It is really difficult to distinguish silver from platinum, since they do have similar characteristics; they’re both valuable and popular metals, and both of them also have a gray hue. Of course, for someone who is an expert in jewelry, differentiating the two metals is easy as the alphabet—but not everyone is an expert.
Knowing the difference between the two metals is essential for jewelry dealers since platinum is more expensive than silver, in fact; platinum is even more expensive than gold. Some people might use the similarities of silver and platinum to have an unfair deal. There are ways on how you can distinguish silver from platinum. These methods below are more of a general overview of the distinctiveness of the two metals.
1. Check for the distinct trademark of the jewelry
For the safety of buyers, the federal law requires jewelry makers to embed their trademark to their jewelry pieces. Check your silver jewelry if it has the markings of any of the following: .925/925, SS, Ster, Sterling, and Sterling Silver. These mentioned markings are among the top silver brands, so in a way, you will know that your piece is silver and that it’s made by an authentic and well-known jewelry brand.
Authentic platinum also has its own markings from recognized and respected platinum makers. Look for markings like: 10% IRID 90% PLAT, 900 PLAT, 950 PLAT, 880, Plat, and Pt.
If you noticed that your piece doesn’t have any of the markings—don’t panic—you can still check the authenticity of your jewelry by getting it appraised by a trusted and professional jewelry appraiser or refiner. After all, there are other markings/brands aside from the list above.
2. Platinum is Brighter than Silver
Although platinum and silver share the same gray hue, intense observation will show that platinum has a brighter or whiter look than silver. Furthermore, silver loses its color and shine due to oxidation but can be retained through cleaning and silver polishing. Meanwhile, platinum requires little or no jewelry maintenance but still can exhibit luster and color.
3. Get Your Piece Appraised
Just to be sure if your piece is silver or platinum and if it’s really genuine, take your jewelry pieces to a jewelry expert or appraiser. Not only can they tell if it’s legit, they can also tell you the worth of the piece.