How Can I Determine Difference Between Silver-plate And Sterling Silver?


7 Answers

Monica Stott Profile
Monica Stott answered
It is possible to determine the difference between sterling silver and silver plate by looking at its products. It is also possible to use the name of these items to determine the difference. There are several ways in which you can determine the difference between these two products.

Here are some of the ways to go about it.

Basing in the terminologies used, it is possible to determine the difference of these items. Silver plate is used in the case of a product that has been made from metal. This product is in most cases coated with silver. The material used in silver plate is actually different from silver, though the coat is only from silver. This makes the first difference. Silver that is used on silver plate is sterling silver and this is done via electroplating. The thickness of this coat differs basing on the quality of the product.

Sterling silver is a product that is 92% pure silver. This is the main difference that makes it easy to distinguish these two products. There is seven and half percent that remains, which in this case is an alloy that is used in hardening the product. There are different alloys that can be used in the sterling silver such as copper or zinc. An object that is made from pure sterling silver has high value, which is maintained throughout.

You will also find out that the prices of sterling silver and silver plate products are different with the former being expensive. This is because sliver is a metal that is treasured and it is used as a sigh of wealth. As much as sterling silver will tarnish, it is bound to last forever compared to the silver plate that has a short life span. You can also know the difference between these items in the way they wear out. Silver plate tends to wear out in spots hence exposing the metal base.
Ben Brentlinger Profile
Ben Brentlinger answered
The best way to tell if something is silver plated or if it's sterling silver without using special equipment or ruining it by scratching part of the surface off to tell is just to look at the side to see if part of it's core is exposed.  This is easiest to do with coins, especially the 40% silver Kennedy Halves which is composed of a 100% copper core sandwiched between two pieces of 90% silver which are each half the weight of the copper core.  You can see the copper core by looking at the rim of the coin.

As for Sterling Silver dishes such as silverware, to know whether they're silver plated of if it's really silver, if looking at it closely to see if it's plated doesn't work, you can drop it on a hard, flat surface and if it has a strong silver ring to it, than it's mostly silver rather than silver plated.

Silver has a very distinct ring to it which you won't hear when dropping anything that's silver plated on a hard, flat surface.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Sterling silver is identified by the stamp .925, meaning it is composed of 92.5% pure silver, with the rest made up of alloys that harden the silver, so that it can be shaped in a variety of pieces.
Sterling silver plate, is a coating of silver usually electroplated on any base metal (nickle, copper pewter etc.) The plating however, will rub off eventually. People with allergies should not wear plated jewellery because even with the plating, they will react to the metal underneath.

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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It is very easy to separate a silver plated item from sterling silver by using the proper tools.
For additional information and test supplies I suggest that you visit a web site on how to test silver. The best web site that I found is
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Sterling silver
always retains it intrinsic silver value & usually a value also
as tableware.  Silver plate has no
intrinsic silver value.  It is not worth
the refining costs to try to redeem  the
silver. It has very little resale value as tableware.
Aun Jafery Profile
Aun Jafery answered
Silver plate is the term used to describe any product that is made of metal and that has been quoted with a layer of silver. The actual material is usually some other base metal and the plating material used is silver. The silver used to plate the metal is usually sterling silver and it is quoted by a process of electroplating. Depending on the quality of the product the thickness of the silver coating may differ from product to product.

Sterling Silver on the other hand is used to define something or some object that is ninety two percent pure silver. The remaining seven and a half percent is mostly an alloy of some sort that is used to harden the object. The alloy is either zinc or copper. Since an object that is made entirely of sterling silver is ninety two percent a precious metal it always maintains and increases in value.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
What are the important points to look for when dealing with the sale of silver plated goods

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