the differences in silver

Pure Silver? Sterling Silver? Or Fake?

Let us help you tell the difference!

Sterling silver pieces are beautiful additions to your jewelry collection. Silver catches the light like no other metal and can last a lifetime with proper care. Knowing whether your silver is real or not is important, especially for those with skin sensitivities. The different metals found in fake silver can cause a negative reaction. Continue reading to discover a few simple tips and tricks on how to tell if silver is pure, sterling or fake.

Pure Silver vs. Sterling Silver

What should you look for?

Strut your Vibe sterling silver pieces with confidence!

Pure silver, also known as fine silver, has a silver content of 99.9%. This high purity makes it too soft to use for jewelry making. Copper is added to pure silver to create sterling silver, which results in a much more durable metal. Sterling silver has a purity of 92.5%, the remaining 7.5% is copper or other metals (like zinc or nickel).

However, these additional metals used to create sterling silver can make it more prone to corrode. Copper, zinc, and nickel react to oxygen and other elements in the air and may cause silver to tarnish. But don’t worry, this is easily fixed! Check out our Caring for Sterling Silver guide now to learn more. 

Look For The Marks

Know before you go on that shopping trip!

On the left “.925” represents sterling silver and the “14K” on the right represents gold.

One simple way to tell the difference between fine silver and sterling silver is by looking for the number marked on the item. Fine silver is stamped with marks such as 999, 99.9 or .999. Sterling silver is often marked with 925, .925 or 92.5. Whether you search for the marking on the piece or ask the person helping you, these numbers are good to know when shopping for silver jewelry. 

Test Your Silver Jewelry

Real or fake? Try these simple tricks!

Take a dip with your sterling silver jewelry… you just might need to give it a good cleaning after!

If you're having trouble determining if your silver jewelry is real or fake you can take it through various tests for authenticity. Here are our top three tests we recommend trying out!

  1. The most precious metals are nonmagnetic. If a magnet sticks strongly to your jewelry piece then it has a magnetic core and is NOT silver.
  2. Give it a smell. Sterling silver is odorless. If your jewelry has a metallic scent then it may not be sterling silver. 
  3. Try polishing your silver. Silver oxides and tarnishes, leaving behind a black residue on your cloth after you polish it. If there's no black residue, then it's probably not real silver.

Vibe Jewelry’s Best Selling Sterling Silver Styles

We want you to feel confident about the hard work and love that goes into hand making each piece!

When it comes to sterling silver, Vibe takes pride in producing high quality and unique jewelry. Vibe uses .925 sterling silver in all of the products and they are also finished off with rhodium, which gives a high luster and helps the jewelry remain tarnish-free for a longer period of time. Vibe knows silver and because of that we hope this guide was helpful in telling the difference between pure, sterling and fake silver. Remember these top tips…

  • Fake silver can cause negative reactions for sensitive skin.
  • Alloys are added to pure silver to create sterling silver.
  • Look at the marks to decipher fine from sterling silver.
  • Simple tests will tell you if silver is real or fake.

Interested in shopping for some of our best selling sterling silver styles? Check them out below!