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Silver Scam Alert. Even Major Retailers Don't Realize!

I have been in the Gold and silver business for a good while and have noticed that more and more I am getting lots of fake silver coming into my store. A lot of items have even bought at stores like Macy's and JCPenney.

What I'm noticing is that a lot of the stuff that is stamped 925 or 925 CHINA is very, very, magnetic. The refiner wont take it and I am taking a loss. I have also had whole-sellers that sell to me and others in the business district I work in selling items that are not sterling silver and even they were none the wiser.

I've had to start inspecting every item very carefully. The biggest tell-tale sign is the strong magnetism from these items. I immediately do not accept anything if the magnet catches like it would a piece of iron.

The truth is that his has been happening with silver jewelry for quite sometime and its becoming even worse. Many retailers and jewelers are selling items that are not silver and they don't even realize they are doing it. It's even happened to me. My guess from the items I've been getting in my store is that about 30% of the items that are being sold as sterling silver are not sterling silver at all.

Please comment especially anyone else in this business that has noticed the same thing. This might be a good story to get out.

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I was speaking with a jewelry

I was speaking with a jewelry mfg/wholesaler a few months back about this very thing and he told me that he came across some silver jewelry findings that were stamped 925 and were out of India. He purchased them at trade show and after he got them back to his shop he examined them and discovered that they were actually a heavy silverplate with lead and other materials (incl plastic) underneath.

The one I've seen at retailers and wholesalers that seems to be more and more common is the earwires of earrings being fake silver, but because the bit of silver on the dangle is real, it's on a card labeled sterling. Um.. If the whole thing isn't sterling, it shouldn't be labeled as such. At the very least the card should have two markings to indicate the wire or post isn't sterling. E.g. sterling and hypo allergenic, sterling and nickel, etc.

I was wondering the same thing.

I was wondering the same thing. I saw things with tags from department stores marked sterling and they were magnetic. I took a heavy figaro that was magnetic and melted it. It came back sterling (92.5%) from the refiner. Most of these magnetic items are not marked China, but Italy. Normally copper (7 1/2%) is mixed in sterling silver; maybe steel was used instead. I do not know what makes these pieces magnetic.

Educate yourself and learn what you are buying and you won't get ripped off.

Some items have a metal wire

Especially rope chains. They were be magnetic and so will most clasps do to the spring. I've never really seen a figaro style that was magnetic and was silver. I wonder what his they made that one.

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    Cyril's picture

    BUMP. For it's pretty darn important for new savers

    BUMP.

    For it's pretty darn important for new savers NOT to get ripped off.

    "Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

    http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

    "To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

    My dealers

    Test almost everything that comes in. I had to double check my stack though. All clear.

    Ron brought the Liberty movement together, Rand is expanding the crap out of it! :)

    Buy a silver test kit on

    Buy a silver test kit on eBay

    I always test my jewelry on the jewelry itself however you can use a stone and do a scratch on it and test that. That way you wont mess up your fake jewelry if you like it. (note the scratch has to be thick and long)

    Pick a spot in the least conspicuous place so the mark is not so noticeable. I find this to be most reliable for me. (BUT IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU HAVE USE THE STONE)

    If you think your jewelry piece is plated, file your piece down a little to expose anything that may be under the silver. *Caution* THIS WILL LEAVE A MARK IN YOUR JEWELRY.

    Apply the red silver acid testing solution and watch for changes.

    Generally, a rule of thumb is this a bright red is .999, dark red .925, brown is .800 and a green .500 or less.

    Now you do have to bare in mind that other metals have been combined to make your silver stronger or added to make fake silver.

    I have found a large amount of copper or brass yields a more dark brown/black color in the solution.

    Less than .500 silver can yield a green to even a blue grey especially if it is mixed with a nickel silver.

    Clean your silver immediately after testing it. I rinse it heavily and then I polish it.

    I have found that silver greater than .900 cleans and polishes well.

    What do I use? Simple, I use water and a paper towel and I use MR BUFFER.

    I don't like the silver test solution

    I use 18k solution it turns a nice bright blue if its silver.

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    Then you have solved your own

    Then you have solved your own issue.. No need to sell pyrite.

    I don't really have a problem

    I'm just saying that silver is more commonly being faked now than just 1 to 2 years back. I don't test every little piece of silver that comes in especially when I'm buying 1000 grams of the stuff it would just eat my whole day. I compensated before by taking about 15% of the weight. Now I take of about 40% off The weight.

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    The implications of this

    if its as wide spread as I believe it to be is that there is a definitely a shortage of silver. Silver is actually pretty inexpensive for jewelry relative to gold so the fact that manufacturers would go out of their way to push fake silver jewelry tells me that there is price point that just doesn't make making silver jewelry profitable. It also leads me to believe that the shortage in real physical silver is much greater than what it seems.

    Imagine that even if only 5% of the worlds silver jewelry that was being sold as silver was actually nothing more than some other sort of metal. I'm sure that would drive the prices pretty significantly.

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    Cyril's picture

    To whom it may concern, re-sharing again :

    To whom it may concern, re-sharing again :

    http://www.dailypaul.com/279256/detecting-fake-silver-eagles

    I agree with the Youtuber: pretty deceptive fakes, IMO.

    "Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

    http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

    "To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

    Look out for

    You can also buy "mint-sealed" bullion. A lot of fake silver has been floating around, and it is merely silver plated bars that is in a plastic case. Most people don't want to break the seal to check the metal itself. If the plastic looks flimsy and cheap, it's likely best you don't buy it.

    Thanks for the heads up

    If it comes from the mint and its just a silver eagle I take it out to me most silver eagles have no numismatic value.

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