How to Tell If something is Silver without Markings?

Ever heard of the silver is being labeled as the whitest queen of all precious metals? Absolutely! Because of the high lustrous finishing, silver has become a prime choice among modern designers.

You possibly have artisan pieces of silver jewelry brought from online. Or maybe your loved one gave you. These pieces mostly don't have any markings. So, how to tell if something is silver without markings? Worry not instead read this. 

Let's get this straight. These days, almost everything can be faked, whether its jewelry or anything else. The jewelry seller fakes it most of the time. It is not shocking as some people can do anything to make money.

What happened later is that you got an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, then it’s too late that you have nothing to do. That's why you should know to identify between the real silver and fake silver. Here we can help you:

How to Tell If Something is Silver Without Markings?

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As you know, silver is a part of a distinct group of metals alongside gold and platinum. It has a long history. Earlier it was preferred only to hold the diamond or other precious stones.

Nowadays, silver is a demandable metal for making jewelry, utensil, or other accessories. There are two specific categories of silver called real silver and sterling silver.

Real silver is basically a classic piece of soft metal, which is often called "fine silver." Real silvers are shiny, sleek, and most valuable. It has been in jewelry, utensils, coins, etc. for so long.

Sterling silver, aka genuine silver, is an alloy of silver. It is crafted by melting and combining two or more metals. Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, like copper.

However, any silver or silver-alike jewelry or other accessories can be real, sterling, or fake silver. Below we'll discuss different ways to differentiate them.

How to Tell If Silver Is Real?

There are so many alternatives that exactly look like real silver. How to tell if silver is real? Luckily for you, there are different ways to find out. There you go.

Try to Find the Stamp

Most reliable manufacturer imprints 925, 900, or 800 on their silver jewelry. These numbers tell the percentage of silver in the piece. Like, 925 means it has 92.5% silver on it. The real silver often has a more rate of silver. The location of the stamp differs by the type of jewelry.

For example, check on the clasp of the silver necklace, bracelets, and anklets. The Jewelry hallmark is always on the inside of the ring. Also, check the underside of utensils to find the stamp.

Note that, majority of real silver accessories will have this marking but not every piece. So, if you don't find the trademarks, move on.

Check If It’s Tarnished?

If yes, that’s not a problem. Even the sterling silver tarnishes, and it denotes the authenticity of that silver. But, when fake silver tarnishes, the underneath metal makes your skin green. You can check after a few days of buying it.

Above that, it never gets the original shine back, no matter how you polish the fake silver. It means the silver is fake. Anyway, real silver also tarnishes, but it gets the original look back after polishing. You can try it.

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Examine the Silver: Look, Feel, Smell

Sometimes you can use your sense to find out the real silver. You don't have to be professional here. Pay attention to a few details.

Look at the outside layer of the silver piece:

  • Is the color distorted?
  • Are there any layers of metal?
  • Is the color too shiny?

If so, then the silver is undoubtedly a fake one. Real silver usually has less shine than silver-plated metals.

Smell the silver piece carefully. Check whether it smells like Sulphur or unnatural? If yes, then it is not real silver because real silver does not have any specific smell.

Now, touch the silver piece to feel if it is scratchy, rough, or like not smooth? If this is so, the silver is not real. Earlier, we revealed that real silver feels soft and bendable.

Most of the time, these self-test works to find out real silver. Still, if you failed to identify it, don’t get panic. There are more options. 😉

How to Tell If Silver Is Real

The Best Way to Test Silver

Now we've explained a few ways to check the silver. It seems like those are not working for you. There are a few ways to test the silver.

Here goes:

1. Magnet Test

Magnet is the best and reliable way to detect whether it is silver or not. Note that silver is para-magnetic that shows weak magnetic effects.

So, to begin with, take a strong magnet, for example, rare-earth magnet (neodymium-made). Check whether it sticks to the claimed silver piece. If yes, it means the piece is not silver.

For your information, some metal does not stick to the magnet. It'll be hard to identify those pieces with the magnet test. So, you better do the other test.

2. Ice Test

If the magnet doesn't work, you can test it another simpler way. This method works quickly with silver coins or utensils. It is harder to check silver jewelry with ice.

