Does Sterling Silver Tarnish Over Time?

Sterling silver is an extremely popular type of silver, which is why it is surprising how little people know about its key properties. Many silver investors new to the game have questions like, “does sterling silver tarnish over time?” Many silver collecting noobs that recently started buying silver bullion and products might be misinformed about exactly what counts as sterling silver. Put simply: sterling silver is silver with 92.5% silver purity. The remaining 7.5% of a sterling silver product is made of other metals, although the type of metal combined with the .925 pure silver will vary, depending on the mint or manufacturer behind a given piece.

Truthfully, there’s nothing to suggest that sterling silver is objectively better than other types of silver. In fact, people buying silver coins will generally prefer their silver to have a purity significantly higher than .925. However, sterling silver’s high durability makes it the ideal alloy for use in jewelry and flatware. Because this kind of silver combines pure silver with a decent amount of other metals, sterling silver necklaces, earrings, or rings can last considerably longer than some other types of jewelry.

Tarnishing is one major concern that new silver jewelry owners have about their pieces. The discoloration that comes with tarnished items can be off-putting to look at, and it surely impacts the value of the pieces. Does sterling silver tarnish? The answer is that it absolutely does. All silver tarnishes over time, with the exception of extremely pure fine silver. But because fine silver is not generally used to craft jewelry, consumers are left contending with the reality of tarnishing in their sterling silver earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Although sterling silver does tarnish, there are many ways to prevent this tarnishing for as long as possible. And contrary to the popular belief of some silver enthusiasts, even hardcore tarnishing can often be cleaned off to return sterling silver jewelry products to their original shining beauty.

This guide will provide a clear answer to the question, “does sterling silver tarnish,” as well as a number of related questions that silver collectors often have about the precious metal and its appearance over time.

Does Sterling Silver Tarnish

Does Sterling Silver Tarnish?

Let’s start with the simple question; the answer is yes. Sterling silver tarnishes over time. To be more precise, the pure silver inside of sterling silver doesn’t tarnish. But when the metals mixed with the silver are exposed to certain chemicals or acids which the alloy is exposed to over time. This turns the once brilliant silver color of the sterling silver into a darker, almost bronzed, appearance.

But why does sterling silver tarnish? Sterling silver can start to tarnish naturally over time when exposed to chemicals in the air. When the non-silver alloys used to make the silver sterling are exposed to common chemicals in the air, they start to lose their shine and begin to tarnish. When silver sterling items are stored in areas with especially high humidity, this process becomes much faster.

Additionally, it’s best to keep your sterling silver pieces out of the reach of common household chemicals, including bleach, deodorant, perfume, hairspray, or body lotion. All of these things can help make tarnishing happen even faster.

Tarnishing isn’t pretty. When reselling old jewelry, heavy tarnish can significantly reduce the value of a piece. In the later stages of sterling silver tarnish, the brilliant reflective surface of the precious metal can be dark, almost black. This tarnishing can also rub off on the consumer, turning fingers, necks, and wrists darker.

Preventing Sterling Silver Tarnishing

If you’re worried about your precious family heirlooms being tarnished beyond recognition over time, we’ve got some good news. It is possible to prevent sterling silver tarnish quite a bit. There are several ways to prevent tarnish. The tarnishing process, as we explained above, involves a chemical reaction between the non-silver metals in sterling silver and common chemicals found in the air.

One way to prevent expensive sterling silver jewelry or silverware from tarnishing is to limit its exposure to open air. Especially in places with high humidity, it can help to store your jewelry or silverware in airtight bags or containers. Most expert silver retailers will sell jewelry cases that limit air exposure.

But even if you don’t want to go all-out on an expensive airtight container, at-home solutions are very much possible. You can even store sterling silverware in a plastic bag! To do so, be sure to push the bag down to eliminate as much air as you can before sealing it. It also helps to wrap the pieces in light tissues to further limit their exposure to the open air inside of this makeshift container.

Another easy at-home method to prevent silver from tarnishing is to keep a piece of chalk in your jewelry or silverware box. The chalk naturally sops up much of the moisture and chemicals in the air, keeping them away from your cherished sterling silver items. One or two pieces of chalk can seriously prevent tarnishing.

