Thursday, October 15, 2009
"Sterling Silver Rip-Off's"
It seems as though with the current recession we are having more and more customers come into the store having purchased what they thought was sterling silver from vendors at gem shows. We had one customer who had purchased over $300.00 in sterling plate copper. Fortunately before she sold it to her customers she came into the store where we tested it for her. Unfortunately she wasn't able to get her money back.
If you will be purchasing a large amount of silver from a dealer you haven’t bought from before, it may benefit you to purchase a Nitric acid test kit, it is very portable, since it is only a single bottle. These kits are quite reliable for determining if an item is silver or if it contains no silver. Although these kits won’t tell you what the other metal is it definitely will tell you what the metal is not.
If you will be making a large purchase from a new dealer randomly choose a single item or two from them, make a slight nick in a hidden spot. Nicking the item will also let you know if you are purchasing a plated item or not. It will also cut through any lacquer that may be on the piece. Use a small file to nick an area, and then place a drop of your acid on that area. When testing pure silver you should get a creamy color, Sterling Silver will test a hue darker but you should still get a cream color. If you don’t want to file a piece you can use one of our test stones. These small stones allow you to slide your piece over the stone. making a slight scratch on the stone…then drop one drop of the acid on the scratched stone and notice the color you get.
You should only do this test when you have access to water since you will need it to rinse your items when you are finished. Once you’ve finished testing the piece if it is real sterling you should be able to buff out any of the slight whitish or grayish discoloration the chemical leaves.
We’ve got the sterling and gold test acid in the store for and we’ve got the test stones for $6.00. Drop by and pick one up..the reputation you save may be yours. To read the complete article on sterling visit our website and click on articles.