Is silver from China real or fake?
Online shopping is big business. More and more people are also buying fine silver jewellery directly from China because it’s so cheap. Except… People are led to believe it’s fine jewellery they’re buying when it’s usually nothing close to a fine silver jewel.
You probably know the kind of advertisements trying to persuade you that the pictured jewel is 100% real genuine solid silver 925. It might even be hallmarked as sterling silver. And for the price of only €2,50 it’s a real steal! But, beware, what you’re about to buy is not real sterling silver.
This fake Chinese “sterling silver” is cupronickel (a copper and nickel alloy) with up to 30% added pure silver. This alloy looks and feels like sterling silver and is about 60% cheaper to process.
In some cases the jewel is made of an iron-nickel or zinc-nickel alloy, without any silver in it whatsoever. Sometimes the jewel has then been silver-plated. When there are precious stones involved, these stones are most likely glass lookalikes of the actual precious stones used in fine jewellery. Or, even worse, plastic.
You can’t expect a €5 ring to be genuine sterling silver with genuine precious stones. Silver is of course fairly inexpensive compared to gold, but it’s still a precious metal. When the price for a jewel looks too good to be true, it very much is.