How to Identify Original vs Fake Silver Jewellery
Over the last few months we have had numerous clients come to us with their “silver jewellery” purchased elsewhere for resizing, cleaning and polishing. To their dismay we cannot provide such services because the jewellery they brought in is not Genuine Silver.
Since consumers cannot discern this at the point of purchase so we have allocated a list of things to go through to determine if your rings are original silver or not.
Look For The Stamp
All silver jewellery should have a stamp to identify it as pure silver as required by law. “925” means Sterling Silver and. 999 refers to pure hand-made silver, 92% and 99% respectively.
Some handmade pure silver pieces may not carry a stamp as regulations are different for each master jeweller. If you are purchasing any silver rings from direct stock which is not custom made specifically for you always look for a stamp unless you trust the jeweler and they have a return/maintenance policy
Be wary of Chinese Silver – which carries the mark “S925” which is usually nickel/copper with a silver coating. This is not to be confused with Scandinavian Silver which also carries the mark “S925” and its pure 92.5% silver.
A good rule of thumb is that the Chinese markings are smaller in size and sometimes may require magnification to see while the Scandinavian Silver has bigger markings easily visible to the naked eye. Fake stamps also look unprofessional and messy and original stamps are clean cut
Remember that stamps can sometimes be misleading and even original stamps can be used for fake silver items. If you are unsure about the ring always ask the jeweler if the ring can be resized – only genuine silver can be resized. Fake silver rings when resized will leave a permanent mark.
Evaluate How It Feels
Run your fingers through the piece of jewelry – genuine silver should feel slightly cold to the touch and warm up if you keep pressing the metal. Genuine Silver should also feel solid in your hand with a decent weight.
Fake silver is usually smooth to the touch and light. This indicates the inside of the jewellery is usually hollow.
Test For Color
When fake silver is exposed to heat and other chemicals it turns into a bright copper like color with a tinge of green and orange – this means it exposes the based metal indicating that the silver was just a covering top layer.
If its genuine Silver exposure to air or any other harsh chemical will turn the ring black and no other color. A quick note – silver does not rust. Once a silver ring turns black due to exposure of air or chemicals it only requires a simple polish to restore the natural silver color.
Fake silver rings cannot be polished to restore the coating and once they have changed color it’s a permanent mark
At point of purchase if you are unsure on the originality of your materials always request to see the return policy of the jeweler. You should be able to buy with confidence knowing that if any issues arise you can always bring the ring back for restoration, replacement or even a refund.
Only pure Silver rings can be resized. Fake silver leaves large blotches when exposed to heat which is easily noticeable and cannot be masked with plating and coating.
Stamps are a good indicator on the originality of the Silver. Any ring which carries the following stamps below are guaranteed genuine by law.
If the stamp on your silver ring starts with an “S” its either Chinese or Scandinavian Silver. Look for the quality of the stamp as well as the size to determine whether its an original or fake stamp. Scandinavian Silver is highly sought after and the stamps are regularly copied and pasted into fake silver rings coming from China.