Everyone, in the backs of their minds, thinks they’re making a sound investment as well when they buy a sterling silver ring, earrings, pendant or bracelet they like. But while buying a piece of jewelry certainly can be a good investment, buying a piece of jewelry that is found to be simply plated can ruin your enthusiasm for buying jewelry of precious metals.
If you were buying the piece for its looks alone or simply because of its price, you might be perfectly satisfied with it. But if you’re looking for jewelry that not only looks good but holds, or increases its value, the only type of silver jewelry you should be looking for is that made out of genuine 925 sterling silver.
The term “925 silver” refers to the alloy of the metal. The pure version of this metal is too soft to be usable in jewelry-making. Over time, it can become bent, dented, scratched and lose its shape.
The version of this metal that is intended to be made into articles meant to last for years are made from an alloy that is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals used to harden the alloy and make it able to hold its shape. In most alloys used in jewelry-making, this additional metal is copper.
For most users, such as jewelry, silverware, and tableware, this alloy has become the standard. The piece is made completely of this alloy, rather than being made of a different metal and then simply plated with a thin coating of the alloy.
There are four methods to tell if you’re getting what you paid for when shopping for this alloy. The first is the price charged by reputable dealers. You can be reasonably sure you’re getting the real thing if you’re being charged considerably more for the piece than a similar piece offered by the same dealer. The lesser priced piece will generally be the plated version of the more expensive piece.
There is often a stamp on a genuine piece that states its composition as well. the mark of “925” or any variations of this number is certainly not a guarantee of its authenticity, but if you’re buying it from a reputable dealer, it’s a pretty good indicator that it’s the real thing. Conversely, the absence of any marking on the piece doesn’t mean that the piece in question is not genuine.
The third way to tell whether the piece is authentic or not is by using a magnet. Most shiny metals are non-ferrous, meaning they’re non-magnetic. If you take a magnet to the piece you’re considering and the magnet is attracted to the metal, you’re looking at a piece that is simply plated and not pure. The magnet is being attracted to the ferrous metal underneath the plating.
The fourth test is to rub a piece of cloth on the surface of the alloy. If it turns dark in the spot you rubbed, it’s genuine. The genuine alloy oxidizes in air. This is why the metal tarnishes over time and must be polished to keep it looking its best. By rubbing the metal, you’re exposing the alloy beneath the surface to the air.
Leo Premium Selection is the wholesale dealer in 925 silver rings, bracelets, earrings and pendants, You can be sure that you’re getting a piece of jewelry that will hold its value over the years by shopping at Leo Premium Selection
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