"I once purchased a silver tray for $5 from one such pile, took it to my silver dealer and got a check for $1,400. Unfortunately, if you only think this necklace is only plated, you can be sure the chemical will damage it. But sometimes they use the Britannia silver instead of copper. It may look gross to smell the jewel in the store, but you are in search of quality silver remember. If you have bought jewelry or stored some in your house, you must know how a stinky piece of jewelry smells. Don’t choose any piece that has indentions or rough edges. If no mark is visible, the chain is probably not the real thing. "I always recommend that shoppers look at piles of what dealers are putting out as scrap piles of silver," says Sue Whitney, who has authored five books on antique shopping and decorating with repurposed furniture. Although silver has many other uses, the most common use is on jewelry. "After checking for stamps and markings and using the magnet trick, pull out the soft white cloth you brought with you!" 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. Rub the tarnished piece as if polishing. According to Tiffany's official website, in 1851, Tiffany became the first American company to … The item could be silver-plated, but a scent indicates that it is not made entirely of sterling silver. Next, put a drop of acid on the silver onto silver, and if it changes its color, then some hues will show you that it’s not silver. It will further maintain the shine. Look for markings or stamps on the silver. You can also take a few of the flakes and put them into acid. There are other methods you can use to check the jewelry authenticity. Lay the chain on a soft cloth on a flat surface. Copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. Enter to Win $10,000 to Makeover Your Home! Move a magnet a few inches above and over the chain. The good news is that in America, it won’t qualify as sterling silver unless it’s 925. Hosting fewer guests this holiday season due to the coronavirus pandemic? A silver chain is considered to be real if it contains 92.5% of pure silver; pure silver is too soft to be used without another metal. Silver is white, not steel-colored. If no mark is visible, the chain is probably not the real thing. Sterling silver is odorless, so go ahead and smell the piece in question. So the best thing is to keep off this test. So aside from the numbers above, you may also have the jewelry labeled STER or even Sterling. 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. Drop a tiny drop of nitric acid on the chain. Martha Stewart may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on Although silver polishes to a mirror finish, it still keeps its white color and never shines like a mercury-coated mirror or polished steel. So you want to use the magnet that’s made using neodymium. International sellers of silver will stamp silver as 925, 900 or 800." 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. Just remember that there are some tests that you can't do unless you own the piece, and you don't want to risk ruining the item if you intend to get more value out of it. this website. One of the surest ways to tell if your silver is real or not is by performing a simple acid test. They, therefore, imitate the best quality silver and make the same profit as the authentic ones. Naturally, silver is a soft metal, so copper hardens the metal a little. Some brands have also realized that this is a sellout, so they use a layer of rhodium to prevent tarnishing. Martha Stewart is part of the Meredith Home Group. If the acid turns green, the chain may only be silver-plated. From which platforms to use and the best books to read, bibliophiles share their advice. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line. The best way to authenticate it is to take it to a jeweler. Our fall-focused indoor and outdoor decorating ideas are guaranteed ways to make the perfect first impression when family and friends come calling on Thanksgiving—or any day during the season. Shopping for silver at the flea market, estate sales, and yard sales means that you can find some great deals, but you have to know what to look for. Notice that copper does oxidize when you expose it to the air. Before you do, however, check for some marks that may show that it's real and reveal its value. If you are going to buy sterling silver, expect it to be odorless. It contains a blend of other metals, although the silver is about 92.5%. Unfortunately, today anything you buy can be fake posing as an authentic option. Let’s just say that your silver metal should never have a recognizable pull. Real silver also has a high value in the market, so items made from the material tend to come with a higher price tag than those that merely look like silver. If you have the time, do this at your local jewelry store. Get inspired to make your porch your new favorite living space with these ideas designed to add a refined look to any outdoor space. Silver is a common metal used to create jewelry. The first notable smell is that of rotten egg or sulfuric smell. "Even at room temperature, authentic silver products will melt the ice at an exceedingly rapid rate. Set it at an angle to see if it attracts the silver jewel. With that said, these are some of the ways you can tell if an item is made from real silver. These numbers indicate the level of purity of the silver. You will need to have access to ice in order to do this particular test: take a cube of ice and put it on top of the silver item. Want to know more? Rust or a lack of oxidation indicates that the item is made of a different material from silver. If no mark is visible on the clasp, examine the chain carefully. Also, check out for the layers or even flakes as this shows you whether the necklace uses authentic silver. Although we want to say the tarnishing is an indicator that it’s not real silver, but it’s not always the case. There are so many delicious ways to use this hard-shell squash, from soups and salads to lasagna and pizza. They'll do the test on the spot. Does Sterling Silver Tarnish Jewelry Metals That Don’T Tarnish. Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. This is a great test to conduct for those of us who have a strong sense of smell. Sometimes, dealers don't know what they have so leave no stone unturned!" This may be the easiest method to find out if the silver is an authentic piece. Often though, copper is the metal that makes the 7.5%. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t rust; therefore, it will look as shiny once you wipe it. says Whitney. When compared side-by-side, the color difference is obvious. How to Tell If an Item Is Made of Real Silver. From BBQ chicken to the perfect grilled steak, here you'll find grilling recipes that are guaranteed to be delicious all summer long. However, if you think it’s authentic, you can use the test. I need to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! The good thing is that you can use a clean piece of cloth to check this out. Now with this, you will tell whether the necklace has other metals mixed in. "The first thing you should look for when you found an item you suspect to be real silver, is markings like a stamp or hallmark," explains Nicolas Martin, flea market expert and founder of Flea Market Insiders. Remember, in most cases, silver contains a percentage of other metals like copper. If the necklace does not have a lobster clasp and the silver color is a light gray or a dark steel hue, the jewelry is not authentic. Sterling silver catches the light like no other, which is why we love the look of sterling silver in flatware, vases, jewelry, and decorative accents. In short, the smell is unpleasant, and you wouldn’t want jewelry with the scent anyway. Therefore, before you go buying the jewelry, you need to be sure it’s real.