How can you tell if silver items — like silverware or a tea set — are real or plated? If you have been wondering if that antique tea set or your great aunt’s vintage gravy boat is possibly worth a fortune, here are some ways — both simple and a little more complicated — to help you figure it out.
It is necessary to tell the difference between silver and silver plate if you are collecting silver antiques or coins. Identifying silver vs. silver plate is not always easy, but if you learn the major hallmarks that identify silver, you will never be scammed. Sterling silver always retains its value, while ...
If you do not see the sterling marking, the item is probably silver-plated. Check the coloring of the item carefully. Genuine silver is generally less shiny and colder in tone than silverplate. If you see places where the silver appears to be flaking off or turning green, the item is silverplated.
Buy a silver acid test. You can purchase these online at sites like Amazon or eBay, or at jewelry stores. Silver acid tests are great for pure silver, but if you think your piece is silver plated, you will have to use a small jeweler's file to make a mark, revealing what might be under the plating.
The difference between sterling silver and pure silver is that sterling silver is only 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals. As pure silver is too soft to be used in jewelry crafting, jewelers will often add a small quantity of other metals to strengthen the silver.
You can test Silver with the same kit mentioned above or there are some other less sophisticated methods that are supposed to work also. I found a nice article that describes 3 quick ways to help tell real Silver from Fake Silver.
If your silverware is marked sterling it is likely sterling silver unless, of course, it is a forgery. See the article how to tell if silver is sterling or plate by the back stamp or marks for more details. Silver plated items typically have little intrinsic value. There are many silver plate marks that resemble sterling marks.
Common Ways To Tell The Difference. Fine silver and sterling silver items will come with a higher price tag than silver plated items. However, sterling and fine silver will retain their value over time, while silver plate does not tend to hold the same kind of value.
Our Sterling Silver Disc Handwriting Necklace with Button Charm. Smell: Silver plated items sometimes have a sour copper or sulfur smell, while sterling silver smells a little sweeter. Feel: To learn how to do this, practice with known items of both sterling and silver plate. Rub your thumb across the surface.