We all enjoy wearing jewellery and buying beautiful gifts for loved ones, but how can we spot if the silver is genuine, or just a cheap metal? In the past, the “.925” stamp on the inside of a ring or back of a pendant would be the guarantee that your jewellery item was genuine. Unfortunately, today, jewellery is mass-produced in many factories, and the .925 stamp now means nothing when it’s so easy for any costume jewellery maker to add.
How can you spot real silver jewellery so you can be assured that the gift you are buying is genuine and that is will last a lifetime? The answer is to check for a hallmark, and to also do your research on the specific hallmarked jewellery that you are interested in purchasing.
What Is a Silver Hallmark?
An item of jewellery that is sold commercially in the UK should be marked with a hallmark. This indicates that it’s been made by a silversmith and crated by a legitimate jewellery manufacturer. This silver hallmark is a stamp on an item of jewellery that is unique to the manufacturer or silversmith who made it. It’s not something that’s created at random. This hallmark must previously be registered and licensed in the UK. This way, you can check the hallmark on the back of a piece to see if it’s not only genuine silver, but made by a reputable maker.
The silver mark is added to a jewellery piece with a hammer and a punch. This embeds a small “icon” or “image” or “initials” into the piece. A hallmark is unique to each silversmith or manufacturer, and will never match up with another maker. A hallmark can involve time and expense on the part of the jewellery maker, so it’s unlikely that you’ll see a counterfeit piece with a hallmark on it. And if you do, you can search for that hallmark to see if it’s legit.
Why Should I Check for a Hallmark?
Silver jewellery can be expensive, and the last thing you want is to buy cheap nickel costume jewellery that’s going to tarnish and irritate your skin. Unless you’re in a jewellery store where you can weigh your silver item in your hands (silver is heavier than cheap metals), you won’t be able to tell if it’s genuine through an online photograph. When you search online to buy silver jewellery or real silver jewellery, you want to buy from a reputable jewellery maker.
And there is also the benefit that when you have broken jewellery, you want to know that it can be repaired at your local jewellery store. Most jewellers won’t even attempt to fix nickel, aluminium, chrome, copper, or silver-plated jewellery. But genuine .925 silver can easily be repaired. When your jeweller examines your damaged piece, they’ll be pleased to see it stamped with that silver hallmark, making them feel confident they can easily fix your jewellery.
Now that you understand that hallmarked silver jewellery is a guarantee of quality and of genuine silver, you can feel more confident in purchasing your next item of beautiful silver jewellery.