Sterling Silver is classy and sturdier than most of the precious metals that are used to craft jewelry. Generally, 7.5% of copper is deliberately mixed with pure silver to make it strong because in pure form it is malleable, and making designs on this soft metal can break it easily.
Now, buying sterling jewelry is no short of an investment – it can be pretty expensive depending on the jewelry design that you choose. So, it is imperative that you invest in genuine sterling jewelry. Sadly enough, unscrupulous businesses can easily mix a greater percentage of impurities or sell fake, and there is no way the untrained eye can detect it while buying.
However, with time, the ornament will start to show signs of being highly adulterated. And experts at Roma Designer Jewelry say you too can easily determine if your newly bought jewelry is authentic or not.
So be cautious of what you are investing in – here are some pro tips from the experts themselves!
Try the magnet test
All the precious metals do not have iron in them hence they are non-magnetic. Try to check the authenticity with the help of a heavy-duty magnet. Just bring the magnet close to your ornament; if it gets attracted to the magnet then your jewelry is not sterling silver.
Try the acid test
When a drop of nitric acid is put on cheap metals or a cheap substitute for sterling silver, a greenish color is seen. If the jewelry is authentic then it will become cream in color. Now, to perform this test you need to be very careful.
The simple ice test
Although this test is appropriate for a huge mass of this metal still, you can try it. As the thermal conductivity of this metal is very high thus if ice is placed on it then the ice melts very fast as the heat is transferred fast from the surroundings to the ice causing it to melt.
The cloth test
When sterling silver comes in contact with air it oxidizes and color changes. Now you have to rub a soft cloth on the surface of the metal and see whether the mark is black or not. If the mark is black then your jewelry is authentic jewelry. In fake products, the color change will be absent.
If you buy an authentic sterling silver product you will notice that the product doesn’t impart any smell at all. Now, if your sterling jewelry imparts metallic smell or smells like sulfur then the metal is most likely severely adulterated.
How does it “feel” like
If your silver ornament is not quite smooth and can’t be bent at all then you must be aware of the fact that it is not sterling one. It generally feels very smooth and can be bent somewhat.
The bleach test
If you don’t have nitric acid at home then use a little bit of bleach to carry out the authenticity test. One drop of bleach is enough to understand whether your piece of jewelry is authentic or not. If the jewelry starts to show signs of tarnishing and if it turns black then your deduction will be simple, the metal is real silver because it is meant to tarnish when it comes in contact with the oxidizing agents that are present in the bleach.
Try the weight test
Most metals, of course, the nonprecious ones that are used to make fake ornaments are not as dense as original one. This metal has a particular thickness as well as a diameter. Now, if you see that your piece weighs less, then the piece may contain silver alloys which are lightweight generally but not sterling silver. Suppose the piece weighs more then you have to understand that your piece could contain lead which is silver plated. When it comes to pure silver, the material is usually cooler than the fake ones and way shinier. Pure sterling silver is gorgeous.
The interesting “ring test”
This test is widely performed and it is pretty interesting. Have you ever thought what sound does a pure silver piece make? Well, the answer is a sharp ringing sound. Just rub two pure pieces of it and you will hear the ringing sound. When you drop a coin on the floor it makes a ringing sound right? When you rub it against another silver item or another metal it should make the same sound. But if it makes a flat sound then you can be sure that your piece is not pure. The flat or dull sound comes out when the piece of jewelry is either adulterated or fake.
Is silver plating mean that it is silver?
When the plating or the outward layer begins to erode does the true nature of the ornament is understood. Silver-plated ornaments are not pure silver ornaments. In a silver-plated ornament generally, cheap metals are used that can cause light to severe skin irritations. These ornaments that claim to contain pure silver must have the ‘A1’ mark etched somewhere on the jewelry so we need to be a hundred percent sure before investing.
The price of sterling silver
It is worth remembering that a lot of effort goes into making a perfect piece of jewelry including intricate craftsmanship and attention. So, if you are getting a sterling silver piece at a really low price then make sure you check all the legit stamps on the silver such as the Hallmark stamp, 925”, “925”, “S925”, or “STER”. This means the particular ornament contains 92.5% of pure metal and it is definitely a piece of pure sterling silver.
Apart from the tests mentioned above, if you still doubt the authenticity, you can always visit a reliable jeweler to determine the worth and authenticity of your sterling silver.
And generally, you can understand the authenticity by looking at its appearance. The shine and luster are not found in fake products.