Determining If Your Silver Is Real or Plated



Silver jewelry is a fashion item that never goes out of style. Apart from the health benefits that it could give you, silver jewelry also suits all seasons and gives you a youthful vibe. However, like any other luxury item, silver jewelry can be imitated too. So if you have silver jewelry at hand or just recently bought a silver item, you may want to determine if it is real or plated. 

Here are the ways to know if your silver is real or just an imitated version.

Look for the stamp

Original silver items should have a stamp or markings on the silver, typically found at the bottom. Examine your silver item and look for the marking; if there is none, then most probably your silver is fake. 

The most common markings you can find in original silver items are as follows:

  • Sterling silver
  • .925 or higher number
  • Lion Hallmark

Real Sterling silver item is the solid silver, while .925 silver item means there is 92.5% of fine silver in it.

Do the magnet test

There is also a possibility that an original silver item will have no markings on it, especially if it is created in a country with no hallmarks. You might want to test your silver piece more with the use of a magnet. Silver is paramagnetic in nature or has a weak magnetic effect so it should not get attracted to a magnet. If you put a strong magnet near your silver piece and it sticks to it, then your silver piece might be an imitation. However, this test should be conducted in conjunction with another silver test since there are still other metals that are paramagnetic and can be made to look exactly like silver. 

Perform the ice test

Another test that you might like to try to determine the authenticity of your silver piece is the ice test. Put ice on your hand. Silver is a very good thermal conductor; therefore, ice will melt immediately if you place your silver with it.  Ice will naturally melt when placed at room temperature; however, it will melt faster when placed with a silver item. The bigger your silver jewelry is, the faster the ice will melt. 

Try the ring test

The ring test is another test you can conduct to know if your silver item is real or not. Silver items have this unique ringing sound like a bell when it is tapped on with another metal. You can try it first with a silver coin. Flip it in the air or tap it with another metal, it should make a high-pitch ringing sound. Your silver piece should make that same sound when tapped on with another piece of metal. If it is making a dull sound, then more often, your silver piece is already mixed with other metals. 

Get it professionally evaluated

If you have performed all the tests above and you are still hesitant with the authenticity of your silver piece, then the best thing you can do is to get professional help. You can get help from an auctioneer or just bring your silver item in a pawn shop. They can examine your piece and perform chemical tests to analyze the authenticity of your silver item.