You can also use silica gel packets to prevent moisture in the air from getting onto silverware or sterling silver jewelry. Silica gel packets are those tiny packages you often find in packs of beef jerky or other dry snacks. Putting one or two of them in a container with your silver can help to prevent moisture in the air from causing that annoying tarnishing.

Cleaning sterling silver pieces weekly is another great way to prevent the tarnishing process for as long as possible. There are, of course, several different ways to clean silver. The method that’s right for you depends mostly on the specific type of sterling silver you have.

We recommend using a polishing rag to increase the shine of sterling silver and remove some of the pesky tarnish that has already begun to accumulate. Polishing weekly is a good preventative measure, as doing so can keep tarnish from growing on your silver pieces.

Avoid using old shirts, paper towels, or tissues to clean your silverware or jewelry. Some folks assume that these types of cloth are as good as any to clean silver and eliminate tarnish. But the ink on t-shirts can damage sterling silver, while paper towels or tissues can scratch your items.

Preventing Silver Coin Tarnishing

Most coins are made using purer silver than sterling grade. Many silver coins are struck using .999 or .9999 pure silver. These coins should not be cleaned using the same methods used to prevent tarnishing in sterling silverware or jewelry. Even coins with similar purity to sterling silver should not be cleaned using silverware solutions like baking soda or polishing, as these methods can hurt the coin’s intricate design through scratches or other blemishes.

Some bullion experts argue that silver coins should not be cleaned at all, except for in drastic circumstances. This is because a normal amount of tarnish can actually tone and improve the appearance of a silver coin’s design. But when a coin’s tarnish becomes too significant, it can clearly ruin the natural appeal of the piece.

Think very carefully before trying to ‘clean’ the natural tarnish off of a silver coin, especially an older piece. In some cases, the brilliant shine of an untarnished coin may make it look better. In many others, however, the natural toning that happens over many years actually increases the value of a coin. It brings with it a sense of history that easily factors into the coin’s value to the discerning collector.

If your silver coin has become tarnished enough to warrant a cleaning, professionally made silver coin cleaners are often the way to go. Hero Bullion actually sells an instant coin cleaner. Beware of coin cleaners that require you to rub or wipe the coin. Our coin cleaner is a dip solution, which eliminates the possibility of users scratching up their coins.

Removing Tarnish from Sterling Silver

When people ask “does sterling silver tarnish,” their next question generally concerns whether or not tarnished silver can be returned to its original shine. The good news is that tarnish on silver can be removed relatively easily at home, even when the silver in question is far along in the tarnishing process.

The most common method for removing tarnish from silver involves aluminum foil and baking soda. First, you’ll need a pot filled with water. Boil the water while placing a layer of aluminum foil in a container to the side. Place your silverware on the top of this aluminum foil.

Mix about half a cup of baking soda into the boiling water and stir before pouring the mixture into the container with the aluminum foil. Be sure that the silverware is covered by the water and baking soda solution.

Some silver collectors forget this important part of the process: polish the pieces by hand after the tarnish removal process is completed. This can help to get rid of some of the tarnish which was softened by the baking soda, water, and aluminum foil.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sterling Silver Tarnishing

You’ve got questions about the tarnishing and cleaning process of sterling silver, and we’ve got answers. This section will address some of the most common questions new silver collectors have when searching google for the question “does sterling silver tarnish?”

Q: Why does sterling silver tarnish?

A: Sterling silver tarnishes, just like all forms of silver. The silver itself tarnishes very little. But because sterling silver is made by combining 92.5% silver with 7.5% other metals, sterling silver tarnishes.

Q: What causes silver tarnishing?

A: Sterling silver is tarnished when chemicals in the air react with the chemicals in the silverware or jewelry. This is why one of the best ways to keep silver from tarnishing is to keep it away from air, particularly moist air.

Q: When does sterling silver tarnish?

A: Technically, the tarnishing process begins as soon as sterling silver is exposed to open air. But how long it takes for sterling silver to become noticeably tarnished depends on a number of factors. Without any precautions, sterling silver can tarnish in just a few weeks. But proper preventative measures can keep silver shining for many years.

Q: Does sterling silver tarnish go away over time?

A: Tarnishing is not a problem which will generally fix itself. In fact, tarnishing gets significantly worse over time. Pieces of sterling silver with just a little tarnishing might be darkened, while pieces further in the process might look completely black from the tarnish! Using preventative measures on your sterling silver items is essential.

