You have a prized silver- antique collection, however do you understand if that is solid silver- of just silver plated? Does it really make a difference? that does if girlfriend are concerned with the value.

You are watching: How to tell the difference between silver and silverplate

Silver plating was occurred as one inexpensive means for people who can not afford sterling (or solid silver) to gain the beauty of the steel without the hefty price tag. In fact, some manufacturers acquired so good at developing silver plated items that it is sometimes daunting to call the difference in between the two. Unfortunately, when it comes to the value of her antiques, even if it is you have solid or plated silver makes a large difference, so that is important to have the ability to differentiate in between the two.

Look because that a Stamp

If her antique silver method is important sterling silver and not simply plated, it will be stamped v a telltale hallmark. Generally found top top the bottom that the piece, a silver stamp may include:

The native “Sterling Silver’A numeric value (800, 900, 925, etc.)A lion hallmark


If you notice a stamp on your antique silver, use a magnifying glass to inspect it closely. Global sellers frequently use the numeric values, as they will show the percent of good silver the is uncovered in the piece. For example, a piece stamped with 925 will show that the item is 92.5% silver.

If her antique silver doesn’t have actually a stamp, you need to be leery around its silver- content. The may have simply been created in a nation that doesn’t stamp its solid silver- products, but you must follow increase with an additional test.

Perform the Magnet Test

A strong magnet can be a good tool in identify whether her silver antique is solid silver or plated. Silver- exhibits weak magnetic effects, for this reason if you host a magnet up and also it sticks come the item strongly, you have the right to feel quite confident the the piece isn’t silver. Similarly, if the magnet doesn’t stick, friend shouldn’t instantly assume that you’ve got the real deal. There room plenty of products that resemble silver and are no magnetic.

Use some Ice

Another good way to check whether or not you own a solid silver- piece have the right to be performed through something that is probably currently in your freezer – ice cream cubes. Silver- is terrific conductor, an interpretation it relays heat and also cold quickly. Placed some ice cream on or within of her silver item, depending on what the is, and wait to check out if it gets cold. Sterling silver- items have to be cold in less than a minute. This is specifically helpful technique when you have two items that you can compare, such together a sterling silver- spoon and also a spoon from a silver plated set.

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Get Your piece Evaluated

If you still aren’t sure about whether or no your antique is solid silver- or silver plated, there room a range of great professionals out there that can provide you some insight. An antique dealer, auctioneer, appraiser, or legacy sale firm should be able to examine her item and tell you around its silver composition.