Dubbed as the queen of metals and the whitest of all precious metals, silver has been a prime choice for modern, innovative designers because of its beauty and high lustrous finish. It is harder than gold but is more pliable and supple, hence, fashion silver jewelry it is easy to hammer and mold. Although, due to its soft and malleable characteristic, pure silver is quite difficult to create designs with—making it not ideal in manufacturing fine jewelry and pieces. The fabrication, then, of silver products is made possible with the use of sterling silver.

Sterling silver is an alloy of silver. An alloy, by definition, is a metal made by melting and mixing two or more metals or a metal and another material together (2016 Merriam-Webster, Inc. ). Sterling silver is composed of 92. 5% by weight of silver, and 7. 5% of other metals, most commonly copper. Centuries of experiments proved copper to be the most compatible metal to mix with silver because it improves the hardness, durability, resilience, and stability of the product. The color is maintained and has little effect to the value of the precious metal. It is astoundingly different from silver-plated products, where a layer of silver is coated over another metal or alloy so it can be easily scraped off and tarnished.

Genuine Sterling silver comes at a hefty price and can be considered an investment because its value increases through the passage of time. If, then, you are contemplating on buying sterling silver products, ensuring that you get your money’s worth is imperative. There are many products sold all over the world that claim that it is made of sterling silver, they pass a counterfeit good as the real thing, but when tested, proves otherwise. As a prospective buyer, here are some ways in which you can check the authenticity of your future asset.


Silver, gold, and platinum are non-ferrous materials, therefore, they are non-magnetic. An ordinary fridge magnet may not be enough, though, to elicit any response from metals mixed with silver; a heavy-duty magnet, purchased from the nearest hardware, is more advisable to be used. Once you have your magnet, place the product near it, if it sticks or even moves as you hover the magnet over it, it is not sterling silver.

Cloth Test

925 silver oxidizes when exposed to air leading to chemical changes in its wake. Using a soft white cloth, rub a small part of the jewelry, if the surface produces a black mark it would mean that the product is sterling silver. On the other hand, the color change would be absent in fake merchandise.

Acid Test

Using acid to test the authenticity of the product needs to be done safely, should there be a need to do this, it is best to apply extreme caution. In theory, a drop of nitric acid on a silver-plated product, or other low-quality alternatives for real sterling silver, would alter its color, producing a greenish tinge. While genuine sterling silver, when subjected to this kind of test will turn its color into cream.

Ice Test
Silver has the highest thermal conductivity. Place ice directly on top of the silver product and see if the ice melts immediately like it is placed on a hot surface and not just on a room-temperature surface. This test works well with solid silver bars and coins.

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