Q: What is the best way to prevent silver tarnishing?

A: A combination of restorative and preventative strategies is recommended to care for silver in the long-term. We advise that sterling silverware owners keep a piece of chalk with their pieces and carefully wipe them regularly for the best results.

Q: Can silver coins tarnish over time?

A: Yes. Coins with a lower purity (<.999) are likely to go through the tarnishing process quicker than purer bullion pieces. However, all silver coins tarnish eventually. Many collectors avoid cleaning the tarnish off their old coins, because this tarnish can help add a sense of tone and history to the collectible.

Does Sterling Silver Tarnish

The Bottom Line: Does Sterling Silver Tarnish?

Like all silver, sterling silver does tarnish. When silverware, jewelry, or other forms of sterling silver are exposed to the air, the tarnishing process automatically begins. But there’s no need to fear! In addition to being completely natural, there are several ways to prevent or limit the effects of this process.

Storing silver in a place with very little air exposure is a great place to start. Additionally, silica gel or chalk can prevent moisture from gathering in spots where silver is being stored, further keeping the silver away from the troublesome chemicals that cause tarnishing.

While most bullion experts advise against wiping away the toning tarnish that naturally accumulates on silver coins, cleaning silverware is an essential part of caring for these items. We walked you through one popular home method of cleaning sterling silverware, which involves aluminum foil and baking soda.

Keeping silver items looking their best requires collectors to take a multifaceted approach to tarnish prevention. Although tarnishing is completely natural, regularly cleaning and appropriately storing silverware and jewelry can keep these pieces looking their shiny best.

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3 Useful Tips to Sell Scrap Silver Near Me for Top Dollar

Selling scrap bullion is a great way to make some extra cash. People all over the United States pose the common question: “how do I sell scrap silver near me?” This question has multiple facets, and we’ll address all of them in today’s guide. To start with, it’s important to understand why people are looking for places to sell scrap silver near me.

The interesting truth is that most people have some kind of junk silver in their homes. Scrap silver comes in many different forms. Sterling silver jewelry and silverware, silver coins, and even silver flatware are just a few common examples of items with pure silver in the average person’s home. Identifying the items with silver value can help you to make some extra cash.

But even when you’ve found a solid stash of junk silver around the house, the matter of finding a reputable place to sell scrap silver near me is no simple matter. Some dealers make an exceptional living by ripping off newbies in the bullion industry. It can be hard to find accurate values for your precious metals, and the average pawn shop surely isn’t likely to give you any pointers!

The best way to avoid being manipulated by silver buyers is to arm yourself with as much knowledge about the value of silver scrap as you can. Figuring out the value of silver scrap requires people to apply the most current silver spot price to their silver scrap. The silver content of scrap silver can vary from item to item, so it is important to accurately identify the amount of silver in an item before searching for a silver buyer.

This guide will walk readers through all of the steps in the scrap silver selling process. We’ll teach you how to find the value of your junk silver or scrap items, how to find the right silver buyers near you, and more.

sell scrap silver near me - coins

What is Scrap Silver?

Simply put, scrap silver is just any silver item that’s only worth the value of the silver it contains. People traditionally associate scrap silver with old jewelry. Jewelry that’s clearly seen better days and doesn’t have any kind of silvery shine anymore often counts as scrap silver. Old jewelry pieces become scrap when the jewelry itself adds no value to the item’s worth. In this case, the jewelry is only worth its value as scrap.

But silver jewelry isn’t the only kind of item that can end up as scrap. Other household silver items, including silver flatware, are frequently sold for their silver value. Sterling silverware sets that have become too tarnished for daily use are great examples of scrap silver found in the average home.

Various kinds of coins also hold value as scrap silver. Collectible coins are easy to identify, as they are often purchased by the collector with their silver content in mind. But it can be easy to forget how many non-collectible silver coins are in circulation in the United States. As a general rule of thumb, any U.S. quarter, nickel, or dime minted by the U.S. mint before 1965 will contain about 90% silver.

However, be careful when selling old silver coins for under melt or scrap price. Some coins, especially rare editions or special mints, can be worth far more than simple scrap value. We recommend that you become acquainted with key date lists for the main types of pre-1965 circulated American coins.

