Sterling Silver Earrings

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How to Tell if Your Sterling Silver Earrings are Real Silver

Since the dawn of civilization, people have been captivated by silver's shining, shimmering splendor. This special metal has been used to commemorate special occasions, achievements, and historic milestones alike throughout the ages. Not to mention, sterling silver earrings add timeless style and sophistication to any wardrobe. Between its luster, brilliance, and versatility, it's easy to see why sterling silver is one of the most popular materials for jewelry.

That said, like many things in life, jewelry is an investment and that means you only want the best. If you've ever been curious about whether your sterling silver jewelry is authentic or not, here are a few things to notice.

Look for the "925" or "Sterling" Imprint

Pure silver is an extremely soft precious metal. To create a strong alloy for use in jewelry, 92.5% of pure silver is mixed with 7.5% of another metal, usually copper for strength and durability. This durable alloy is called sterling silver. Inspect your silver jewelry for a "925" mark known as a "hallmark." Other imprints may be "Sterling Silver, "Ster" or "Sterling." Keep in mind that not every piece of real silver will have these markings, but a majority will. Therefore, if your jewelry doesn't have a stamp, read on for a few ways to test its authenticity.

Testing Sterling Silver

If the stamp or hallmark is worn or tarnished, a professional can test the sterling silver with nitric acid. Real silver will have a positive reaction that turns the liquid into a cloudy gray color, while non-silver metals will have a negative reaction and produce a greenish tinge. If you want to conduct your own tests at home, here's how to do it.

The Magnet Test

This is an easy way for you to check if your silver jewelry is truly authentic. Simply place a magnet above or near your earrings. Pure silver is not magnetic, so if your jewelry sticks or is attracted to the magnet then the material is not 92.5 sterling silver or more.

The Weight Test

The purpose of this method is to compare your earrings to an item of a similar weight that you know consists of real silver. If the weight feels the same, then your sterling silver earrings are more than likely genuine.

The Odor Test

Real sterling silver products would not exude any smell. So, if the jewelry produces an odor, then the item likely contains too much copper to be true sterling silver.

The Cloth Test

When silver is exposed to air, it oxidizes. This oxidation causes the metal to tarnish and take on a black tint over time. Try lightly rubbing your sterling silver earrings with a soft, white or light-colored cloth. If you notice black marks on the cloth, then the object is authentic because oxidation creates the tarnish that is appearing on the fabric.

The Ice Test

Silver has the highest thermal conductivity rate of any known metal - meaning that it conducts heat extremely fast. Set your earrings on a flat surface and place one ice cube directly on top of the earrings. Place another cube across from the earrings on the same surface. If the ice cube on top of the jewelry melts at a faster rate, then it's real silver.

Caring for Your Sterling Silver Earrings

  • Take off your sterling silver in wet or humid conditions.
  • Keep your jewelry dry by storing it either in a cloth pouch or a jewelry box when you're not wearing it.
  • Apply lotions, perfume, and hair products before wearing your earrings.
  • Use a microfiber cloth or special jewelry cloth to clean your sterling silver

Types of Sterling Silver Earrings

Sterling Silver Drop Earrings

Sterling Silver Stud Earrings

Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings

Sterling Silver Earring Sets

Be sure to also peruse our assortment of ravishing sterling silver jewelry for more items to add to your collection. Our wide selection of jewelry offers you many classic options to choose from, so you'll find just the accessories you need to make a lasting impression.