How To Tell the Difference Between Silver and Silver-Plate

Many people have started collecting silver since the pandemic began. The hobby is time-consuming yet fun because there’s nothing like finding a piece you’ve been searching for forever. However, novice collectors must be aware of a few things that trip beginners up. For example, they should know how to tell the difference between silver and silver-plated objects, so their collection is as authentic as possible.

The Overall Look

Pure silver looks shinier and more refined than silver-plated items—the reason being is that silver-plated objects have another metal underneath. Silver-plated means that a layer of silver has been placed on another metal. For this reason, the other metal (mainly copper) will shine through when the piece beings to tarnish. It won’t look as refined as real silver.

What’s More Valuable?

Real or sterling silver is more valuable than silver-plated objects because the percentage of silver is higher in these items. Sterling silver items often have markings on them, saying 92.5. 92.5 means that the piece is 92.5% silver and 7.5% another metal alloy. Silver-plated items, on the other hand, are almost completely another metal alloy altogether. Consequently, they aren’t worth as much as the real deal.

This article has explained how to tell the difference between silver and silver-plated collectibles. If you’re still unsure about the quality of the objects in your possession, bring them to Nelson and Nelson Antiques today. Not only will we be able to tell you what your items are worth, but we also sell antique silver that you can add to your collection. We have items such as beautiful hollowware and silver overlay that’ll catch peoples’ eyes any time they want to take a look at your collectibles. Remember—keep the objects in mint condition so that they’re worth a pretty penny if you decide to sell in the future.