While many coins from this era are only worth their weight in scrap silver value, some coins may be worth quite a bit of money. Some early American coins can even fetch thousands of dollars or more!

How Much is My Scrap Silver Worth?

Determining an approximate value for a lot of scrap silver is actually quite a bit easier than some collectors initially assume. The first step in this process is to figure out how much actual silver you have. This is easiest with silver coins, so we’ll explain this process first. A silver coin minted in the U.S. before 1965 will generally contain 90% silver. This means that multiplying the weight of your pre-1965 silver coins by .9 will yield the approximate quantity of silver within them.

sell scrap silver near me

Once you have the amount of silver determined, finding the value of your junk silver just involves multiplying this number by the current spot price for silver. Silver’s spot price changes nearly every day, so it’s important to have a good grip on the current value of silver before heading off to a seasoned buyer to sell your silver scrap.

Other types of silver, such as jewelry or flatware, is just a bit more tricky. The trouble with selling non-coin bullion is that it can be difficult to figure out exactly how much silver is contained in a given item. Some silver will be marked with a number (such as 925) to represent the percentage of pure silver it contains. However, these stamps can sometimes be inaccurate, and some manufacturers might not include them on their silver pieces at all.

It might be helpful to test to see whether or not your items are really made of silver before trying to sell scrap silver near me. You can do this either by approaching a local silver distributor and requesting an appraisal or by using your own silver detector. These devices are fantastic investments, especially if you plan to frequently sell silver or silver scrap.

Valuable Silver American Coins

Like we explained above, it’s important to look through your coins to make sure they’re not extremely valuable before selling them for scrap. Certain coins minted before 1965 might be worth much more than the price they’d fetch for their scrap silver. Selling these coins for mere silver bullion price would be a huge mistake.

To start, you can quickly tell if a silver coin is 90% silver by looking at its edges. Coins minted after 1965 will have a bronzish coloration on their edges, while 90% silver strikes will look completely silver all around. You can generally just toss out all coins that don’t have this silver composition. Coins minted more recently use basically no actual silver and are worth little more than their face value.

As for identifying expensive silver coins that you shouldn’t sell as scrap silver near me, the best method is to closely watch the dates as you sift through your collection. Coins made before 1935 are the most likely to carry significant value. However, the most valuable coins from this era will be at least somewhat well maintained. Coins with excessive damage or blemishes, also known as cull coins, significantly drop in value over time.

Silver dollars are especially valuable to collectors, but most types of pre-1935 silver coins have expensive key dates. We usually recommend looking into key dates lists. Many silver bullion communities include infographics or pages that list the most expensive or valuable dates in a given series. Becoming familiar with the ‘key dates’ for your silver nickels, silver dollars, silver dimes. or silver nickels is a good way to ensure you don’t end up selling a $1,000 silver dollar for its weight in scrap silver!

Finding Places to Sell Scrap Silver Near Me

There are many different places where we can sell scrap silver near me. Local coin dealers, coin shows, and pawn shops are three very common options. The advantage to selling silver at these local places is that it comes with an extremely human touch. Looking your buyer in the eyes and negotiating directly with them is a wise way to do business.

The added advantage to working with someone local is that you might be able to “lock in” a value for your coins or other forms of scrap silver. Because the spot price of silver is constantly changing, it is possible for the value of silver to go down right before you make a large sale of scrap. Some dealers who you build a relationship with might let you “lock in” a price per troy ounce for your scrap silver, so that you make the same profit– even if the spot price per ounce changes.

Online bullion dealers are another popular modern way for people to sell scrap silver near me. This is a great option for silver collectors who live relatively far away from local silver scrap buyers. Some small mints and collectible coin/bar distributors will often offer to purchase gold and silver scrap from people.

Because these online dealers are negotiating with a larger audience than your local pawn shop, they will sometimes take a larger cut off the top of the price they pay you for your silver. This won’t always be the case, so shopping around for the best deal is always a smart move. Typically, your goal should be to find a company that offers as close to spot price as possible.

“Cash for Gold” companies are popular in 2020 as places to sell scrap silver near me. These companies prioritize convenience, advertising that people can ship a secured bag of gold or silver to the company and receive cold, hard cash in return. But sellers be warned: these companies are generally not good options for selling scrap silver near me. Companies with this business model make their profit from offering consumers far less than spot price for their gold or silver.

