Saturday, July 23, 2011

How To Avoid Buying Counterfeit Sterling Silver Jewelry

You may often walk into a shop to buy a product but, deep down, you wonder if what you are going to pay for is really the original product, especially as it is hard to tell when it comes to jewelry. As there is such a lot of counterfeit jewelry on the market today, I have listed some clues to help you buy genuine sterling silver jewelry so that you do not become a victim.

1. Look for the number 925 stamped on the item, because this means 92.5% silver and therefore is genuine sterling; or the stamped word “sterling” that also means the jewelry was really made of sterling. By Law the maker must mark the jewelry with either of the above. Products without these markings are rarely genuine sterling silver jewelry.

2. Get a soft, white piece of cloth and rub what you want to buy with it. If there are some black marks on your cloth, then know that it is genuine sterling silver jewelry. This is because genuine silver jewelry oxidizes and tarnishes, especially when exposed to air, so the tarnish is what remains on the cloth.

Sterling Silver Jewelry

3. Buy from an established dealer. This is because it is hard for an established dealer to sell fake products. You could also consider the dealer giving you a written guarantee and ask if the product comes with a certification tag, but that should not stop you from checking the markings.

4. Take your time and examine the product carefully. Original silver is normally less shiny than silver plate. Look closely and, if you see parts where it appears to have worn, then the product is probably fake sterling silver jewelry.

5. You can also consider asking an expert to do a nitric acid test. Here you vigorously rub a particular portion of the jewelry then, in an area which is not noticeable, try to apply a drop of nitric acid on the scratched surface. If the liquid turns green then you know it is fake, but if it turns grey then you have got sterling silver jewelry.

6. One of the ways to know whether a product is really original is by the price. If you go to the market and an item has a low price, you should know that the item is probably not genuine. Why would someone sell an expensive item cheaply, unless they stole it or it is a fake.

With these few clues I do not think you can be fooled to purchase an item of fake sterling silver jewelry. Just make sure at least one of the above is true before you hand over your money.