Are you planning to give your friend or lover a lovely silver ring gift? If you see a beautiful set of sterling silver rings or jewellery on sale for a low price, you want to make sure you are getting a steal from the real deal.
Remember, pure silver is not really made up of only silver. Some silver jewellery pieces consist of 99.9% of silver, and a small portion of other metals such as copper. While sterling silver is composed of 92.5 %, the percentage left consists of copper. This is the perfect reason why authentic sterling silver is usually marked as 925.
Why the extra other metals? You might ask. The perfect mix to produce intricate and beautiful designs for your fancy and glamourous silver jewellery pieces sits in this percentage. Since pure silver is malleable and soft, it is really difficult to create complex designs that’s why introducing a bit of hardness, by adding copper makes your sterling silver jewellery a perfect gift that will definitely last a lifetime.
What’s the difference?
925 sterling silver jewellery doesn’t come cheap. It sure is an investment for you, whether you’re buying it for a friend or someone special. What is important is to identify the dupe and the real thing because it is a worthwhile investment as its value increases with time.
On the other hand, silver plate is different from real silver because only the surface of the jewellery is covered with real silver and the rest of the item is made up of copper or nickel alloy.
Making sure that you got the authentic sterling silver is a skill that comes handy.
Here are some steps you need to do to make sure your ring is an authentic sterling silver:
1. Examine the silver piece for any marking that indicates it’s sterling silver. Look on the inside of the ring and check for stamps that say sterling .925 or SR 92.5.
2. Look for markings that indicate that your piece is silver plated. This includes stamps of single-digit numbers, stamps starting with EP, or like “heavy plate” or “triple”. Be aware that silver-plated pieces have little value since they contain very few precious metals.
3. If your sterling silver jewellery is not from Australia, speak with a jeweller or a metal exchange dealer because other areas have different silver markings and levels for measuring the quality of silver.
4. Always consult with an expert if you can’t find stamps and any indicators to help you distinguish sterling silver from plated. They can help you determine the authenticity of your silver and help you figure out the value. In most cases, silver-plated pieces of jewellery don’t usually have the .925 or SR 92.5 marking.
Iffy and still not convinced of your silver pieces? Try some of these tests to be sure. You never know, you might find these tests helpful.
THE “MAGNETIC” TEST
Hold a regular magnet near your jewellery piece. Pure and sterling silver is not magnetic. If the piece is attracted to the magnet, there is a chance that your jewellery is made with metal alloy with different compositions.
THE “MASS” TEST
An obvious way to tell that your jewellery is genuine sterling silver is by inspecting the mass of your piece with jewellery that is real silver. When the weight feels the same, you’re in luck because it is more likely authentic, too.
THE “CHEMICAL” TEST
If you have some spare time and you have some nitric acid lying around your house, then put on some of your protective gear and drop a small amount of acid in your piece. Real sterling silver doesn’t discolour. If the jewel turns green, it has a high copper content, which discolours non-silver items.
THE “BLUDGE” TEST
Here’s one of the easy peasy things you can do to be certain that the silver piece you will buy is authentic sterling silver. Try applying friction to your silver jewellery lightly with a soft, light-coloured cloth. If you see black stains on the cloth, the jewellery piece is genuine silver. Pure silver oxidizes when exposed to air; this is the reason for the tarnish that appears on the cloth when it is rubbed.
Finding that perfect sterling silver in Australia for you or your significant other? Be quick and choose MaLi Siver.
At MaLi Silver, we take pride in our fine 92.5 Sterling Silver jewellery collection, Zirconia crafts, and more brands. Since the 1900s, we have been providing Sterling silver rings in Australia. Additionally, we showcase exceptional and modern jewellery, sourced and imported from different countries around the globe, including France, Thailand, Israel, Mexico, and India.
Shop online or come and visit our store in Townsville to experience our personal touch of glamour and friendly customer service. You would be sure to take home a great present for yourself or your special someone.