How To Tell If Sterling Silver Is Fake Or Real

How To Tell If Sterling Silver Is Fake Or Real

Sterling silver is a popular metal used in jewelry and household items. However, fake sterling silver is also common in the market. Here's a simple guide to help you determine if a piece of silver is real or fake.

Sterling Silver vs Silver

Sterling silver is an alloy made of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. Silver is a pure metal and is softer and more prone to tarnish.

Is Sterling Silver Real or Fake?

Sterling silver is a real silver used for making jewelry. It is accepted as genuine even though there are different types of silver. But, some fake silver is sold as real sterling silver. To find out if a piece is real or fake, there are tests you can do, some at home and others that need special tools.

How Jewelers Test Sterling Silver

High-end jewelry stores like NYXA typically only sell real sterling silver. Trained jewelers use methods to differentiate real from fake silver. These methods include:

The Nitric Acid Test

The nitric acid test is a reliable and simple way to test silver. Professional jewelers are skilled at performing this test without harming the product and can determine if it's successful or not.

If nitric acid is applied to a fake silver item, it will turn green. If the acid becomes cloudy grey, the silver is genuine.

Taking an X-Ray

The x-ray test is a safe way to test not only sterling silver, but other precious metals too. It's a popular choice because it doesn't harm the item. The x-ray can determine if a piece of jewelry has the correct amount of silver and other elements to be considered genuine sterling silver.

How to Test Silver At Home

To determine if a piece of sterling silver is real or fake, you can use the following tests:

Sterling Silver Marks and Numbers

Real sterling silver should have a mark or number that indicates its purity, such as .925 or .999.

The Weight Test

Real sterling silver is heavier than fake silver. Compare the weight to a known piece of real sterling silver or use a scale.

The Magnet Test

Real sterling silver is not magnetic, while fake silver is. Hold a magnet near the silver to see if it sticks.

Tarnish and Cloth Test

Real sterling silver will tarnish, but the tarnish should come off easily with a cloth.

Ice Test

Place a piece of ice on the silver. If it feels cold, it is likely real.

Why Is It Important To Learn

It's important to know how to tell if sterling silver is real or fake so you don't overpay for fake silver. By using the above tests, you can ensure that you're investing in a valuable piece of jewelry or silverware.

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