A Guide to Buying Sterling Silver Jewelry
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Silver jewelry is exquisite, but the challenge comes in when you need to find high-quality pieces. While a lot of marketers parade different pieces everywhere, both online and offline, assessing authenticity might not be the easiest thing to do. The good thing is that there are different ways you can ensure you are getting high-quality silver jewelry for top dollar. Below is a guide for buying Sterling silver jewelry.
Table of Contents
Inspect the best price
Sterling silver is very precious, and this is indicated by the price. The best way to determine if you are getting the best silver jewelry is by comparing different prices. A good place to start is by researching its current market price. This way, you can get a baseline that you can work with when assessing different prices for different pieces. Alternatively, you can check the asking price for the jewelry you wish to purchase. Cheap could be a clear indication of low-quality Sterling silver jewelry, or worse, fake.
Another thing to take note of is massive discounts or blowout sales that sell Sterling silver jewelry in bulk. Whenever you are buying jewelry, whether from a physical or online store, ensure to ask about their pricing methods. Also, don’t forget to ask about exchange policies or even refunds, as you’ll want to be given return or refund options if you will be spending heavily on the jewelry.
Talk to your seller
While this might be impossible based on the place you choose to get your jewelry from, it is important to speak to your seller. When you talk to a real person, you will be able to ask all questions you might have regarding silver sourcing, pricing, and hallmarks. In addition, if the store has a physical location, then this would be an added advantage because chances of getting scammed are really low.
Check hallmarks or silver-grade specifications
To differentiate real silver from fake, there are specific markings curved on the real pieces. They will be very tiny and discretely located on the jewelry, which might require a magnifying glass and good lighting to identify them. Sterling silver pieces will bear STERLING or .925 markings. However, not all markings will indicate real silver, for instance, EPNS(electroplated nickel silver) might indicate subpar silver jewelry. This means that the piece of jewelry is made of nickel substitute that is made to look like silver.
Pure silver is very malleable as it is soft and easy to bend. High-quality silver will be made mixed with an alloy to increase its durability. Hence, the best type of silver jewelry often consists of a small percentage of a stronger element like copper. Sterling or fine silver are your best bets when shopping for silver jewelry!
Check authenticity through physical tests
Physical tests are another way to ensure that you have authentic jewelry. You can start by locating a magnet to see if your silver jewelry is magnetic. If it latches to the magnet, it is possible that it is made of nickel or other metal as silver is not magnetic. Ensure to find a strong magnet as common household magnets are not as powerful as is required for this test.
Apart from the magnetic test, you can also rub your silver jewelry with a clean white cloth. If the result is a black mark, then your jewelry is legit because silver oxidizes and creates such marks when exposed to air. In addition, a sound test can also help determine whether your silver jewelry is authentic or not. Tap it with a metal object, you should hear a high-pitched ring and vibration, otherwise, a duller/deeper ring might mean that your jewelry is made of steel alloys or copper.
While some of these tests look like they could harm your jewelry, they are very safe.
Get an appraisal
A sure way of authenticating jewelry you are not certain about is through appraisal. An appraiser will give you expert consultation about your jewelry. While an appraisal will cost you money, it is a great tip if you truly are serious about getting the best quality for your jewelry.
Always be cautious when buying jewelry online. Plenty of marketplaces are available online, giving you different options. So if you decide that you have to buy online, it is vital that you are cautious when doing so. For instance, DreamlandJewelry.com has a catalog of authentic silver jewelry that you can purchase at affordable rates. A good rule of thumb to exercise if you are an online shopper is to browse for reviews and testimonials from other shoppers to get their reputation.