I thought I'd write a current guide to looking at silver goods on ebay.
We're all familiar with '925' and 'sterling silver' and we've all got used (hopefully) to the fake (doesn't even look silver) metal jewellery that actually has little silver discs with 925 stamped on them (the charm bracelets are still doing the rounds but not as prevalent), well there are still other sellers from this country who are advertising in 'fine jewellery' but way down at the bottom of their descriptions it is mentioned that the silver content is not 925 silver at all but 40% silver and 925 plated, even though the title description says 925 silver.
This is the sort of jewellery that after wearing it two or three times your finger itches or turns green and the silver eventually tarnishes terribly anyway. Turning green isn't too bad but the itch? Do you really know what is being used in them? What if you bought a ring for a child? Our skin is the second best way to take in things to our system aside from ingesting, how do you know there isn't lead in there? For example we have to be careful of non-high street soap products also.
After a while on ebay, scanning the listings you get a feel for what is authentic silver simply by looking at it. The fake silver is way too shiny, and the fake oxidization (when good silver turns a little black due to air moisture which simply requires a clean) is just too black. It's been applied in the process with full intention to fool the buyer.
I just finished looking at a seller's over 300 -ve feedback and most buyers said the same thing, that their fingers turned green. I've been bitten too in the past and can't emphasize enough to read the small print and then read it again. At least the sellers in this country currently are saying the metal composition in their descriptions way way down the page in tiny writing, the ones who list in fine jewellery and title it as 925 are a bit naughty though.
When all else fails there is some wonderful vintage real silver and you can't fail with that, you can just tell its real even if there are no hallmarks.
Hope no-one's already covered this and hope it helps people who are looking at jewellery at the moment because no matter how you try to get through to customer services to flag items, the system is set up so that if you aren't currently in a transaction with a seller you can't really complain. And the transaction complaints that people say they've made in feedback don't appear to be changing much that I can see so that these sellers abide by the hallmarking act.
So take care, take time and read previous feedback and the full descriptions.
925 and 'silver' selling descriptions currently on ebay
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23 September 2012
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