Many cherish their jewelry ring sets, as it is vital in achieving a classy look at any event. One common material used to make rings is silver.
Silver is unique for so many reasons. First, this metal has a shiny appearance. It also possesses the utmost appeal. However, due to its mass appeal, there has been an increase in fake silver ring production.
Many people have been fond of putting fake silver rings for sale. These phony silver ring makers have noticed that many persons are unable to recognize original silver.
A silver-plated ring often looks exactly like the real thing. And you might not know how to tell if a silver ring is real. Here, I will give you some great tips you can use to know if a ring is real silver or not.
How to Tell If Your Silver Ring Is Real or Not
1. Test with your Skin
Many tests explain how to tell if a ring is real silver, but some of these tests are not adequate. One of the most useful tests remains the skin test. This might sound unusual, but you can check the realness of a silver ring with your skin.
If you’ve ever been an avid user of jewelry sets, you should know a silver ring leaves a mark on your hand. The mark becomes apparent when you remove the jewelry from your skin- it could appear greenish or blackish. This stain is often a result of the mixture of silver with another oxidizing metal like copper.
When copper comes in contact with your skin, a type of oxidation reaction occurs almost immediately. The copper combines with salt and water from your sweat or lotion to become oxidized. The oxidation is responsible for the greenish-blue color you see on your skin when you wear a jewelry piece.
Even though the stain left behind by the jewelry is harmless, it’s a pointer to know its quality. The aftermath of this test shows you if you have a genuine silver piece with you.
In case your jewelry isn’t genuine, you could always polish it back to its previous form. Coating the peeled surface with clear nail polish or jeweler’s lacquer is a great way. If you do not want to have a fake version of your piece, this is the easiest method for testing silver rings at home.
2. Look Out for Marks
Silver is one of the most useful metals in the ring production industry due to its shiny appearance. However, there’s often a need to use the metal in high proportion to guarantee that it’s genuine. Silver, in its purest form, is often a sight to behold when used to create nice jewelry rings.
It’s rare to see jewelry ring producers use gold in its purest form for jewelry production. But that’s a different story for silver because many of the silver jewelry pieces sold today have a rating of .925 sterling silver. This means that most silver jewelry pieces have a purity level of 92.5%, which is quite remarkable compared with gold (58.3%) purity.
The common belief in the jewelry production industry is the fact that producers try to cut costs. These jewelry item producers mix genuine silver with other metals to reduce their production costs. This reduction in quality is almost noticeable on all pieces of silver jewelry in the market today.
What You Should Know About This Silver Marking
You must have noticed a certain mark on your body when you remove jewelry; this is a testament to such jewelry’s plating. Most of the silver pieces with “International Silver” (IS) stamp are often silver plated, which means the plating can wear off. If the silver has a 92.5% grade, it does not have the wearing-off effect.
Other grades of silver with stamp marks are generally called ‘coin silver.’ These coin silvers often have 900 and 800 stamps on them, translating to 90% and 80% purity.
It’s common to find the 900 and 800 stamps on a typical old coin as that’s the variation’s primary application. Perhaps, you see these stamps on your silver piece, which means it might have been produced using these coins.
Other lower grades of silver have a mix of other metals to form an alloy. A typical example is the 626 stamp, which indicates a purity level of 62.6% silver. It’s easy to see that the remaining percentage of such alloy is from other metals.
In hindsight, many of these lower-grade silver variations can still serve the purpose, but the quality is often lacking. The other metals mixed with silver to form an alloy often undergo oxidation and other reactions when worn. Coin sterling and higher grades of silver remain the most ideal for jewelry purposes.
Many silver jewelry marketers are often truthful with the real grade of the silver piece they are selling to you. However, other marketers give you lower grades under the guise of coin sterling. There are no sure theories on how to tell if a ring is real silver, but you could always check the stamp on your jewelry.
3. Perceive Foul Smell?
It seems out of place for anyone to wear jewelry with has an awful smell. But some jewelry items give a strong smell that could become quite unpleasant for anyone wearing it. One of the best ways on how to tell if a ring is real silver sterling is from the smell.
It’s common to have a silver ring give an offensive smell like a rotten egg (sulfur). Genuine silver does not have any foul smell, so if you perceive any, then it is not completely real silver.
Most ring makers tend to plate the metals with silver to make it appear real. But you could check for any silver piece’s authenticity by trying to smell it before you make the purchase.
As weird as it sounds, sniffing the piece is ideal when you don’t know how to tell if a ring is silver without markings. So, if it doesn’t have any disgusting smell, it’s most likely genuine.
4. Magnetic Test for Silver Ring
Is silver magnetic? This question often pops up when people seek to determine if a silver ring is genuine. The answer to the question is simple: silver is not magnetic. A genuine silver item does not exhibit any property that’s related to magnets.
You could easily use this property of silver to check for the authenticity of your silver item. To get good results, you will need a specific type of magnet to carry out this test. The magnet consists of neodymium, and you can get it in regular craft stores.
It would be best if you tried to place the magnet at an angle to the piece while observing its movement around the magnet. In any case, your silver piece sticks to the magnet, it means contains other metals. Such metals are likely to be ferromagnetic, and as such, it could be iron or nickel.
The presence of such metals is often responsible for the skin reactions certain people experience when they wear jewelry pieces. However, using a magnet to test the realness of silver is not a 100% guarantee method. Hence, it is advisable to carry out other tests to ascertain that your silver is genuine.
5. Bleach Testing
This remains the best quick test for silver ring. The bleaching compound reacts on contact with the ring by hastening the oxidation process that creates dark spots on antiques.
The good thing about the bleach test is that it does not have a damaging effect on your jewelry. You could always remove the dark spot on the silver jewelry via buffing and polishing.
Some people often desire to have that patina touch on their jewelry; this test is a good way to achieve that. The bleach test adds a unique bit of silver markings that give your jewelry a unique appeal. The downside to adding patina to your jewelry is that it might reduce the resale value.
The first thing you should know when learning how to test silver with bleach is that the process shouldn’t last for more than two hours. So, ensure you get your piece out of the bleach within that timeframe. If your jewelry is genuine silver, you will notice some level of tarnishing immediately.
6. Ice Test
If you are looking for how to test the silver ring at home, consider using the ice test. Every metal has a rate at which they conduct heat. Ice melts faster when it comes in contact with a surface that’s of higher temperature. This phenomenon remains valid when you bring your silver in contact with ice. The piece melts almost immediately.
You would need to have two ice balls in place to conduct this test properly. Place one of the balls on the silver ring, while the other one will be in contact with a heated plate. You can easily determine if your silver is genuine by the rate at which each ice cube melts.
Check the rate at which the silver ring melts when the ice ball is in contact melts and the one on the pan. However, if both ice cubes melt at the same rate, your silver piece is not genuine.
You can see there are many methods you can use to tell if a silver ring is real or not. Some methods are easy to carry out at home without technical knowledge. But you can try out different ways to ascertain the realness of the silver ring.
Do you have a silver ring? You can use the listed ways to tell if A ring is real silver mentioned above to check whether yours is genuine.