Sterling silver bracelets have a beautiful coloring and sophisticated sheen that makes them stylish and timeless. The best thing about sterling silver bracelets is that their neutral tone blends with all types of outfits whether formal, casual, or professional wear. Sterling silver is different from plated silver due to its increased durability. Sterling silver is strong and resistant to damage because it retains original qualities of the metal.
Sterling silver bracelets are exquisite, and it can be quite challenging to find high-quality pieces. Hundreds of people sell jewelry online or locally. Assessing the quality of what they offer should not be overlooked. You need to know whether you are buying authentic products or not. You don’t want to waste your hard earned cash on fake pieces that can only last you a few months.
What to consider when buying Sterling Silver Bracelets
Let’s have a look at some important tips to help you buy genuine sterling silver bracelets.
First, you do not expect to find cheap sterling silver bracelets because they are made of precious metal. The price of the bracelet will guide you. The simplest test you can do is comparing the prices of different types of silver bracelets.
Do your homework and know the current market price of sterling silver. That price should give you a rough estimate of the price of the jewelry you are planning to buy. Cheap prices might be an indication that the metal is of low quality or fake. You also should be wary of blowout sales or massive discounts because they could be fake pieces.
It is advisable to ask the seller about pricing options when you visit a local shop or online store. Get information about exchange options and refunds. Do not make a mistake of buying any sterling silver bracelet without a return or full refund option. With such options, you can be sure that you are purchasing genuine jewelry.
Have a discussion with the seller
If it is possible for you to talk to the sales representative, do not hesitate to do so. Where you buy your bracelets dictates whether you will get a good opportunity to talk to the seller or not. Talking to the seller allows you to ask questions about silver sourcing, hallmarks, and pricing among other relevant things. You will be in a good position to make well-informed decisions when you get correct and honest answers to your questions. Buying jewelry from a physical shop is a great option because you are less likely to be scammed.
Look for hallmarks and silver grade specifications
Real silver jewelry should have some marking that shows that it’s the real deal. You can find such hallmarks in discrete places on your bracelet, and they are incredibly tiny. You may need strong lighting or a magnifying glass to check them. In case you already bought your silver bracelet, inspect it physically to know if you have real silver. STERLING or .925 are indicated on genuine sterling silver. Such marking indicates high-quality jewelry.
Be cautious if you want to buy online
There are thousands of online marketplaces for purchasing sterling silver bracelets. In case buying online is the best alternative for you, exercise caution. Reputable online shops have at least one physical store specified on the website. You will also get a solid exchange or refund policy. They also have a customer representative who guides you in choosing products. It is also advisable to check online for testimonials and customer reviews.
Perform physical tests
If you want to be sure that you bought genuine sterling silver bracelets, perform several physical tests. They do not have to be major tests. The first test you may want to conduct is locating your bracelet with a magnet. Silver is not magnetic so if your sterling silver bracelet is attracted to the magnet, it is probably nickel or other metals. Use a powerful magnet for this test, common household magnets are not efficient.
The other simple test you can perform is rubbing your bracelet with a white cloth. The appearance of black spots is an indication that you bought a genuine sterling silver bracelet. Silver oxidizes when you expose it to air so it creates those black marks.
A sound test is also recommended. Tap your bracelet with an object or metal. If it is real silver, you will hear vibrations or a high-pitched ring that lasts for some seconds. Deeper or duller rings are an indication of steel or copper alloys.
Proper Maintenance of Sterling Silver Bracelets
The only way to ensure that your sterling silver bracelet lasts a lifetime is taking care of it properly. Minimize damages and scratches by storing it in a cloth pouch. You can as well buy a jewelry box with several compartments. Do not expose your sterling silver bracelet to ammonia or bleaching agents. Remove it when you want to swim in chlorinated water. Such chemicals will damage your bracelet.
The build-up of silver tarnish can potentially lower the quality of your bracelet. A thin layer forms when silver reacts with hydrogen sulfide or sulfur in the air. To remove that tarnish, use polishes specifically designed for that job. You can buy such clothes, solutions, or fine silver polishes in specialty craft stores or hardware stores.
A tarnish can best be removed if it is visible. To prevent the buildup of tarnish, it is advisable that you wear your sterling silver bracelet quite often. Cleaning your bracelet on a regular basis keeps it sparkling and bright. Below are methods of cleaning your sterling silver bracelet.
- Water and soap: The gentleness of water and soap makes this an effective cleaning method. Try this cleaning method first before you go ahead to use other cleaning materials.
- Water and baking soda: Ignore those who tell you to use toothpaste. You can no longer use toothpaste because it has ingredients that can damage your bracelet. The best solution is to use water and baking soda. Apply small amounts of water and soda on a cloth and scrub your bracelet gently.
Sterling silver bracelets look awesome and can last for a lifetime. You need to be careful when buying them to ensure that you only purchase real silver. Proper maintenance will also increase the durability of your bracelet.