Whenever possible, we’d advise you to stay away from these major “Cash for Gold” companies. Either do business with major online bullion retailers, or deal directly with local pawn, coin, or bullion shops.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Sell Scrap Silver Near Me

We’ve got you covered in this section with some answers to the top questions consumers have about how to sell scrap silver near them.

Q: How much is scrap silver worth?

A: The best hope for someone selling junk silver is to get an offer relatively close to the spot price for silver. Silver’s spot price is constantly changing. If you’re able to “lock in” a price for your lot of scrap silver, this can potentially hedge against a decrease in silver value. Silver buyers will generally offer a bit less than spot price for your junk silver in order to secure some profit for themselves.

Q: Where is the best place to sell scrap silver near me?

A: We recommend starting out with your LCS (local coin store), coin forums like Silverbugs and other local coin or jewelry distributors. Dealing directly with these kinds of companies might allow you to work out a better deal than larger silver buyers might be capable of offering. Online retailers are also popular ways to sell scrap silver.

Q: What types of junk silver are valuable?

A: All junk 90% silver as well as other items with any amount of silver in it will have decent value. Even war nickels have 35% silver and are worth more than it’s counterparts minted from Nickel. The value for a given piece will depend on its silver content. Silver coins, flatware, and even sterling silver jewelry can be sold for their value in scrap silver.

Q: Are U.S. quarters made of pure silver?

A: Yes and no. Modern U.S. coins contain almost no silver content at all. But older coins minted prior to the year 1965 are always minted with 90% pure silver, making them valuable examples of junk silver. Always check your coins to make sure they don’t have additional value before selling them.

Q: Are Cash for Silver companies a scam?

A: We advise against working with most “Cash for Gold” and “Cash for Silver” companies. These major corporations profit by offering people far less than spot price for their gold or silver bullion.

The Bottom Line: How to Sell Scrap Silver Near Me

How to Sell Silver Scrap

Our biggest piece of advice is for people to know the worth of their junk silver before looking to sell it for scrap. Weighing the pieces out and multiplying this weight by the percentage of silver will yield the approximate silver content of a piece, and multiplying this number by the spot price of silver results in an estimation of its value.

There are numerous places to sell scrap silver. Local pawn brokers, coin collectors, and bullion companies are popular options that allow you to closely work with your buyer to negotiate the best possible price for your stock. Another option is to sell silver to online companies specializing in precious metals. Online dealers can also often work directly with you to determine a fair price.

Be sure to check all of your silver coins for valuables before selling them for their scrap price. All coins minted prior to 1965 by the United States Mint contain 90% silver content. But some coins, especially pristine editions minted before 1935, can be worth far more than their price in silver.

Following these tips will help you to sell scrap silver near me like a pro!

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Is Sterling Silver Hypoallergenic for Sensitive Skin?

A lot of gold and silver bullion investors also collect scrap gold and scrap sterling silver jewelry because savvy buyers can sometimes get it under melt value.  In many ways, gold or sterling silver jewelry can be the perfect gift. Whether you’re buying for yourself or for others, a quality necklace or a beautiful pair of earrings are time-honored traditions among gifters.

But nothing can ruin a pretty jewelry gift easier than an allergic reaction. Just imagine it. You’ve given the perfect set of earrings, or even a beautiful sterling silver bracelet, to your loved one. The very next day, their skin has broken out in painful, itchy hives.

Talk about a holiday mood killer, right? One of the most important questions to ask before buying sterling silver jewelry for someone with sensitive skin: is sterling silver hypoallergenic for sensitive skin?

Sterling silver, also known as 925, refers to any bullion item with 92.5 percent pure silver. The other 7.5% of the object is made out of other metals. Copper is commonly added to 925 silver, but other metals are sometimes used. Really, the type of metals used to make sterling silver jewelry comes down to the preferences of the manufacturer.

But many people wonder is sterling silver hypoallergenic? This question is about more than just semantics. When you buy a gift for someone, their comfort is obviously an important concern. The last thing anyone wants to do is buy their loved one a piece of jewelry that causes them to break out in hives, blisters, or worse.

