Before teaching you the process of identifying sterling silver let us explain to you what the term actually means. Sterling silver is a metal type that contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of another metal. Due to the sturdy nature of this material, it has become a preferred alternative of pure silver. A number of esteemed ornament manufacturers have started using this material for making jewelries. If you like wearing white metal pieces that are priced reasonably, you can consider buying a few sterlings. However, before you begin your search for sterling pieces of highest quality, you must know how to identify the metal. This is important to ensure that the items you are buying are not made from any cheaper material. Read through the pointers below to know more.
- If the sterling silver ornament you are planning to purchase is made from real sterling, it will surely have a mark indicating the purity of the material. Check the item carefully and if it's a high quality piece, it will surely have the number 925 imprinted on it. Jewelries that do not carry the number will have S, SS or "sterling" imprinted on them, each of which stands as the testimony of the fact that the product you are purchasing is made using sterling silver.
- You can also use a magnet to find out whether the pieces you want to buy are original sterling ornaments. The magnet you use for this purpose should be a strong one. Take the magnet and run it over the product. Objects made from sterling silver will not attract the magnet towards it.
- Another way of testing the material used for making these ornaments is by using an acid test kit; most shopping malls in the country has these kits in their collection. However, this kit is generally not used by common people as the acid used for testing damages or etches the jewelry.
If any of the above mentioned procedures fails to assist you in knowing whether the ornaments are actually made from sterling silver, we would suggest you to get them checked by a professional. You can take them to a nearby pawnshop or jeweler. These professionals will most likely use an XRF analytical machine for finding out whether the items brought by you are made from real sterling silver. An XRF analytical machine works by using X-ray technology for determining composition of an item. This means, if the percentage of pure silver used for making your jewelries is less than 92.5%, the machine will inform you about that. Any material that does not contain 92.5% of pure silver cannot be referred to as sterling.
Last, but not the least, make sure that you always buy jewelries from a reputable store; this is because an esteemed store always sells what it tells.