Don’t Be Duped: Learn How To Buy Genuine 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry Online

Wikipedia defines Sterling silver as an alloy of silver which contains 92.5% weight of pure silver and 7.5% weight of other metals (usually copper). It has a minimum millesimal fitness of 95 and since it’s added with copper, Sterling silver is harder than pure silver.

Due to the rich history, culture, and value, it’s no surprise that silver always wins people’s heart. Unfortunately there’s a lot of fake sterling silver jewelry in the marketplace. How do you identify it? Read on to find out.

The Price Will Give You A Clue

Silver sells at a fair price. Check out the price of a gram of pure silver (99.9%) at


It falls in the range of 0.81 USD per gram (Updated on 2021/3/26). This implies that the basic price of sterling silver is 0.75 USD ( 0.75 = 0.81 * 92.5% ). Factor in an additional 10 – 20% for shipping the raw material and a further 30% for production cost (that’s the average cost of batch producing 50000 pieces in China) and the wholesale price shoots to above 1.17 USD per gram, and the actual cost is depending on the production complexity of the jewelry. After factoring in all these, 1.3 USD is ideally the perfect price (perfect production, simplest craftsmanship, perfect QA & management system and cheapest human resource). Anything less than 1.3 USD per gram should get you worried: it’s fake.

Buy Only From A Trusted Website

It’s a well-known fact that some websites claim to sell 925 sterling silver yet it’s fake. So, BEWARE OF STERLING SILVER FROM CHINA!!! – Surf through eBay and you’ll see them all over. Still the silver products can be found on eBay herehere and here. Their price is lower than 0.8 gram yet they all have a 925 stamp. That can’t be true. Why? Because the price of sterling silver can’t be less than 1.17 USD per gram as illustrated above. It’s impossible. In fact, to make it even more suspicious, the weight of the jewelry isn’t even stated.

Buy Samples And Send Them To Laboratory

If you are a store owner, counterfeit silver might ruin your business. The most reliable way to test silver is to buy a small amount firstly, send them to a trustworthy laboratory and get the results. If that cost too much, chooses randomly your samples for testing.

Learn the Silver Jewelry Manufacture Industry In China

There’re different jewelry manufacturing areas in China. Guangdong Province, mainly Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanwei are the largest silver/gold jewelry manufacturing cities in China.

Shenzhen: The Frontier of China’s Gem and Jewelry Industry

This article has introduced Shenzhen as jewelry manufacture and marketing place in detail.

Updated April 27, 2017. Other leading silver jewelry manufacturing cities, like Guangzhou, Shanwei, will be introduced later.

Understand The Common Alloys Of Fake Sterling Silver

Counterfeit Sterling silver is cheap to make that’s why it retails at relatively low prices. Scrupulous retailers use cupronickel (an alloy of copper and nickel) to make fake sterling silver because they all look the same. This reduces the price by about 60 – 90%. Ideally speaking, the production cost drops by 60% because counterfeiters add pure silver (about 30%) to make the fake sterling silver jewelry look as real as possible. To an unsuspecting person, there won’t be any noticeable difference. (Check the test below for pure silver)

In other cases, the fake silver is made of a zinc-nickel or iron-nickel alloy with no traces of silver in them at all. These are easier to tell because they are plated with a layer of silver that quickly fades away.

How To Test Silver

There are a number of ways through which you can tell that a sterling silver jewelry piece is fake and it always works. Check out the following links for reference:

  Sterling Silver Iron Nikel Alloy Copper Nickel Alloy 30% Silver Copper Nickel Alloy
Bleach Test Change Color No Change No Change Change Color
Has Stamping/Marks Most Some Some Some
Magnetic Weak Strong Strong Strong
Silver Acid Test Pass Fail Fail Fail

Useful silver test articles:
Home tests to identify real sterling silver from fake
How to Tell Real 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry from Fake Silver
How to Test Silver

Join the Conversation


  1. Yes I have been duped before with so called 925 silver from China. Very disappointed. I now have a very strong magnet out of a computer, if it sticks it is not silver. Your further information is much appreciated.

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