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Topics: Metal Beads, Sterling Silver

Q.
Hi, I was wondering if there is a way to tell if a bead is sterling silver or something else. Whatever they are they are solid, nothing scratches off. Thanks
- Cheryl
A.
Most sterling silver beads will not have the .925 or sterling stamp since it is likely to detract from their decorative beauty. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is, since the precious metal market fluctuates and is set universally every week. One way to test if a bead is sterling silver, unfortunately will damage it. The process is to nick or scratch a small discreet area of the metal with a file. If the piece still looks silver and didn't reveal itself since plated with this test, then put a drop of nitric acid on the scratched spot. If the piece is sterling silver it will turn a cream color. Metals that have a high copper content such since brass or nickel silver will turn green. The best way to avoid being duped is to buy from a reputable dealer that guarantees their products.

- Michelle Wood, Jewelry-Making Expert

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