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When you’re shopping for a silver chain, it’s important to make sure that your purchase is authentic. It’s easy to be fooled by imitations and replica pieces when they are made well, and that can mean you wind up with a lower quality piece than you think you're buying.
At Arizona Diamond Center, we are committed to helping you find the best chain that suits your needs, personal style, and budget. If you are looking for a real silver chain, we can help.
Like gold, silver is a relatively soft metal, which means that pure silver is not suited for most pieces of jewelry, especially chains that are worn regularly. Instead, most real silver chains feature a silver alloy, commonly sterling silver, which is composed of at least 92.5% silver with the remaining percentage composed of other metals, typically copper or nickel.
There are a number of tests you can perform with a silver chain to determine its authenticity. You may be limited with what you can do depending on whether this is a chain you already own or if you are buying a new one, but keeping these methods in mind can help you identify what is real silver.
The easiest way to identify authentic sterling silver is by locating an authentication hallmark on the piece itself. Sterling silver chains typically include markings that indicate the metal’s composition – most commonly 925, 900, 800 or “SS.” You may need to use a magnifying glass to find and read the hallmark. A professional jeweler you trust can also help you locate this identification.
Silver is nonmagnetic, so the chain moves towards a magnet, it is likely not made of real silver. Because sterling silver is an alloy with other metals, there may be some magnetic effects; however, strong magnetic attraction is a good way to tell if your chain is fake.
While not a surefire way to distinguish between authentic and fake silver, you can perform an odor test by simply smelling the chain. Sterling silver is odorless, so if you detect a smell like sulfur or something metallic, you may want to verify the chain's composition with a trusted jeweler.
To keep its pristine appearance, silver must be polished on a regular basis. It is also prone to oxidation and tarnishing, so if you rub your silver chain with a polishing cloth and see black residue, that's a good sign that your chain is real silver!
Real silver chains require regular care and maintenance to look their best. Use a soft cloth to polish your chain, and be sure to store it in an air-tight box or bag when not wearing it. Keeping the chain away from moisture can also help preserve its appearance.
To keep your chain in great condition, you should also schedule regular cleanings with a professional jeweler. This is especially important if you wear your chain on a daily basis to help address routine wear and tear, identify necessary repairs, and prevent serious damage over time.
Although these tips can help to identify if a chain is fake, they are not foolproof. Some counterfeit chains will pass all of these tests. The best way to guarantee that your chain is real is to buy it from a reliable source.
At Arizona Diamond Center, we specialize in providing high-quality jewelry that you can trust. We have an extensive inventory of real silver chains, so you can find the perfect piece for yourself or someone special.
Visit one of our three stores in the Phoenix area today to browse our selection of real silver chains!