How to Spot Fake Sterling Silver Jewelry

August 04, 2021

How to Spot Fake Sterling Silver Jewelry

When looking to buy silver jewelry, it's crucial to make sure you're getting the real deal. Fake silver jewelry is easily tarnished and can even cause discomfort or rashes because it is not hypoallergenic.
If you want to invest in a gorgeous piece of sterling silver jewelry that will stay looking beautiful for the long haul, here are some tips for making sure you don't buy anything fake or impure. 

Metal Purity Levels - When used on its own, silver is quite soft and doesn't make for durable and long-lasting jewelry pieces. Because of this, sterling silver is mixed with alloys to enhance its hardness and sustainability. Sterling silver jewelry should be at least 92.5% silver, so make sure you're checking the purity levels and closely examining each piece before you purchase them. Look for an engraving that says ".925" on the back of any potential sterling silver initial bracelets, clasps, rings, or pendants that you want to purchase. 

Stamping - Most real sterling silver will also have a stamp or engraving on it that pertains to other relevant information such as the date it was created or the silversmith who made it. Certain stamps have specific meanings, such as EPNS, which signifies that a piece is "electroplated nickel silver." Always check for stamps and engravings on the piece you're looking to purchase so you can follow up and search that information to ensure it's a legitimate piece. 

Avoid Silver Plated Pieces - Many pieces are coated with a thin layer of silver but are not actually made of silver. These pieces are silver plated and are not legitimate sterling silver. That means that while that beautiful sterling silver anchor necklace might look real, there's always the possibility that a small nick or scratch on the surface can bring about long-lasting damage and discoloration. Often by scratching with a nail, the silver will flake off and discoloration will appear, showing the layer of other metals beneath the silver.

Pay Attention to Odors - Real sterling silver is odorless so take some time to smell the piece before purchasing. This might sound a little silly, but if you catch the scent of sulfur or a metallic fragrance, then there's a strong chance that the piece might not entirely be made of silver and is merely silver-plated, hiding other metals underneath. 

Shop Sterling Silver Anchor Necklaces & Much More

If you’re interested in seeing some beautiful pieces of sterling silver jewelry, check out all of the incredible options we have to offer at Wellesley Row. From our sterling silver anchor necklaces to our sterling silver initial bracelets, all of our pieces are uniquely crafted to express your unique individual style. Get in touch with us today and find the perfect new piece of sterling silver jewelry to add to your collection.

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