Is Your Ring Really Sterling Silver?

Is Your Ring Really Sterling Silver?

31st May 2020

You have seen the perfect ring. It is the right price and just what you have been looking for. You are a bit worried that it is not sterling silver. There are a few ways you can check your silver jewellery to see if it is in fact sterling silver.

It is a good idea to check any piece of jewellery to make sure it is proper sterling silver because there are retailers who will take a chance and use an inferior metal to make their jewellery. Silver plated jewellery is also often passed off as sterling silver jewellery but it is not, and it will deteriorate quickly.

Sterling silver is made from 92.5% pure silver and the remaining 7.5% is made up of other metal alloys like copper or nickel. Sterling silver is a durable metal that is soft, making it easy to work with and mold into various types of jewellery. Because it is so durable as well as affordable it is perfect for use in everyday pieces.

Silver Rings

How to tell if it is really a sterling silver ring

There are a few tests you can perform to tell if your ring is really sterling silver. Sometimes a quick glance will show you if the piece is sterling silver, but this is not always reliable, so you might want to consider one of these tests.

  • Look for the .925 stamp.This is a quick and easy way to check if it is a sterling silver ring. Sterling silver comprises of 92.5% silver and most good jewelers will add the .925 imprint to their jewellery. This stamp indicates that it has been made from sterling silver. The absence of this stamp does not mean that the piece is not sterling silver, some jewelers do not add the stamp to their sterling silver rings. If your jewellery does not have the imprint, it may still be made from sterling silver.
  • Does it tarnish easily?Even a sterling silver ring will tarnish but it will take time. If your ring has not been made from sterling sliver it will go black and become unsightly quickly. You can try polish it, but it will not return to its original state. “Fake” silver will also cause your skin to become green and if you have sensitive skin, you will probably also have a reaction. Sterling silver jewellery is hypoallergenic and you will experience no reaction when you wear it, even if you have sensitive skin.
  • Use your senses. Look at the silver ring, is it peeling or is the color distorted? If it is doing any of these it is probably fake piece of jewellery. Sterling silver does not have a smell so if you can smell your ring, then it is not a sterling silver ring. Feel the ring if it is bumpy, scratchy, or rough, then it is not real silver. Sometimes you will be able to pick up if the piece is not real silver simply by looking, smelling, and feeling.
  • The acid test.Most jewellery stores will do this for you but if you don’t have a store near you then you can do it at home if you order the proper solution. When you drop a drop of acid onto the piece of jewellery, it will change color if it is a fake piece of jewellery. If the acid does not change color, then it is a sterling silver ring.
  • Try the magnet test. This is a good test to try out on pieces already in your collection. Pieces of jewellery that are connecting to magnetic surfaces, are not real silver. When you are out looking for a new sterling silver ring, take a little magnet with you. If the piece sticks to the magnet, put it back and move on.
  • Rub it with a cloth. Take a white cloth and rub the silver jewellery. If black marks come off onto the cloth, then it is real sterling silver. 

If you look after your sterling silver jewellery properly it will last a lifetime. When you store your sterling silver jewellery make sure you keep each piece in a separate bag with a piece of chalk or silica in the bag to remove any moisture from the air. This will slow down the tarnishing process and protect the jewellery from being scratched and damaged.

Cleaning your sterling silver ring regularly will also help to ensure that it lasts well. You can simply soak your rings in a solution of bicarb and hot water for a few minutes and then dry off. They will be gleaming and looking like new in no time. Alternatively, if you have special, antique pieces you can opt to buy silver polish and polish your pieces of jewellery with that instead.