has emerged as an alternative to more expensive white metals such as platinum and palladium.
How to Tell If Sterling Silver is Real?
The market is flooded with duplicates and cheap copies, so it is always critical that you pay extra attention to the jewelry of your choice to ensure that you are getting nothing less than the best. When it comes to items like jewelry, there is every chance that you might see a piece and believe it to be real when it is actually fake. For instance, a lot of silver-colored jewelry pieces may look almost similar to the naked eye despite being made from different materials or simply being silver-coated. So, how to tell if something is sterling silver? How can you ensure that you don’t end up shelling out your hard-earned money on something substandard? Are there ways to determine the authenticity and quality of sterling silver jewelry? The answers to all of these questions lie below. Read on to find out how you can tell if sterling silver is real.
Why Invest in 925 Sterling Silver?
When shopping for fashion accessories, you should assess the quality of the materials used. Some great looking pieces available online quickly deteriorate, leading to disappointment and loss of money. Some of the reasons to invest in high-quality sterling silver jewelry include:
Durability: Sterling jewelry pieces can last a lifetime when well maintained. These pieces can quickly become part of your heirloom. The addition of copper or other metal makes sterling silver a tough and sturdy metal that can withstand everyday use.
Hypoallergenic: Sterling silver jewelry is ideal for people with sensitive skin because it is hypoallergenic. It doesn’t cause allergic reactions, and you can wear it on any exposed part of your body.
Versatility: Whether you want formal, casual, or jewelry to suit any other occasion, 925 sterling silver will do the trick.
Upgrade your jewelry collection: You can buy affordable sterling silver pieces to upgrade your collection quickly. From rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings to anklets, it is easy to add new high-end jewelry to your collection.
Endless styling options: Whatever styling option you have in mind, your jewelry designer can use sterling silver to bring your idea to life.
Trendy jewelry: It is easy to work with 925 sterling silver, and jewelry designers can thus keep up with the latest trends on the market.
How to Shop For Authentic 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry
The rise of online jewelry stores has seen an increase in fake and low-quality products. There’s a proliferation of cheap imports, and many consumers spend their hard-earned cash on these low-quality accessories.
When shopping for 925 sterling silver online, it is essential to take precautions to guarantee you get the best value for your money. So, how to tell if sterling silver is real? How can you tell if something is sterling silver in terms of authenticity? Here are some crucial tips to help you buy real sterling silver jewelry.
1. Look for a Stamp/ Hallmark
The popularity of sterling silver jewelry has made it necessary for the industry to standardize the quality of products. While it is not easy to track the origin of the sterling silver used on a piece, you can identify whether the material is authentic by looking at a small inner inscription on your part.
Look for a stamp with the symbols “Ster,” “925” or “Sterling Silver.” The 925 hallmark is the most crucial tip to determine if any piece you wish to buy is made of genuine sterling silver.
Now that silver is one of the precious metals on the market, the government regulates it through several laws. One of these is the sec 297, 15 U.S.C. 8, which states that no plated silver material shall have a stamp or hallmark on their surface. This has forced jewelry makers who use the cheaper plated silver metal to mark their products as “silver-plated.”
2. The Nitric Acid Test
In some cases, a sterling silver piece might not have the hallmark or stamp, making it hard to determine its authenticity. So, how to tell if a ring is sterling silver in this case? Well, a professional jewelry expert can use nitric acid to determine if the piece is made of real 925 sterling silver.
A drop of this acid does not have any effect on authentic sterling silver jewelry. However, the acid affects fake or silver-plated metals and causes green coloration and bubbles. An established jewelry dealer will propose the Nitric acid test if they are confident about the quality of their products. If you want to carry out the test at home, make sure you use gloves and goggles to prevent any injuries.
3. The Magnet Test
Is sterling silver magnetic? No, it is not! The magnet test is another simple way to verify the authenticity of sterling silver jewelry. Get an ordinary magnet and hold the piece you wish to buy above or near it.
Pure silver is not magnetic, and now that sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver, it should not be attracted to the magnet. If the piece is drawn to the magnet, it is either silver-plated or contains a more significant percentage of other metal than silver.
When shopping for 925 sterling silver jewelry wholesale, you should request this test on random items in your order. This is the only way to guarantee you buy authentic pieces.
4. The Rubbing Test
This is the easiest test for 925 sterling silver jewelry. Use a soft cloth to rub your piece and then check the surface. If there are black marks on the cloth, this is a genuine sterling silver piece because real silver oxidizes on exposure to the air and hence the tarnish left on the cloth.
5. The Smell Test
Some cheap metals have a distinctive smell. This is an easy way to tell if your piece is made of real sterling silver because this high-quality metal has no smell. If you notice any smell, it means there’s a lot of copper in the alloy, which diminishes its value and quality. This is another good way to tell if your sterling silver piece is real or fake.
The internet has made it easy to shop, but at the same time, it’s also easy to get duped. When shopping for 925 sterling silver jewelry, you need to assess every piece you wish to buy carefully using these simple tests. This is the only way to guarantee you get a durable, authentic, and high quality 925 sterling piece.