Silver jewelry test

 

Is the jewelry made of silver, silver-plated, alpaca or fake. Many jewelry may seem to be made of real silver, but in reality they made of another metal or covered with a thin layer of silver (silver plated). How to test or tell if the jewelry is real or fake silver? Follow the instructions to test your silver jewelry.

Hallmark

Silver jewelry with a weight of more than 8 grams must be approved in the Netherlands with an official silver hallmark.

Check the certification mark of jewelry weighing more than 8 grams via the website keurtekens.nl. With an official certification mark you can be sure the jewelry is actually made of silver. These hallmarks are only published by two independent bodies.

zilver keurmerkjes.jpg

Silver jewelry with a weight of less than 8 grams - or not from the Netherlands.

Most silver jewelry weight less than 8 grams have a number stamp. This does not mean that the jewelry is actually made of real silver, unfortunately there are also imitation silver jewelery made from other materials with a number stamp.

The number stamps:

925, 999, s925, “ster”, “sterling, “sterling silver“ or silver jewelry with a low(er) silver content: ‘ “835” and “800”

925.jpg

Silver plated stamps:  80, 90, 100, 119, 150 and ARG 800, ARG 1000, SP, Plate, EP, Quadruple Plate, EPNS, Sterling Cap, silver filled, German Silver, Nickel Silver of Alpaca

arg800.jpg

If there is a "silver-plated stamp" you can assume that it is not made of solid silver

Odor

Sterling silver smells neutral, a little bit sugary. Most metals have a specific smell. Does it smells like acid or manure? Then it is silver plated. Is it with a thicker layer of silver than it smells almost like solid silver.

Magnetic

If the jewelry is attracted to a magnet, it is not silver. There are multiple non-magnetic metals such as: copper, bronze and aluminum

magneet test zilver.jpg

Ice test

Before test the silver with ice please make sure the jewelry is not too warm, rinse in cold water if necessary. Place the jewelry on a piece of ice. The ice starts melting immediately. Compare it with other metals and you will to see silver melts ice the fastest.

ijstest zilver.jpg

The jewel checked properly? Now it is time for the most reliable silver test with acid test water.

Silver test with acid

Acids should be handled carefully. Always wear cloves and safety glasses. In case of skin contact, rinse immediately with water and baking soda. You can also consider to go to a professional.

The acid test stones method. Rub the silver object against the stone so that there remains a large and thick stripe. Put a drop of silver test acid on the scratched stone. This is a surface test, so you can not determine whether it is solid silver or silver-plated with a positive result, it still can be silver plated. To make sure it is massive silver you should make a scratch, file or drill in an unremarkable spot on the jewerly and do the test again on the schratch. If it is a silver-plated object, in the majority of cases you will see the underlying color of the metal: Copper is red and brass is yellowish.

Follow the instructions of the test that you purchased. Analyze the color caused by the acid. Usually, the color scale is as follows:

  • Bright red: 99,9% pure silver/fine silver
  • Dark red: 92,5% silver/sterling silver
  • Brown: 80% silver/800 silver
  • Green: 50% silver/625 silver
  • Yellow: Lead or tin
  • Dark brown: Brass
  • Blue: Nickel

Silver testing with acid on Youtube:

Silver test without chemicals (home garden and kitchen remedies)

For various reasons we do not recommend testing silver jewelry with household appliances. It is a surface test so you can not determine whether it is solid silver or silver-plated, and in addition some silver jewelry is finished with a layer of rhodium and will therefore give a negative result.

Iodine leaves a black stain (silver sulphide) on a layer of pure silver. Iodine is very difficult to remove from silver

Rub with a match against the jewelry and light it up with another match. The surface is silver when there apairs a black spot

Mustard Test. Heat yellow French mustard and put a droplet on the object. Again, it will leave a black mark if the surface is real silver.

 

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