You might have noticed that gorgeous, sparkling silver ring at the store with a huge “diamond” in the center. Well, the truth is, it actually isn’t purely silver and it might not even be a big, fat diamond at all. Most jewelry is made of 925 Sterling Silver and CZ (Cubic Zirconia), which both cut on cost in terms of material without sacrificing beauty! 925 Sterling Silver that has been infused with CZ Stone is quite common in the jewelry industry.
What is 925 Sterling Silver?
925 Sterling Silver is made of 92.5% percent silver. Why isn’t it made of “pure” 100% silver, you ask? First, pure silver is actually made of only 99.9% silver. Silver in its purest state is actually very soft and malleable, which makes it extremely difficult to form into usable objects such as jewelry. A harder substance should be introduced to the mixture. Sterling Silver consists of 92.5% silver, while the rest is made of other compounds like zinc, germanium, and platinum. Most commonly, copper is used to improve many properties of the Sterling alloy alloy. These alloys not only make the silver more durable, they also enhance its beauty and make it less prone to damage.
What is CZ (Cubic Zirconia)?
To set the record straight, cubic zirconia is not a fake diamond! Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is a less-expensive alternative to diamonds, even if it has similar properties as a diamond. CZ is synthetic, meaning it’s only created in laboratories. Many people have criticized CZ, calling it a diamond imitation, but CZ is actually stunning in its own ways. When placed side-by-side, it would actually be very difficult to tell the difference between CZ and real diamonds. On average, Cubic Zirconia would cost merely a tenth of what diamonds would cost.
How do they make 925 Silver Jewelry that has Cubic Zirconia?
It’s very popular to see CZ being incorporated into many jewelry pieces, especially with necklaces. With all of the advancements in technology, cutting jewelry shapes has never been this quick and convenient. So, how do they create 925 Sterling Silver with CZ incorporated into the design? Keep reading if you want to know this magical skill…
1. The jewelry manufacturer will pour a proper ratio of 925 sterling silver and a chosen alloy into a stainless steel mould. Most manufacturers choose copper to give the silver less malleability.
2. When the silver has cooled and hardened, workers send the hardened silver bar into rollers. These rollers apply around 3300 pounds of pressure, gradually flattening the silver bar. This results in a much thinner and longer silver bar. It can even grow from 10 inches to 4 yards!
3. The long silver strip passes through a series of forming rollers. This turns the strip into a hollow tube, which is then sealed with a solder.
4. The tube goes through another series of mechanisms that can help reduce the tube diameter. A winding machine is ready to curve the silver bar into shapes that are ideal for necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
5. The jeweler attaches the appropriate latch and hooks using a high-grade solder.
6. Using a soldering machine, Cubic Zirconia studs are either locked in between frame pieces or embedded directly onto the jewelry’s surface.
7. Once the jewelry piece has been completed, it is placed inside a rotating barrel filled with abrasive powder. This smooths rough spots and rounds its edges.
8. With a cloth wheel, the silver is buffed until it has a mirror-like finish.
How can you tell if it’s real 925 Sterling Silver?
If 925 Sterling Silver was cheap, then finding out that you actually have a fake one wouldn’t hurt so much. But, 925 Sterling Silver is far from budget-friendly. Whether you have a 925 sterling silver necklace or ring, it always pays to be updated about fake 925 Sterling Silver jewelry. There have been instances where jewelers have sold fake 925 silver including earrings, necklaces and rings because fake sterling silver is quite common in the market. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can identify real 925 silver from fake silver.
1. Rub soft, white cloth over your jewelry - if you find any black markings on the cloth, then you have real 925 Sterling Silver.
2. Smell it - real 925 Sterling Silver would not have a foul smell. If it does smell odd, that’s because too much copper has been infused with it.
3. Try the “Magnet Test” - authentic silver, gold and platinum shouldn’t be affected by magnets. If your jewelry sticks to the magnet, then you clearly have a fake in your hands.