As per the provisions of federal law, the sterling silver jewelry needs to be made from an alloy consisting of least 92.5% pure silver. The remaining 7.2 % of the alloy can compose any type of metal. Normally, the jewelry manufacturers made these jewelries by combining platinum or copper with the pure silver. The high percentage of pure silver is also responsible for providing sterling silver jewelry with the impressive and attractive shine. Also, these jewelries are priced high because of the alloy composing of 92.5% pure silver. However, many people love to appraise the jewelries to buy the best quality items on their predetermined budget.
1. Clean the Jewelry: When you decide to appraise the sterling silver jewelry, you have to start by cleaning the piece thoroughly. Use a soft cloth and clean the jewelry by buffing out the tarnish. You also have to ensure that fingerprints and similar temporary markings are completely wiped off during the cleaning process. If the tarnish is heavy, you have to consider using some specially designed chemicals available in the market as tarnish dip. Many people use silver polish to clean the sterling silver jewelry, but the polish is not strong and effective enough to properly clean the grooves and crevices developed in the jewelry piece.
2. Inspect the Piece Using a Magnifying Glass: Most of the sterling silver jewelry is launched by the manufacturer with quality marks. You can use a magnifying glass and inspect the piece thoroughly to identify the quality marks. Most of the jewelries made of sterling silver normally carried two quality marks. One of these marks will highlight the name, brand or logo of the sterling silver jewelry manufacturer, whereas the second mark will mention sterling, st er., 925 or .925. If the jewelry piece does not mention the silver percentage, the alloy is most likely coin silver and not sterling silver.
3. Consult an Expert: Sometimes the thorough cleaning and inspection using a magnifying glass may not satisfy a skeptical sterling silver jewelry buyer. So these people prefer to avail the professional assistance of an expert. You can contact a person having experience and expertise in identifying and pricing silver jewelry to ensure that you are getting the best and authentic sterling silver jewelry. You can even refer to some on-line material to determine the true price of these jewelries based on specific criterion.
4. Ask Permission of the Seller to Appraise the Jewelry: As the customers frequently request to appraise the sterling silver jewelry before buying the piece, many jewelry store owners retain the services of professional silver appraisers. As you may not be able to fix an appointment with the appraiser, you can always ask the seller to get the jewelry piece identified and appraised. However, it is very much important for a buyer to ensure that the silver appraiser is experienced and reliable.
The method and technique of appraising the sterling silver jewelry will differ based on the convenience of the buyer. You can spend some time in evaluating the piece on your own, or save time by availing the assistance of a professional silver appraiser.