Jewelry has been used from the beginning of humanity to make ourselves look better, feel prettier, and to even put ourselves in the center of attention. Nowadays there are millions of pieces to choose from, and no matter if you like to combine your favorite pieces with gemstones, or you like them simple and minimalistic, if you are like most people, you are a fan of silver jewelry. These pieces are easy to clean, maintain, they are extremely durable, and they are affordable for everyone.
Because of all these things, people are interested to buy them, but not every store is honest about the material that’s used to create earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. To help you with your next purchase, we’ve created this article. Here you can read about the things you should look out for when buying silver jewelry. We will give you some tips on how to recognize the material and how to choose the right store when buying online.
1. Look for the markings
The first thing we are going to talk about is the signs that show the jewelry is made of silver. Nowadays there are a lot of alloys that can be extremely similar to the original material, and you won’t be able to notice the difference between silver, and something made of an alloy. Since this material is usually on the cheaper side, you won’t even notice a big difference in price, but know that the alloys can be sold for a much higher price than their original worth.
Even though most sellers are honest about their products, you still cannot trust the word of someone who wants to make profits. So, before purchasing a piece, look for the sign that says Sterling or .925. These marks should be placed on the inside of the piece, and they are never visible when you just inspect it on the outside. Note that if you are buying a pendant or a ring, they may be placed inside the pendant, or near the edges of the inside of the ring. When it comes to necklaces, they are usually put on the part where you secure the necklace, and the same goes for bracelets.
The .925 sign means that it is 92.5 percent pure silver, and you can also find items that have 80 or 85 percent pure metal, but they will be with the 800 or 850 marks respectively. You should never look for a piece with a 1000 mark because 100 percent pure metal means that it is too fragile and, in most cases, soft material. If you cannot locate the mark, then you should ask the seller to help you out. If they cannot locate it, or if they say that some pieces are made with no marks, it means that they are trying to sell you something else that is not actually made of silver, and you should walk away from the store.
Note that pieces that are handmade still have the stamp, and the best ones, even with the most details should have it included. Silver Jewellery suggests that no matter if you are looking to buy earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, or something else, you should look for the stamp, and if you want to learn more about the pieces and the way they are made, you can click here.
2. Perform a test
If you want to test the items before you purchase them, then there are several things you can do that will show if the material you are buying is original metal, or if it is something that is made of mostly alloys.
The easiest way to test things out, even when you’re still at the store is to get a magnet with you. Note that this should not be a strong magnet, but something smaller that will help you test things out. If the piece gets stuck to the magnet, then it is not silver. Note that when you are using bigger and stronger magnets, chances are, all pieces will get stuck to it. So, it is best to test it out with something smaller and weaker that will give you the correct results right away.
Another thing that you can do is get a white piece of fabric and gently wipe the jewelry. If you see gray or black marks on the cloth, then the product is made of silver. Note that in most stores, the pieces are polished beforehand, so this may not be a conclusive test. However, if you see any markings at all, as long as they are in a darker shade, you are safe to purchase it.
The last thing that you can do is test the sound. Note that this may not be allowed in all places, and the seller may not let you perform this test. However, you can check things out in your home with some older pieces so you know what you should be looking for. For this test, you will need just a metal object or a tool. Then, you need to gently tap the piece with the metal object and listen for a high-pitched sound. Note that the sound will not be loud, and you should never hit the jewelry with force. One tap should be enough. If the sound is dull, or if there is no sound at all, chances are, the pieces are made with alloys or another material. Pay attention to the vibration as well, and note that .925 pieces should vibrate for a few seconds after you’ve made contact with a metal object.
3. Don’t buy from the first store
The last tip we have for you is how to find the best store for you. Note that unless the store is selling handmade jewelry that they produce on their own, chances are, you can find the same pieces elsewhere.
Before you choose the right store, talk to your friends, or read reviews online to see what other people think about the place. This is crucial in case you plan on ordering things online, and if you cannot see or test the item before you make the purchase. See if the images they have on the website match the real product, and see if the previous buyers can vouch for the quality of the items.
In case you are not sure if the store is selling original products, then you can always search for the piece you like in other places. You can also find pieces at a discount, so users suggest that you should never buy from the first store you stumble upon unless someone you know and trust recommended it.
Do your research, and take your time before you buy the right jewelry piece for you. Know that you have a lot of options to choose from, and spending some time looking for the right thing will definitely be worth it.