This is no small issue. People with sensitive skin are especially at risk of developing a serious allergic reaction if they are exposed to allergenic metals. If your loved one has sensitive skin, then avoiding precious metals with allergic properties can become a very serious part of the gift-buying process.

The answer to the question “is sterling silver hypoallergenic” is: mostly. In today’s guide, we’ll break down this important question as clearly as possible. Put simply, sterling silver is hypoallergenic, but the real answer depends on exactly what kind of metal the 7.5% of the 925 silver includes.

Is Sterling Silver Hypoallergenic

What is Sterling Silver Made of?

This is the single most important question you can ask when you want to find out whether a piece of sterling silver jewelry is hypoallergenic. Sterling silver is considered an alloy. An alloy is just a product that contains two or more different kinds of metals. In the case of sterling silver, these products contain 92.5% silver and 7.5% of numerous other metals.

We know that silver itself is hypoallergenic. While some people certainly do have silver allergies, research tells us that a genuine allergy to silver is exceedingly rare. People that have asked is sterling silver hypoallergenic often know they’re allergic to silver, they often don’t understand that they’re actually just allergic to one of the other metals that are combined to make their silver jewelry.

Copper is easily the most common metal used to make sterling silver, and this is the case for several important reasons. First, copper is an exceptionally strong material. Completely pure silver is extremely fragile, meaning that it doesn’t work nearly as well in jewelry as it does in silver bars and coins from bullion dealers like Hero Bullion. Combining 92.5% silver with 7.5% of copper results in an alloy that has the appearance of silver without the fragility.

If you’re wondering is sterling silver hypoallergenic, you should also take a look at the other metals in sterling and find out if you have an allergy to copper or nickel.  There’s another reason copper is so commonly used in sterling silver items. Copper is also hypoallergenic. Like silver, allergies to copper are very rare. Allergic reactions to copper are so uncommon, in fact, that some medical inserts are made out of this metal. Copper is relatively cheap, which also helps to keep the price of sterling silver alloy jewelry as low as possible.

Is sterling silver hypoallergenic? It is when its manufacturers avoid nickel in their alloys.

Beware of Nickel Jewelry

Unlike silver and copper, nickel is a relatively common allergen. Studies find that somewhere between five and ten percent of people are allergic to nickel. Compared to other kinds of metals, people are most likely to experience a serious allergic reaction when their skin comes in contact with nickel. People who want to know “is sterling silver hypoallergenic” need to avoid all jewelry containing large amounts of nickel.

To be fair, many jewelry companies avoid adding nickel to their silver alloys for this exact reason. They know that a large percentage of the population is allergic to nickel, so they tend to keep the allergenic metal out of their jewelry pieces. However, some manufacturers don’t have the keen sense to avoid this potentially harmful metal.

Our recommendation is to look for jewelry that is completely free of nickel. Some distributors will market their jewelry as “nickel-free” for this exact reason. One important thing to remember is that deals that seem too good to be true probably are. Companies with bad reputations, or retailers selling supposedly sterling silver for prices far below what their competition offers, might be making their profit by including nickel in their jewelry.

The best sterling silver often contains a combination of primarily silver and copper. Hypoallergenic jewelry could contain several different types of precious metals, but this combination is the most common among high-quality jewelry manufacturers. Avoiding nickel and sticking with copper-silver alloys makes it far less likely that your jewelry will be the cause of an allergic reaction.

What Types of Silver Jewelry are Allergenic?

While true sterling silver composed of silver and copper is mostly hypoallergenic, some other types of silver jewelry can be highly allergenic. What’s more important is that these categories of jewelry can often appear to be high quality and hypoallergenic. It’s essential that jewelry customers understand and check their jewelry to see exactly what metals it contains.

Many cheap jewelry manufacturers will use confusing terms to hide the fact that their jewelry is produced using cheap and allergenic precious metals. A phrase like “silver-filled,” as an example, might make it seem that the jewelry is almost all silver. But the term can mean many things; some retailers sell “silver-filled” jewelry with only a thin layer of silver surrounding a combination of different cheaper metals.

“Silver plating” is another common term used to describe the same concept. Silver-plated jewelry could very easily be the cause of allergies. While the silver on the outside of the piece is a hypoallergenic metal, there could be a thicker layer of nickel below it.

