One way to increase sales is to provide education to your customers. Making sure that you and your sales team know a lot about your products can help to answer consumer questions, overcome objections, and boost sales receipts. Silver is one of those metals where there is a lot of confusion. Whether you are selling fine sterling silver products, such as photo frames and keepsake items, or holiday gifts for retail, such as sterling silver design jewelry and other trending products from a reputable sterling silver manufacturer, the more you know – the better. Knowing how to identify genuine fine sterling silver can help you and your team provide this insight to your customers. Showing them what to look for and then giving the products you sell as the example will increase the value of those items and help you to sell them better. Knowledge about proper care, storage, and cleaning is also beneficial and can be shared with customers concerned about maintaining real silver items.
How to Identify Fine Sterling Silver
There are a few ways to identify what is known in the industry as fine sterling silver products. Sterling silver is made up of 92.5 percent pure silver. It is commonly used to make jewelry and other quality gifts. The remaining portion of the material is made of copper. Quality silver pieces contain copper because it adds strength, durability, and shine to the metal, making it even more attractive. One hundred percent silver cannot be used because the metal is too soft. Pure silver items can bend, twist, and distort over time. They are easily scratched and damaged during use. The industry standard for fine sterling silver is used in the United States and around the globe. This standard is accepted everywhere and is used to create what is known as generational products, as they are worthy of keeping and handing down through the generations. Silver spoons, plates, jewelry, ornaments, pillboxes, and pocket watches are just some examples of the quality sterling silver design products commonly sold.
Five tests can be used to verify fine sterling silver products:
- The Hallmark Test – Look over the piece of jewelry or keepsake item to see if there is a hallmark, stamp, or imprint with the numbers 9-2-5. It can be written as 925, .925, 92.5, or include marks such as Sterling Silver, Ster, or Sterling. It can be challenging to find on smaller pieces of jewelry, but with a magnifying lens, you will be able to find it.
- The Magnet Test – Pure silver is non-magnetic, so it should not be drawn to a magnet. If you hold a regular magnet near or above the sterling silver design object, it should not pull to the magnet. If it does, the chances are high that the alloy used to create the piece does not contain 92.5 silver, but a higher percentage of another metal being passed off as silver.
- The Scientific Test – It should be noted that this test could damage your jewelry or product and should only be done by someone who knows what they are doing while wearing protective goggles and gloves. This method involves putting a drop of nitric acid on the item to see what happens. If a chemical reaction occurs that turns the item green, it is not made of genuine silver.
- The Weight Test – You would need a proven piece of fine sterling silver that is about the same size to compare it to, but items that are not made of fine sterling silver will usually weigh a lot more because of the difference in alloy makeup.
- The Tarnish Test – Using a light-colored or white cloth, rub the object and look for black marks to appear on the fabric. Real silver oxidizes when exposed to air, creating a tarnish layer that can be rubbed off onto a cloth. If there are no black marks, the object is likely not fine sterling silver.
Proper Maintenance and Care of Sterling Silver
Some retailers take the education portion of selling fine sterling silver products to the next level by offering information, guidance, and additional purchase options next to their silver displays for the proper maintenance and care of the item. Silver polishing products, soft cloths, storage bags, and other items can help overcome objections and alleviate concerns about taking care of what many believe to be a very high-maintenance metal. The more you can learn about how to decrease cleaning requirements, provide advice on proper storage, and help the consumer set aside those worries, the easier it will be to sell silver holiday gifts for retail.
To learn more about our full line of sterling silver design jewelry and objects, contact JT Inman Company directly. Since 1882, we have proudly served our customers as an artistic sterling silver manufacturer for retailers. Ask about our custom and white-label manufacturing opportunities when you call our sales team at 508-226-0080.