So, recently i bought myself some silver (Bracelet charm) from Aliexpress just to see what the quality would be like. When it came i was pleasantly surprised by the weight and feel of it, it did indeed feel like a quality piece of silver. But because i only paid £4 for it ($6) i was still skeptical – I mean these in the UK cost a hell of a lot more than £4.
VIDEO DEMONSTRATION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE
And so i decided to do some research – the result of which is below for you to read and hopefully use to help you buy quality silver from Aliexpress yourself.
1. Check the Buyer Reviews
This is a no brainer and applies not only to jewelry, but to anything you buy on Aliexpress and other online marketplaces. Often i have seen people online complaining about some jewelry item they bought from Aliexpress and when its arrived its been not genuine in some way. I would ask them for a link to the sales page and sure enough the reviews reflect the fact its rubbish, but this person wouldn’t have checked the reviews before buying.
The image above shows you that 240 have been bought, 137 reviews have been left so far and there is a 4.9 out of 5 stars rating. This is a great sign and you should go on to read the reviews. Please please please check buyer reviews before purchasing any jewelry.
2. Check the item is stamped with a .925 mark
Once the item has arrived another obvious thing to do is check the item has a 925, .925 or 92.5 mark. These all indicate the percentage of purity and this percentage (92.5%) Is considered sterling silver by UK and US standards. Anything lower than 92.5% is not considered sterling silver.
3. Use A Magnet to check if the item is Magnetic
Get yourself some Neodymium rare earth magnets – magnets have no effect on sterling silver. If the magnets create a strong attraction to the jewelry then its clearly fake. This test also works on gold too.
4. Rub the jewelry with a White Cloth
On most sterling silver, especially items that have been on display a while become tarnished and develop dark areas. A quick and easy test is to rub these areas with a white cloth and if its real black marks will be left on the cloth. If the cloth is clean the jewelry is either super clean or its fake.
5. Have a general feel and compare to other jewelry
You have no doubt got a collection of sterling silver already and this is helpful because you can compare the items you bought with the genuine items you already have. They will be similar in the way they feel and look. Fake silver will look fake when next to real sterling silver.
6. Smell your jewelry
Sounds silly i know but smelling your jewelry can give you an indication of how real it is. Real sterling silver is odorless and so will smell of nothing at all. If you get a whiff of something strong or distinct its likely fake.
7. Sterling Silver Ice Test
Another way that might seem strange is to put a piece of ice on top of your jewelry and if the ice melts quite rapidly then its a good sign its real. If it melts slowly then that would indicate its a fake item.
8. Household Bleach Test
A drop or 2 of bleach will tarnish very quickly on a real sterling silver item. If there is no tarnishing at all then the item is not real silver.
9. Check if the item stains your skin
Often a fake silver item with leave a black or green ring around your finger or wrist. This won’t happen with real sterling silver.
10. Chemical Analysis Test.
This way requires more preparation and can be damaging to your item because it requires you to scratch or take a shaving off your item to allow you a test area on which you will place drops of nitric acid. The acid will change colour – See below for results.
- Bright Red = Fine Silver
- Darker Red = 925 Silver
- Brown = 800 Silver
- Green = 500 Silver
- Yellow = Lead or Tin
- Dark brown = Brass
- Blue = Nickel
Not everyone has this acid to hand and you will have to purchase it online, however i doubt your local jewelers would have a problem testing it for you maybe charging a small fee. I don’t feel this test is needed simply because a combination of the other methods is enough to determine real silver.
How to test if sterling silver is real video
Link to the store i bought Sterling silver charms from: JIUHAO
Link to The Magnifier: Mobile Phone Jewelry Magnifier
Well, thanks for visiting i hope this has been of some use to you. Aliexpress has some great sellers of genuine jewelry and i hope you will now trust yourself to buy a genuine piece of silver.