Avoid getting tricked into buying fake sterling silver; here are some tips to be wiser than the crooks.
If you are not an expert in checking jewelry, you might easily be prey to merchants who sell fake jewelry. As a jewelry business retailer, you should be aware of these people, and you should at least know the basics of knowing whether a piece is genuine or not. If you are planning to start your own jewelry business, then you’re in luck. Allow us to give you some tips on how to buy real wholesale sterling silver rings and other pieces for your inventory.
Check the markings.
Genuine sterling silver pieces usually have marking engraved on them. You can check for the following — “.925”, “925”, or “S925.” In cases where the pieces do not have any markings at all, look for an official stamp from the manufacturer to prove that they are authentic. Stamps are used to determine the source of the metal, as well as its purity. Also, some countries use hallmarks in the form of symbols that represent the origin country of the metal. It’s important to do a bit more research on this, so you’d know whether the stamps and hallmarks are also genuine or not.
Check the price.
The price of authentic sterling silver is a bit higher than regular fashion jewelry pieces. You should be able to determine this once the cost is way too low than the average price ranges. With that said, it’s best to also check the prices in the market before buying cheap ones in bulk.
Check with a magnet.
Silver, along with gold and platinum are not magnetic. This is because they are non-ferrous materials. To check the authenticity of the piece, use a heavy-duty magnet, and not a simple small magnet like the ones on your refrigerator door. If it sticks to the magnet, then it isn’t authentic sterling silver.
Rub a piece of cloth.
Genuine 925 sterling silver tends to oxidize when exposed to air and other compounds. Rubbing a piece of cloth can help you determine whether the piece is authentic or not. After rubbing, check if the surface produced a black mark, but if it doesn’t, it means that the piece is fake.
Do the ice test.
The ice test, of course, cannot be done in the store where you’re buying the silver from. Hence, you can only do this at home or at your shop where ice is available. Silver is known to have a high thermal conductivity so you can place the ice on top of the piece and if it quickly melts, that means the silver is genuine.
Do the acid test.
As with the ice test, this can also be done only at home or your shop. This test is a bit more dangerous than the previous ones so you should only do this only when there is an extreme need to do so. To check if the piece is authentic or not, apply a drop of nitric acid on it and watch it turn its color. If it’s cream or milky white, it’s authentic. However, if it becomes a bit green, it means that the piece has less silver content.
At the end of the day, it’s always best to buy sterling silver from a reputable wholesaler. You can ask your colleagues or friends from the industry, and do some research on the internet. If you are not too sure about the authenticity, delay the purchase and look for alternative sellers.
Which of these tests you think is the most effective to check sterling silver’s authenticity? Do share your thoughts in the comments below!