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Four Tips Spotting the Authentic Silver Bracelets From Imitations

Silver bracelets are one of the most affordable pieces of jewelry you can buy. Amazingly enough, this precious metal is still "imitated" especially when you buy them online. When you buy them from the store though, it's pretty easy to spot authentic silver bracelets from imitation ones.

Below are four tips on how you to purchase, high quality bracelets made from silver.

   1. Buy them from reputable jewelry stores. Although silver jewelry sold on the streets or from smaller stalls seem cheaper (after all the dealers do pay for less overhead charges), it's not advisable for you to purchase jewelry from these places unless you're an expert in spotting authentic precious metals. Big stores with big names to protect will never sell you fake jewelry. While you may have to pay a little extra for the brand, if you're unsure about how real silver is supposed to look like, you should purchase them only from reputable stores.

2. Look for the markings. Jewelry made from sterling silver is either handcrafted or machine-made. Either way, authentic silver bracelets will always have the markings "S.S" (for sterling silver), and the grade of the silver, engraved on a plate near the lock. Aside from buying them from reputable stores, you should also look for these markings when you're buying silver jewelry. Ideally, the marked grade for the bracelet you're buying is 92.5. Any lower than that and your silver jewelry will tarnish easily. A higher grade of silver, on the other hand, will not be suitable for everyday use. Although a higher grade of silver is more precious, this will also be softer and will be less resistant to scratched and dents. If you want a reasonably "hardy" but white silver jewelry, always look for the numbers 92.5 on the lock.

3. Watch out for imperfections As in any other piece of jewelry, you should always watch out for dents, scratches, and other imperfections. Remember, you're not just paying for the weight and the grade of your silver bracelets. You're also paying for the craftsmanship that the jeweler put into making the bracelet. Always look at the weave of your chain. Although this seems a little over the top, a single dent on the chain can affect the lifespan of your bracelet. If it already has a crack or a dent the moment you bought it, it's bound to break more easily. Another thing that most consumers fail to look at when they buy silver necklaces or bracelets is the lock. The lock should be easy enough to handle, but it shouldn't be too frail that it will snap the minute your bracelet snags on your dress. Make sure that the lock of your bracelet is sturdy enough to handle little accidents that may happen along the way.

4. Look at the quality of the gemstones set on your bracelet. Aside from the weight and the design of your silver bracelet, another factor that can affect its value is the value of the gemstones embedded on it. Look at the authenticity of these stones. It's close to impossible to expect a precious stone like a diamond embedded on your bangle, but semi-precious ones have value too. Look at them closely and determine if they're just colored glass or authentic gems.

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