Are you looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift? Consider sterling silver jewelry.
You might think it’s not as fancy or flashy as gold, but silver is durable, affordable and – in the hands of the right designer – quite lovely.
But how do you choose the best sterling silver jewelry? Here are a few tips to follow before you begin visiting Bucks County, PA jewelers.
1. Check silver prices
Silver is a precious metal like gold and platinum, and like those metals, its price changes from day to day.
So, before you start shopping around for Bucks County, PA jewelers, look at the current market price for silver. This way, you’ll have a baseline to work with when gauging the pieces you’re looking to buy.
And although silver doesn’t fetch the same kind of prices as gold and platinum, beware of prices that seem too good to be true. Silver jewelry that sells for surprisingly low prices might be poor quality, or it may even be inauthentic.
2. Find the right store
You have a few options when it comes to shopping for silver jewelry. You can visit a department store, find a dedicated jewelry store, or – if you’re shopping for a fan of antique jewelry – visit thrift shops or antique stores.
A department store may offer sales and special promotions, while the staff at your better Bucks County, PA jewelers will likely have more expertise. A good jeweler should be able to answer your questions about the pieces you’re considering.
3. Establish authenticity (and quality)
Sterling silver is 92.5 percent pure, and virtually any piece of sterling silver sold in the United States is marked with the numbers 925 to signify this purity level. An engraving that reads “925,” or “.925” or “92.5” will tell you whether you’re looking at real silver.
The 925 number only applies to American jewelry. Other countries use other purity markings. Antique or vintage silver from England, for example, features the symbol of a lion.
You should also be on the lookout for the term “plated.” Silver-plated jewelry is not the same thing as sterling silver jewelry, but rather a piece made from a metal such as copper or nickel and coated in silver. This coating will eventually fade.
4. Inspect their construction
Check any clasps on the pieces to make sure they’re easy to open, but still secure. Look for kinks in chains, and bends in earring posts.
If the piece you’re buying is new, it should be shiny and untarnished. When buying used jewelry, a little tarnish may not signify low quality, but rather just a sign that it needs cleaning.
5. Use care when shopping online
There are plenty of places on the internet that want to sell you silver jewelry. But use caution when taking this route. A reputable jewelry seller will also have a physical location, a detailed refund/exchange policy, and will specify each piece’s quality.
Doylestown Gold Exchange sells quality sterling silver jewelry for every special occasion.
Our team includes owner Greg Glemser, a graduate gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America and an expert in identifying quality sterling silver jewelry. Visit us today to find a piece that will make this Valentine’s Day one to remember.