But is sterling silver hypoallergenic, even when allergenic metals are hidden below a layer of purer silver? The answer depends on a few factors. If the layer of silver plating is coated to prevent it from being damaged, then this might be enough to avoid an allergic reaction. But when the user’s skin is exposed to the base metal below the silver plating,  an allergic reaction is likely.

Rhodium plating is a great way to make hypoallergenic jewelry. Even when silver is combined with nickel to make the sterling silver alloy, a fine layer of rhodium can protect the user’s skin from being exposed to the allergenic metals under the silver. Rhodium plating on sterling silver jewelry can even make the silver appear brighter and shiner, too!

Sterling Silver Versus Stainless Steel for Allergies

Many people wonder about the differences between stainless steel and sterling silver. Stainless steel is often much cheaper than sterling silver, so it’s natural to wonder what causes this radical price difference between the two. Sterling silver is quite a bit brighter and shinier than stainless steel.

Stainless steel is made by combining steel with chromium. The result is an extremely durable material with a relatively shiny appearance. The main problem with stainless steel for people with sensitive skin is that it might contain small amounts of nickel, as well as iron. Both of these metals have been known to cause allergic reactions.

For most people, stainless steel usually contains too little nickel content to cause much of a problem. But if you or a loved one has hypersensitive skin, stainless steel could potentially cause allergy symptoms when exposed to your skin. To avoid this problem, look for stainless steel advertised to contain absolutely no nickel.

There are other reasons why most people prefer silver to steel, however. Silver is often considered prettier than stainless steel, and it might retain value over time more effectively. When you check your jewelry carefully to verify that it contains no allergenic metals in its alloy, you can avoid the risk of experiencing a reaction.

How to Buy Hypoallergenic Silver Jewelry

Whether it’s for yourself or a loved one, shopping for jewelry can be a complicated process. Many companies in the jewelry industry try to hide the exact components of their alloys, because they know that the savvy consumer is looking to buy sterling silver that has no chance of irritating the skin or causing breakouts.

Etchings are a good way to verify the silver purity of a piece of jewelry. Many manufacturers will etch a number representing the purity into the object. For sterling silver, the number to look for is 925. Try checking the inside of a ring, or the clasp of a bracelet or necklace. Sometimes, sterling silver items will be marked with some abbreviation of the term, such as “ster” or “sterling.” But this is rare with jewelry and is mostly used to mark other silver objects.

Once you’re sure that you’re dealing with sterling silver instead of a different purity level, you need to figure out what metals compose the alloy. This is the biggest step in answering the question “is sterling silver hypoallergenic” before making your purchases. Ideally, the distributor of a piece of jewelry will clearly state which metals are included in the sterling silver alloy. If they don’t, ask!

It’s also helpful to filter your search for jewelry using the term “hypoallergenic” or “nickel-free.” This is especially important if you’re buying jewelry online and don’t have the advantage of directly questioning the salesperson in a shop.

Frequently Asked Questions About Is Sterling Silver Hypoallergenic

Jewelry buyers have many questions about the hypoallergenic status of sterling silver. This section will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about sterling silver and metal allergies.

Q: What types of metal are allergenic?

A: Nickel is one extremely common metal alloy known to cause allergies in people. Studies find that an astonishing 5-10% of the population has a nickel allergy. We recommend avoiding nickel when buying jewelry for others.

Q: What are the symptoms of jewelry allergic reactions?

A: Spotting a reaction to jewelry isn’t hard, especially since the effects will noticeably be localized to the point of contact between the jewelry piece and the wearer’s skin. Itchy skin, hives, swelling, and pain on the skin are clear indicators of an allergic reaction.

Q: Is copper hypoallergenic?

A: Generally, copper is hypoallergenic. This is why most manufacturers of high-quality jewelry make their sterling silver alloy by combining 7.5% copper with 92.5% pure silver. This results in a hypoallergenic piece of jewelry that keeps a beautiful shine and appearance.

Q: Is sterling silver safe for people with allergies?

A: Most sterling silver is alright for use by people with highly sensitive skin. However, jewelry that combines nickel with silver can be dangerous for people with serious nickel allergies.

The Bottom Line: Is Sterling Silver Hypoallergenic for Sensitive Skin?

