Unfortunately, today anything you buy can be fake posing as an authentic option. Silver is a common metal used to create jewelry. While you can find the genuine pieces, you can also have counterfeit pieces.
We have brands using unreal silver to create their jewelry. They, therefore, imitate the best quality silver and make the same profit as the authentic ones.
Therefore, before you go buying the jewelry, you need to be sure it’s real. That’s why today we show you how to tell if the necklace is genuine silver.
Understanding the history of silver
The silver mines date back to 4000BCE in turkey, and this is the same country where the silver trade began. With time the demand for this beautiful metal rose, thus pushing more countries to invest in search of good quality silver.
This saw countries like China refining and mining silver, and to date, the silver from China is one of the most sought after type of silver. Slowly countries like Spain and Greece, north and south America joined the silver mining.
Today we have Peru and Mexico dominating the silver production. Although silver has many other uses, the most common use is on jewelry. It, in fact, holds the diamond and other gemstones with ease.
This is one of the most common silver options in the market. It’s a harder version of silver than the real silver option, making it easy to mold. It contains a blend of other metals, although the silver is about 92.5%. Often though, copper is the metal that makes the 7.5%.
Naturally, silver is a soft metal, so copper hardens the metal a little. But sometimes they use the Britannia silver instead of copper. Unfortunately, today we have too many silver types in the market. And even though silver is precious and affordable, it’s hard to tell which type is exotic.
The good news is there are so many ways you can tell if it’s fake, and some of the options don’t need you to be in person. So keep reading for us to break it down for you.
Here‘s how to tell it’s real
Is it tarnishing?
Although we want to say the tarnishing is an indicator that it’s not real silver, but it’s not always the case. Remember, in most cases, silver contains a percentage of other metals like copper.
When you wear the silver necklace, then it may leave a greenish or sometimes black color. Notice that copper does oxidize when you expose it to the air. Also, the sterling silver creates salts when it mingles with your sweat lotions and oils.
Note, though, that since you can’t tell the percentage of the silver to the copper used, it can be hard to know if it’s going to be a genuine piece based on this point. Some brands have also realized that this is a sellout, so they use a layer of rhodium to prevent tarnishing.
It will further maintain the shine. Sadly, for this point, though, you will have to wear it first to know its genuine.
This is the primary point you need to check even before you order. It’s one of the points that will make you know if it’s authentic without ordering first. If the brand you are buying from sells the necklaces commercially, they must have one or two silver hallmarks.
This gives you the dates of manufacturing while giving you other information regarding the piece. So expect to see numbers like 900, 925, 800 from international sellers. They show you the purity level of the silver.
Notice that most of the brands advertise their silver necklaces as 92.5%, which is quite high percentage. Even then, the factories may want to save silver, so they will add a lot more metal. The good news is that in America, it won’t qualify as sterling silver unless its 925.
Next, check for the term international silver as that is often an indication that the jewelry is just plated. Well, this is not always the best as that will soon wear off.
So aside from the numbers above, you may also have the jewelry labeled STER or even Sterling. Don’t buy a necklace that has no stamp as that could as well be a fake piece. If you, however, know the source, then you can buy from them.
We can use the magnetic test.
Did you know that some of the most valuable metals in the world aren’t even magnetic? Gold, copper, and silver are nonmagnetic. Let’s just say that your silver metal should never have a recognizable pull.
So you want to use the magnet that’s made using neodymium. Don’t worry, they are readily available in most stores or even the craft stores. Besides, they aren’t as expensive, and if you want authenticity, you can use them.
Set it at an angle to see if it attracts the silver jewel. Now with this, you will tell whether the necklace has other metals mixed in. So you can know that it contains other metals like nickel, cobalt, or iron.
Still, one should know that this is not 100% reliable; thus, you should employ other methodologies.
The odor is a sellout.
If you have bought jewelry or stored some in your house, you must know how a stinky piece of jewelry smells. In short, the smell is unpleasant, and you wouldn’t want jewelry with the scent anyway.
If you are going to buy the sterling silver, expect it to be odorless. It may look gross to smell the jewel in the store, but you are in search of quality silver remember. It should never have a noticeable smell.
The first notable smell is that of rotten egg or sulfuric smell. Therefore, to break it down, note that if the necklace has such a scent, it’s most likely just silver plated but made of copper and sometimes just zinc alloy.
Don’t take the piece of the necklace if you smell anything strong.
Your eyes will never mislead you.
Simply said, just look at it. Of course, it’s not easy to check if it’s genuine and will guide you. Whether the necklace tarnishes or not is the perfect guide, whether you are buying the authentic piece.
In this case, you are looking for the tarnish, which indicates that the silver is genuine. You see, the tarnish is the oxidation that occurs when the metal in question is exposed to things like air or even drops of water. Remember, genuine silver can tarnish a little.
Some brands will add the forced patina that then makes the item look like its centuries old. I guess we don’t want the item to look old, or would you?
Also, check out for the layers or even flakes as this shows you whether the necklace uses authentic silver. The real piece will have a smooth surface. Don’t choose any piece that has indentions or rough edges.
The polish test
To keep the silver shining, you will have to polish it from time to time. The good thing is that you can use the clean piece of cloth to check this out. When you wipe, the necklaces expect to have some black residue without which the piece is fake.
Nevertheless, it shouldn’t rust; therefore, it will look as shiny once you wipe it.
There are other methods you can use to check the jewelry authenticity. So the genuine silver will always tarnish instantly because it makes the oxidations process faster. You will most likely see a dark patina.
Unfortunately, if you only think this necklace is only plated, you can be sure the chemical will damage it. So the best thing is to keep off this test. However, if you think it’s authentic, you can use the test.
Another one of the most common methods you can use is the acid testing method. This is ideal if you have the best acid at home. Next, put a drop of acid on the silver onto the silver, and if it changes its color, then some hues will show you that it’s not silver.
One thing that shows you it’s the real silver then is that it maintains the same color. Also, if it forms a red color, then know that this piece is just sterling silver. However, if it goes brown or green, it’s not authentic, and in fact, it’s not even a good quality silver.
The easiest test- ice test
This may be the easiest method to find out if the silver is an authentic piece. So you can place the ice cube on the silver, which has the highest level of thermal conductivity. So you are going to check out for how fast it melts the ice.
So if it doesn’t melt the silver, then it could be a mix of other metals that aren’t silver.
Seek professional advice
You can take the piece to a professional to check the authenticity of the silver. This is the best method to find out if the necklace is real silver.
So there you go now, you are ready to conduct the test and find an authentic piece. However, if you are buying online, you will have to check out what your customers are saying and the visible features.