Are you a fan of sterling silver jewellery? If so, you've likely come across the dilemma of distinguishing between genuine sterling silver and silver-plated jewellery. While both may look similar at first glance, there's a significant difference in terms of quality, durability, and value. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous sellers may try to pass off silver-plated jewellery as solid sterling silver, leaving you feeling ripped off. But fear not! In this blog post, we'll share some tips on how to avoid getting ripped off when buying silver jewellery and ensure you're getting the real deal.
Know the Terminology: Understanding the language used in the jewellery industry is essential. Genuine sterling silver refers to jewellery made entirely of 92.5% pure silver, with the remaining 7.5% usually consisting of copper or other metals. On the other hand, silver-plated jewellery consists of a thin layer of silver plated over a base metal, which can be brass, copper, or other less valuable metals. Familiarize yourself with terms like "sterling silver," "925," and "silver-plated" to make an informed decision. I learnt this the hard, but now I know exactly the right question to ask if in doubt. Ask them is the item SOLID sterling silver or PLATED with silver. Here at Raw Spirit Jewellery and More, I am committed to offering only high quality SOLID sterling silver jewellery.
Look for Hallmarks: Genuine sterling silver jewellery should be stamped with a hallmark or a "925" mark, indicating its purity. This mark is usually located on the inside of rings, bracelets, or necklaces, or on the clasp of a necklace or bracelet. Be sure to look for these marks, as they are a reliable indicator of the jewellery's authenticity. If the jewellery lacks any hallmarks, it's best to be cautious and verify its authenticity with the seller before making a purchase. Reach out to me if you have any concerns with the jewellery we offer in our store.
Inspect for Tarnish: Sterling silver is prone to tarnish, which is a natural process that occurs when silver reacts with sulphur in the air. If you're examining a piece of jewellery that claims to be sterling silver but lacks any tarnish, it may be a red flag. Authentic sterling silver jewellery will develop a patina or tarnish over time, while silver-plated jewellery will remain shiny and unaffected. So, if the jewellery looks too good to be true, it's worth investigating further. Remember to ask that crucial question outlined above.
Check for Weight and Durability: Sterling silver is a dense metal, so genuine sterling silver jewellery will generally feel heavier compared to silver-plated jewellery. Pick up the piece of jewellery and feel its weight. If it feels lightweight and flimsy, it's likely silver-plated. Additionally, try to examine the craftsmanship and quality of the piece. Authentic sterling silver jewellery is usually well-crafted and durable, while silver-plated jewellery may show signs of wear and tear over time.
Buy from a Trusted Seller: To ensure you're getting genuine sterling silver jewellery, it's crucial to buy from reputable sellers. Do your research and look for established jewellery stores or online sellers with positive customer reviews and a reputation for selling authentic jewellery. Avoid buying from sellers who have limited information or lack clear product descriptions. If you're purchasing online, make sure to read the seller's return policy and warranty to protect yourself in case of any issues.
Consider the Price: While sterling silver jewellery is generally more expensive than silver-plated jewellery, it's still important to consider the price when making a purchase. If a piece of jewellery is priced too low to be true, it's likely not made of genuine sterling silver. Silver prices fluctuate, so be aware of the current market value of silver and use it as a benchmark when evaluating the price of jewellery.
So remember, when buying sterling silver jewellery, it's crucial to be vigilant and educate yourself to avoid getting ripped off. Familiarize yourself with the terminology, look for 925 hallmarks. Here at Raw Spirit jewellery all our sterling silver jewellery is SOLID sterling silver unless otherwise specified. So check out our jewellery and crystal store where you might find a quality treasure that calls out to you.