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How to Test Genuine 925 Silver Jewelry

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925 silver jewelry also known as sterling silver is popular all over world for the exclusive purpose of jewelry and ornaments. This silver type is charming, shines bright for years and is sturdier than other types of silver. It is important know your silver types and whether the silver jewelry you wear or purchase is genuinely silver or if it is some other form of silver. 

Forms of Silver

The purest form of silver available is 99.9% silver and is very soft and malleable meaning that it will damage very easily. This is why pure silver is not used for making silver cutlery, household ornaments and most types of jewelry because it can damage under pressure or harsh weather conditions. This form of silver is normally only used to make the most intricate of patterns on silver jewelry.

Britannia silver is 95.84% silver and 4.16% copper, Mexican silver is 95% silver and 5% copper while sterling silver or 925 silver jewelry is made of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. The silver used in coin making it 90% silver and 10% copper while German silver is 80% silver. As most people already know, sterling silver is the silver used in jewelry making because it is sturdier and yet easily soldered and hammered into different charming patterns and shapes for jewelry pieces. Unlike silver plated metal, it does not wear out; the 0.925 or S/S written on it normally denotes sterling silver.

925 Silver Jewelry-Identifying Silver

Since sterling silver is an alloy of silver and copper, identification of this mark is very important and in the case of jewelry, it can be found on the underside of clasps and other tiny spots. Remember, most silver jewelers are obligated to stamp the silver on some area with 0.925 or 92.5% or even the word ‘Sterling’. If you do not see the marking anywhere, then there is a strong chance that the silver is not sterling or that it is not even genuine silver. There are other ways of identifying authentic 925 silver jewelry.

You can take a serious step that to determine if the piece of silver jewelry that you have is authentic sterling or not. It is the Acid Test or the Nitric Test. If you have enough comfort with working with your silver jewelry and cleaning it, you can perform the test yourself but if you are a novice in the matters of silver, it is a good idea to let some other silver jewelry or expert carry out the test. This test involves rubbing a small portion of the silver jewelry vigorously and continuously for at least a few minutes before applying a small amount of nitric acid. If your silver is authentic 925 silver jewelry, then the portion will turn a shade of cloudy grey but if it is not then it will turn greenish. However, since this is a permanent test, you should only do it on a part of the jewelry that does not show on the front.

Another simple way to see if the jewelry is sterling silver or not is to use a cloth of a light color to clean or rub the silver jewelry. If black marks remain on the cloth, then the silver is sterling because silver will oxidize and tarnish when left in the open air. This tarnish will leave its marks on the cloth that you rub on it proving its sterling nature. Impure silver such as silver plated rings and bracelets might even leave a greenish mark on your skin after you have worn them for a few hours while 925 silver jewelry will not, which is another way of knowing the purity of your silver.


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