Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Spot Fake Silver

How to recognize real silver

Many things for sale on auctions sites that purport to be silver are not real silver.

Sometimes these items are sold as silver by a lack of knowledge on the part of the seller and sometimes other motives are unfortunately used.

So How can you protect yourself from buying something that says it’s silver only to find that it isn’t?

A knowledge of hallmarks is important here and I would suggest that you take a look at this hallmarks guide for mobile devices and through the source site

Also you should learn the terms below that refer to silver styled items that are often mistakenly advertised as silver.

Sterling Silver Plate
Sterling Silverplate – This doesn’t exist even though you will see it advertised because sterling is an alloy it is unsuitable to use as a silver source for plating.

This stands for Electro Plated Nickel-Silver. (See More about this)
(Any item marked with E.P. is silverplate and as such has no precious metal value).

Nickel Silver
Nickel-Silver is a common base metal alloy consisting of nickel, copper and zinc. There is no silver in it whatsoever.
(Nickel-silver is strong and durable but it doesn't have any metal value).

White Metal
White Metal - This is a silvery coloured alloy usually containing a mixture of antimony, tin, lead, zinc, and cadmium.

Brittania Metal
Britannia Metal is a non-silver base metal similar to pewter. This is an alloy of 93% tin, 5% antimony and 2% copper. Not to be confused with 958 Britannia from Great Britain.

See more details about identifying all of these metals

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