Silver jewellery is often underrated, but a true connoisseur is going to recognise its value. Silver is not as famous as its cousin, gold, nor as expensive, but it still renders a good and steady value, which makes it a great investment. Another similarity with gold is you have to know how to tell the difference between fake silver and real silver before placing your money on the table.
Sterling Silver and Simple Silver
Sterling and Silver essentially mean the same thing, but there are cases when the latter is used to refer the colour of an item. When the seller is only saying silver, it usually means the item is coloured in silver; only when it specifies Sterling Silver, you can be sure the silver jewellery is made of silver.
Investing in silver
Sterling silver has a changing value on the market and purchasing handcrafted silver jewellery or vintage items should not affect the market value of the pieces. However, when you want to invest for financial return you should be purchasing bars of silver, which can be cashed in when their value increases and bought when they have a low value. With sterling jewellery you are paying for the beauty of the piece and the crafting process.
Silver Pieces Markings
Sterling silver jewellery carries a mark: .925. This means that 925% of the item is made with 1000 pure silver. There is a very rare piece which carries a 999 mark, but as silver is rather soft; anything beyond 925 would make the crafting process really hard. The only exception to the marking rule is Native silver, which was not made to be sold to the general public. When you come across a piece which doesn’t have any mark and the seller claims to be tested, you should be staying away from it, as the chances for it to be a forgery are very high. The same goes for strange markings, which seem to be made in a rush, by amateurs.
Have a Good Magnet and a Jeweller’s Loop with You
When you are going to buy silver, make sure you have the tools to help you make the difference between sterling silver and fake silver. A jeweller’s loop helps you read the 925 marking on the jewellery. A magnet also helps you make the difference between sterling silver and other combos which resemble it. You need to have a strong magnet – the random fridge magnet is not going to help you in this case – and hover it on the silver piece. If the item is not moving, it might be silver. Combinations of silver and copper or else are going to jump off the table to the magnet. However, aluminium and stainless steel are not attracted by the magnet either, so don’t rely solely on the magnet test when you buy silver.
Research and Keep a Sharp eye on Anything you Buy
Research the vendor and the merchandise before buying, as there are many people who sell fake silver pieces out there. Prior to a certain year, the laws didn’t ask for the 925 marking; if the marker had registered his mark, it was enough to certify the pieces he was selling were sterling silver. Another point to consider is that other countries have different laws when it comes to sterling silver and they might not ask for the pieces to carry the 925 mark. The best way to protect your investment is to research the seller and his products and test them with the jeweller’s loop and the magnet. Having a trustful seller to rely on also helps a lot.