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How to Tell Sterling Silver from Plated

Watch more Buying, Spending, & Shopping Tips videos: Subscribe to Howcast's YouTube Channel - Follow these tips to learn how to tell sterling silver from plated. Howcast uploads the highest quality how-to videos daily! Be sure to check out our playlists for guides that interest you: Subscribe to Howcast's other YouTube Channels: Howcast Health Channel - Howcast Video Games Channel - Howcast Tech Channel - Howcast Food Channel - Howcast Arts & Recreation Channel - Howcast Sports & Fitness Channel - Howcast Personal Care & Style Channel - Howcast empowers people with engaging, useful how-to information wherever, whenever they need to know how. Emphasizing high-quality instructional videos, Howcast brings you experts who provide accurate information in easy-to-follow tutorials on everything from makeup, hairstyling, nail art design, and soccer to parkour, skateboarding, dancing, kissing, and much, much more. Step 1: Look for markings indicating sterling silver Examine your silver piece, and look for markings that indicate it is sterling silver. Check for stamps that say STERLING, .925, or 925/100. Tip Examine the clasp of a necklace and the inside of rings and bracelets to find a marking of sterling silver. Step 2: Look for British silver markings Identify sterling silver from England, Ireland, or Scotland by looking for other stamps. These markings are small, and often look like a lion or a coat of arms. Step 3: Look for markings indicating silver plating Look for markings that indicate that your piece is silver plated. These include stamps of single-digit numbers, stamps starting with the letters EP, and words like "heavy plate" or "triple." Tip Know that silver-plated pieces are actually coated with a very thin layer of silver. They have little monetary value because they contain very little precious metal. Step 4: Consult with an expert for other foreign silver Speak with a jeweler or metal exchange dealer if your silver is not from the U.S. or Great Britain. Other areas have different silver markings and different levels for measuring the purity of their silver. Step 5: Have your silver examined by an expert Consult with an expert if you cannot find stamps to help you tell sterling silver from plated. They can help you determine the authenticity of your silver and help you figure out a value. Did You Know? The process of electroplating, used to make a silver-plated piece, was invented in 1805 by an Italian chemist. It wasn't until the 1850s that it was used to make costume jewelry.
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