With the recent silver craze fueled by hedge funds, the metal has again risen to new highs! And while you may be looking to sell or even buy, how do you know if what you have is real? Well, first we have to explore what “real” even means.
Types Of Silver
The value of a silver item is determined by its purity. The amount of silver content in there can heavily influence its cost. The 3 most common types that you’ll find are;
- 999 Pure
- 925 Sterling
The number determines its purity; 999 is 99.9%, 925 is 92.5%, and 800 is 80%. Anything lower than that generally is not accepted and has little to no value. The higher the content percentage, the more value it has.
But how do you tell if something is solid, and not something else inside?
The Magnet Test
This is the easiest way for almost anyone to check, even before visually inspecting it. If you find that your items are magnetic, then your items have another metal inside. But if your items are not magnetic, that’s not a 100% guarantee that it’s solid. It is, however, a good indicator that you might have something of value.
Check For Stamps
This is the most common way to check, and one that everyone recommends. You may need a magnifying scope, but all solid silver items should always be marked as such.
The most common stamps include;
- “800”, “925”, “999”
- “STERLING”, “SILVER”, “COIN”
There are also marks that should warn you that they are not solid. These marks can either mean that they have little or no silver content in them. These stamps include;
- “EP”, “EPS”, “EPNS”, “EPGS”, “BP”, “SP”, “ESM”, “EPWM”, “MP”, “CP”, AP”
- “PLATED”, “ELECTROPLATED”, “FILLED”, “VENETIAN”,”GERMAN SILVER”, “G. SILVER”
- The letter “A”, “B”, “C”, or “D” followed by a digit.
Remember to check if these stamps look genuine or if they look hand-marked. Because the sad truth is that while this is an excellent indicator as to what you’re dealing with, many hallmarks are easily faked. It’s not quite as common with silver items, but always be careful not to blindly follow what a stamp says.
When used safely and correctly, acid tests can help determine if you’re dealing with real silver. Always remember to file inside past the outer layer which may be a thin layer of silver, hiding other metals inside. But also use latex gloves and protective eye wear and take extra care when handling acids.
If All Else Fails
You can always bring it in where our team of experts will help determine exactly what kind of jewelry you have, and its value. We use our precious metal analyzer to quickly and accurately determine what silver content you have! No scratch, no hassle, and best of all, no fees! We’re always happy to help!