When it comes to buying silver ornaments, coins and bullion, being able to distinguish real silver from fake is essential. Unfortunately, unscrupulous sellers may pass off fake pieces as genuine silver items to unsuspecting buyers. To ensure that you get the real deal when purchasing silver jewelry, coins or bars, here are 6 simple ways to identify whether the item is genuine or not.

  1. Magnetic Test:

Silver is not magnetic; therefore a powerful magnet will have no effect on it. If you find that your piece of silver sticks to the magnet, then it is likely made of some other metal and not sterling silver.

  1. Size and Weight:

The size and weight of genuine sterling silver items should be consistent with what is listed on the product description. Fake silver pieces tend to be light in weight and are usually smaller than the actual measurements given for these items.

  1. Stamps:

Silver items that are made of sterling silver will usually have a stamp or marking indicating this fact, such as “925,” which indicates 92.5% pure silver content. If you do not see such stamps, then it could be a sign that the item is not real sterling silver but plated instead.

  1. Drop Test:

Take your piece of jewelry and drop it on a hard surface such as tile flooring or glass table top from a small height (around 3-4 inches). Sterling silver should make a bell-like ringing sound when it hits the surface, whereas plated silver will make a thud-like sound.

  1. Acid Test:

This test is often used by jewelers and experts to check the authenticity of silver items. A small amount of nitric acid is dropped on the piece and if it turns green or black, then it means that the item is made from real sterling silver.

  1. Professional Appraisal:

If you are still unsure about whether or not your piece of silver is genuine, you can always get a professional appraisal done by an expert silversmith or gemologist. They will be able to give you an accurate assessment of whether or not your item is actually made from sterling silver.

By following these simple steps, you can easily identify whether or not silver items are real or fake. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of your item, always make sure to get it verified by professionals to avoid buying something that isn’t worth its price.