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Buying a good quality 925 Sterling silver jewellery is an essential investment for everyone, and you would definitely want the full value of your jewellery. And it really hurts when you come to know that you have spent your money on a piece of fake silver jewellery that tarnishes easily, and it can also give you skin allergies.
You can easily avoid the problem by knowing if your 925 sterling silver is real or fake. Here we provide 7 ways on how to tell if your 925 silver is real.
Sterling silver is made of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals. Generally, copper, germanium, zinc, and platinum may also be used. That is why sterling silver is known as 925 sterling silver.
To introduce a bit of hardness, silver is combined with other metals. It is tough to use pure silver because it is soft and malleable. 925 sterling silver is harder than fine silver or 950 silver. It is more shock-resistant, but it has less shine as well.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to test the quality of your 925 sterling silver is by checking the quality stamp label on the silver jewellery. Whenever silver jewellery is sold, a quality stamp mark is always there to indicate the type of jewellery metal.
If your jewellery features a tiny mark that stays "ster" or "sterling," it means the jewellery contains at least 92.5% or close to pure silver content. Pure sterling jewellery would feature stamp marks such as "92.5", "925", and ".925".
If you have bought and worn silver costume jewellery before, you will notice that every shiny and silver-looking jewellery is made of fine silver or real sterling silver. Testing the quality of your 925 sterling silver jewellery from a strong magnet is the most reliable way to check it.
Bring your magnet closure to the silver jewellery. If the jewellery strongly reacts to your jewellery, then it is silver coated with another metal base. Authentic 925 sterling silver will not respond to the magnet due to its high amount of silver alloy.
If you don't have time to consult a professional, then there are some other ways as well to test the quality of your 925 sterling silver jewellery.
Genuine sterling silver and 99.9% pure silver have no smell. However, depending on the concentration of the other metal alloy it combines, it may eject different scents. On the other hand, silver-plated items may have a smell of sulphur or another base metal, which shows that it is not made of true sterling silver.
Fine silver and sterling silver have more shine and lustrous appearance. You can tell whether it is made of silver or silver plated by looking at it. The jewellery you plan to buy can be silver plated if the colours are faded, and it seems to have metal layers.
99.9% pure silver is mostly soft and relatively malleable. If you come across the jewellery that does not have a smooth texture and feels bumpy, you could be dealing with silver plated jewellery. Genuine 925 sterling silver jewellery would not have a scratchy surface to the metal.
Silver is generally used in jewellery making, all thanks to its resistance to corrosion and oxidation. When you buy a fine jewellery piece, you don't have to worry about replacing it constantly. Just a polishing cloth and bleach will help you to prevent buying any fake silver jewellery.
Actual 925 sterling silver oxidises and will turn black after you place a drop of bleach in it. You can easily remove the black marks with a polishing cloth. Also if your jewellery does not tarnish when it comes into the contact of bleach then definitely it is silver plated.
In some cases, you can use nitric acid as well to test your 925 sterling silver jewellery. It is essential for you to use protective gloves and goggles in order to protect your eyes and hands before conducting the acid test.
To do this, put a drop of nitric acid on your sterling jewellery. If it turns into a creamy white colour, then it is made of pure silver or 925 sterling silver. And if it turns green, then it is silver plated jewellery.
Another way to test the quality of your 925 sterling silver jewellery is by using an ice cube. Do you know that the silver has the highest thermal conductivity and has the ability to melt ice at a faster rate?
Before conducting the ice test, make sure that the jewellery is not too warm, so rinse the jewellery piece with cold if it is necessary. In the next step, place the silver jewellery on a piece of ice and observe if the ice cube melts instantly. When you compare it with other metals, you will notice that pure and 925 sterling silver melt the ice the fastest.
Checking the weight of your jewellery is another way to determine the authenticity of your sterling silver jewellery. Most metals are less dense than silver. The diameter and thickness of a metal is determined by its weight.
Use your hands or a gram scale to compare the weight of two pieces of sterling silver jewellery. If the silver jewellery weighs less, it is highly pure 925 sterling silver jewellery because it contains lighter silver alloys. If the jewellery is heavier, it is silver-plated due to the lack of lightweight silver alloys and the heaviness of the other metal alloys.