Anyway, take a piece of ice cube from the freezer and place it immediately over the silver piece. If the ice cube starts to melt instantly, that means it is silver. You know why? Silver has the highest thermal conductivity compared to other metals like gold and nickel.

3. Drop Test

You can also try to drop tests with a silver coin or solid jewelry. Keep in mind that real silver has a beautiful bell-like ringing sound. Hold the coin about six inches above a flat surface and drop it.

If it sounds like a bell ringing, you got the real silver. Or, if it makes dull and blunt sounds, that means it is a fake one.

4. Bleach Test

Silver is exposed to potent oxidizing agents like bleach. Real silver tarnishes when you drop a bit of bleach over it. So, drop bleach over the silver piece and see if it tarnishes and turns black.

Fake silver doesn’t tarnish. Make sure you wear gloves, and it does not get into your eyes.

5. Nitric Acid Test

This test is one of the authentic tests of identifying silver. Professional jeweler does nitric acid test most often. If you drop nitric acid over real silver, it’ll create creamy-white bubbles. Conversely, fake silver changes its original color to green.

How to Know if Something Is Sterling Silver?

Earlier, we mentioned, sterling silver has 92.5% silver with other metals. So, it mostly denoted as "925 silver". You can identify sterling silver by doing the test and the ways we mentioned above.

Along with this, there are some more ways to know if something is sterling silver. Let’s Take a look:

  • Sterling silver will only have the “925”, “9.25”, “Sterling 9.25”, "S/S," "STER" and similar stamp. If the silver does not have any of these markings, it is silver-plated metal.
  • To examine further, you try cloth test as sterling silver will react to friction and turn black. Take a soft white cloth and rub the silver piece. If it leaves a black mark, then the product is sterling silver.
  • The authentic sterling silver is somewhat costly because of the intricate design and professional craftsmanship. If you find it at a lower price, the silver is not genuine.
  • Apart from that, you can also try the magnet test, acid test, ice test, and smell test. You'll get the same result as real silver.

5 Warning Signs Your Silver isn't Silver

At some point, you may not have enough energy to test the silver. You can still get to know whether it isn't silver when you notice a few things. Here are five warnings that denote the silver isn't real.

  1. Replica silver will not have any mark that we mentioned above. Like, 925, 92.5, STER, etc.
  2. Fake silver mostly has tin over copper, brass, and other metals. It reacts with human skin, for example, copper turn green. If you confront such a situation, it means the silver piece isn’t silver.
  3. Sometime, replica silver will likely have an allergic reaction to the human body. It may cause a rash, heartbeat issue, etc.
  4. If you got silver jewelry priced less than $10, they are not real silver.
  5. The silver is not real if there is no artist's mark. Those units are stamped "Taiwan," "China," and other countries that manufacture masses of replica jewelry.

Few Tips to Taking Care of Jewelry

The responsibility comes after identifying the real silver jewelry is taking care of them. Only then can you grow older with your favorite piece of silver jewelry. Here are a few tips to taking care of silver jewelry:

1. Store Jewelry in the Safe Place

Store your precious jewelry into a safe place for an extended lifespan. If you don’t wear it regularly or it is too precious, you can consider Jewelry Safes.

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2. Clean Jewelry Regularly

When you wear jewelry all the time, it'll like to grab dust, oils, and other pollutants. So, you should clean your jewelry to keep it fabulous and fresh. Use some soap with water and clean it with a soft toothbrush.

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3. Use Anti-tarnish Paper While Storing

At the time you are storing, use anti-tarnish paper to wrap each piece of jewelry. You can also use eyeglass cloth if you don't have anti-tarnish paper.

4. Remove Jewelry during Different Activities

Make sure you remove your jewelry while washing dishes, doing laundry, bathing in the pool, gardening, cooking, etc. Do put jewelry while putting lotion, makeup, hairspray, and perfume.

Final Words

We've discussed a multitude of ways to help you know how to tell if something is silver without markings. Most of them are easy to follow and doesn't require advanced knowledge. Find the legitimacy of your favorite silver accessories now.

Remember, true-quality can’t be replicated.

Elsa Leena

Elsa is the Editor at JewelryCleaningMachine.Com. She is a jewelry cleaning expert and owner of a local jewelry store. She now enjoys publishing the guides to help readers.

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