HOW TO BUY SILVER JEWELRY: A GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Due to its affordability, variety of styles and designs, and durability, silver jewelry remains very popular. From rings to necklaces to earrings, many types of jewelry look great crafted in silver.
Along with gold, palladium, and platinum, silver is a rare and precious metal. That means when making a purchase, you need to make sure you’re buying a quality product for your money. After authentic artisans craft the best silver jewelry, making it durable enough to last a lifetime.
If you’re thinking of buying a quality silver piece of jewelry, we’re here to help. Here’s our guide to help you buy authentic and high-quality pieces of silver jewelry.
LOOK FOR SILVER-GRADE HALLMARKS
If you’re looking to buy sterling silver or fine silver jewelry, the easiest way to check that it’s the real deal is to have a look for special hallmarks and inscriptions on the jewelry. All real silver jewelry will possess tiny markings that distinguish it as authentic.
These hallmarks are be found in a subtle place on your jewelry and will be teeny tiny. Depending on the piece, you may even need a magnifying glass and bright lighting to look for the marks.
If you’ve already bought your silver jewelry, you can inspect the piece to determine whether you’ve got true silver jewelry. Sterling silver will say STERLING or .925. Both inscriptions indicate high-quality silver jewelry.
If you instead see the marking of EPNS, you may have got hold of a subpar piece of jewelry. EPNS means electro plated nickel silver. This means the jewelry isn’t genuine silver but is rather a nickel substitute designed to look like silver.
Consider that pure silver is very malleable, meaning it’s very flexible and soft. The best quality silver jewelry will mostly be silver with a small element of a stronger substance built-in, such as copper.
CONSIDER THE PRICE
High-quality silver jewelry isn’t going to be cheap, so consider the price when shopping for authentic silver jewelry. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If silver jewelry seems alarmingly cheap, it’s unlikely to be of high quality and may even be fake.
Be wary of huge discounts on silver jewelry too, or massive sales that sell silver in bulk.
For high-quality silver jewelry, one of the brands we recommend is Dreamland Jewelry.
One method of making sure you’re getting the best silver jewelry for your budget is to complete a comparison of prices. For example, if you’re looking for a pure silver necklace, check online what the going rate is.
Search what the current market price is of silver jewelry. When you look at silver products you’re interested in, you’ll have a baseline to work with.
TALK TO THE SELLER
If you can talk to the seller of the jewelry directly, that’s also very helpful. Speaking to someone over the phone or at the shop allows you to ask as many questions as you like regarding pricing, hallmarks, and silver sourcing.
If you’re prepared, you can ask all the questions you want to know about a piece of silver jewelry before making a purchase.
If you’re choosing silver from a local shop, ask the staff how they price their pieces. You should also ask about refunds and exchange options. Never buy silver jewelry without having an option of a full refund or return.
If the jewelry shop you found has a physical spot, this is also a good sign. Physical stores and boutiques mean there’s less likelihood of a scam going on, as they are more vulnerable to getting caught with counterfeit pieces. This means you have a higher likelihood of receiving quality silver jewelry.
RECEIVE AN APPRAISAL
Say you’ve bought what you think is a pure silver chain, but you’re still not sure. If you’re willing to pay for a jewelry appraisal, you can find out what the quality of your product is.
Take your silver silvery to an expert appraiser for an expert consultation.
As mentioned, you’ll have to pay for an appraisal, so this is a good idea if you’re serious about the piece of silver jewelry you’ve purchased and want to make sure it’s of high quality.
PERFORM PHYSICAL TESTS
Another way to check that you’ve purchased high-quality silver jewelry is to perform some simple physical tests. Don’t worry, these tests won’t damage your silver in any way.
For example, you can use a magnet to see if the silver jewelry is magnetic. Silver isn’t magnetic, so if it does attach to the magnet, it’s likely to be nickel or another metal rather than silver. Make sure you use a powerful magnet to trial this though, as common household magnets may not be strong enough to test your jewelry.
In addition to the magnet test, you can also use a clean white cloth to wipe your silver. If black marks appear, your silver is of high quality. Silver oxidizes when exposed to air and creates these dark marks.
READY TO CHOOSE SILVER JEWELRY?
When buying silver jewelry, always check the pieces for tiny hallmarks and avoid silver products that have ridiculously inexpensive prices. You can also check in with an appraiser or perform some easy physical tests.
Once you do choose your silver jewelry, you’ll need to look after it so it can stand the test of time. Quality silver can tarnish over time, so once you find and keep the jewelry you love, be sure to clean them regularly with a silver jewelry cleaner. You may also decide to place your favorite pieces in a small anti-tarnish bag to keep your silver in good condition.
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