How Can I Tell If My Necklace Is Sterling?

Written by krystle vermes
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How Can I Tell If My Necklace Is Sterling?
Silver plating looks like sterling, but it isn't the same. (vintage ring image by studio vision 1 from Fotolia.com)

Sterling silver cannot be tarnished or decay over time which makes it ideal for jewellery. Although silver plating looks like sterling, it's less durable and more susceptible to wear and tear. If you aren't sure whether your piece of jewellery is made out of real sterling, there are a few ways you can verify the material.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Magnifying glass
  • 1 soft jewellery cloth

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use the magnifying glass to look for an authentication stamp. Jewellery made out of sterling silver will have a stamp such as SS, Sterling, or 925 (weight of silver). Look for it at the end of the necklace on the clasp.

  2. 2

    Use the jewellery soft cloth to gently polish the necklace. If you see black marks on the cloth after a good rubbing, your necklace is sterling. Silver oxidises and can therefore leave black marks on the cloth after cleaning.

  3. 3

    Look for any chipping. Silver plating is simply a coat of silver layered onto another material (e.g., nickel, copper) and it can easily be chipped off over time. Sterling silver does not chip and is less shiny in comparison to plating.

  4. 4

    Bring your necklace to a local jeweller if you still aren't sure. Jewellers have scales and special magnifying glasses to confirm the material is made from sterling silver.

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