According to eBay, one way to find out if a sterling-silver tea set is made out of real silver is to pay attention to its coloring. Most silver is mixed with other alloys such as copper. Low-grade silver often has a slightly orange tint to it due to the high amount of copper in the metal.Know More
eBay says that all silver needs other alloys to be mixed with it to make it workable. Without the presence of copper, the silver is too soft to work with. Sterling silver needs to be at least 92.5 percent pure silver. Once it drops between 92 and 90 percent silver, it is known as coin silver. If the presence of silver drops between 89 and 80 percent, it is considered German silver. The highest amount of silver present in a piece of metal is 95.8, and this is known as Britannia silver. This type of silver is usually very soft, so it is not suitable for a tea set.
According to eBay, people can also tell if their tea sets are real silver by paying attention to tarnishing. Both copper and silver tarnish when they are exposed to the elements. However, silver has a higher resistance than copper. As a result, a tea set that is made out of sterling silver will not tarnish as quickly as one that has a high quantity of copper in it.Learn more about Precious Metals & Gems
Sterling silver turns black or tarnishes due to a chemical reaction caused by contact with sulfur or hydrogen. Some foods or everyday items containing sulfur can cause tarnishing, but even polluted air can turn sterling silver black.Full Answer >
The quality mark for sterling silver is 925; 825 refers to a grade of continental silver. By law, all silver that is marked with the grade of its purity must also contain the name or registered trademark of the company that certifies this purity.Full Answer >
One of the easiest ways to test for sterling silver is to look for the authentication stamp. The stamp is likely STER, STERLING, 92.5, STERLING 925, S/S or 925/1000.Full Answer >
Sterling silver is an alloy of metals that are not magnetic, and so it does not typically react when exposed to a magnet. Sterling silver's components may become magnetized when placed in a magnetic field but not to the same degree as a ferrous metal.Full Answer >