Question by  Roland27 (16334)

How can I tell the difference between something that is sterling silver and something that is silver plated?


Answer by  alc1974 (71)

Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver, and will be stamped "sterling" or "925" somewhere on the item. Silver plated items have a thin plating of sterling silver over some other kind of base metal, like copper, brass, or nickel. Silver plated items are often marked EP for electroplated, or EPNS for electroplated nickel silver, or are not marked at all.


Answer by  Cyndael (338)

The easiest way is to look for the marking. Sterling Silver jewelry is required by law to be marked. The marking is three numbers "925".


Answer by  sue123 (375)

Items that are sterling silver will always be stamped "STERLING" or "STERLING SILVER" some where on the item where it's not easily seen while wearing. Also, sterling is more expensive.


Answer by  Varun (25)

The sterling silver plated is cheaper than the silver plated. Sterling silver is an alloy of silver usually alloyed with copper.Therefore, the sterling silver has high strength compared to silver.The silver plated has more electrical conductivity than the sterling silver plated item.


Answer by  jewelfinder (31)

Sterling silver items should be marked "sterling" or "925". The 925 is a standard mark which indicates that the item contains at least 92.5 percent genuine silver - the required amount for an item to be called sterling silver.


Answer by  ladybud (1069)

Real silver will have a number like .925 plated silver is most of the time marked with a .295 SP-ss in a circle or box.If you have no marking's look around the Edge's for a worn area's.If under the silver is dark metal it is plated.


Answer by  amber85 (147)

Objects that are silver plated are just metal coated in silver. By law sterling silver is supposed to be marked with a 925.


Answer by  beck (1099)

Sterling made since the early 1900's should be marked with a number, such as 925 for sterling. Silver plate will wear and show a different base metal. The surest way is to buy a testing kit, make a small scratch in the surface to reach the metal below and test.


Answer by  Olive (1195)

Usually the object will say if it is sterling silver, and what you'll see is "925" or sterling silver written on the object. Silver plating usually you can't tell. A jeweler would be able to tell and most are quite willing to take a look for you to determine what you have.


Answer by  Disneyphan (529)

Something that is sterling silver will have a 925 stamped on it somewhere. Silver plated items shouldn't have this marking.


Answer by  diva25 (4016)

If you are not sure about something like that the best thing to do is to take it to a jeweler and have them inspect it for you. They know exactly what they are looking for in silver. They have special tests that they can run, that won't hurt it to see what it is.

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