Is Sterling Silver Hypoallergenic

Most sterling silver jewelry is hypoallergenic. This means that it should be fine, even for people with sensitive skin. The jewelry pieces you need to avoid are the ones that mix allergenic metals, such as nickel, with silver in order to make their alloys.

Beware of deceptive marketing of hypoallergenic silver products. Even if a distributor claims that their sterling silver jewelry is silver plated, this does not mean that it won’t cause problems for people with hypersensitive skin. Carefully read up on a silver product to be sure you know what the 7.5% is composed of.

Simply answering the question “is sterling silver hypoalergenic?” there’s a reason jewelry is known as one of the greatest high-end gifts you can buy someone. But there’s nothing that can spoil a nice gift more than a serious allergic reaction. Luckily, most sterling silver jewelry should use copper and pure silver to make its signature alloy. As long as the non-silver metal in the jewelry isn’t allergenic, sterling silver jewelry can keep yourself or your loved ones happy without putting their skin at risk!

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How To Find Trustworthy Silver Buyers Near Me

There are a number of obvious reasons why someone might want to search for “silver buyers near me” on Google. One clear-cut reason is to find honest and trustworthy bullion dealers that will offer a fair price for their silver.  For many people, the adventure of trying to liquidate and sell silver begins with finding a hidden cache of pure silver that was handed down to them or didn’t even know they had. Old silver jewelry and coins can be excellent sources of silver, and many people don’t even know what they have until they search around. 

Whatever the reason, getting a fair price when you go to sell silver coins and bars requires folks to do business with trustworthy and reputable gold and silver buyers near them. For the most part, choosing to sell silver or gold online or traveling to a coin shop and selling gold coins or bars to local vendors will follow the same general rules outlined in this guide.

Precious metals are often bought together by larger buyers; companies that purchase silver bullion will likely also be interested in gold coins, silver products, and other types of bullion. It can be difficult to find the right silver buyers near me. For most people with a sizable amount of silver to sell, the most important concern is generally how to get the highest price for their silver.

The spot price of silver can vary, and ignorant sellers can stand to lose out on quite a bit of money if they don’t work to learn before hitting the shops to liquidate their stock. Whether working with local dealers, pawn shops, or even bigger online gold and silver buyers near me, knowing the exact value of a given silver product is key to not getting ripped off. 

But there are several additional concerns for the modern silver trader who wants to make as much money from reputable dealers as possible. This guide will outline everything you need to know in order to sell silver to local coin stores or sell silver online to big bullion dealers, from the beginning of the process to the profitable end! 

The Value of Silver

The first step to sell silver or any kind of precious metal is to figure out the worth of the products. This is a pretty big question. Silver items can vary in type, quality or purity, and weight. All of these factors, along with less tangible values like collectability, contribute to the overall value of silver bullion. Getting a good approximation for the value of your silver bars, silver coins, and other products takes a bit of getting used to. 

how to find silver buyers near me

One easy way to begin is to try to estimate the silver purity of a product. Silver can be deceptive; impure silver can often shine and seem more pure than it actually is. Additionally, new silver sellers are sometimes fooled by silver coatings. A product can be made out of useless scrap metal but appear to be silver because it is covered in a thin layer of silver coating on its surface. 

The first place to look for a hint at purity is on the silver coin or silver bar itself. Even some jewelry might include markings that indicate the piece’s approximate silver content. Sterling silver, for instance, might be stamped with the word “Sterling,” “.925,” or “Ster.” Stampings might vary based on a few factors, so cross-referencing any stamps with online resources is always a wise move. Many silver and gold companies are required legally to stamp their products with a reference to their purity. 

But even this initial test can be deceptive as well. Some silver dealers or smaller mints might stamp their products in a way that reflects the silver purity of its coating, rather than the entirety of the product. 

Because of this, the only way to really ensure that you know the exact purity of your silver is to have it tested. Test kits are available online, and the prices of these kits can vary from distributor to distributor. Another option is to take silver to a pawn shop, local jeweler, or another option within your community. These shops might provide a free estimate of the silver or gold content of a particular product, although they might be more inclined to give an estimate if you become a potential seller! 

Additional indicators of value depend largely on the particular type of silver that users plan to sell. Although there are notable exceptions, the value of a silver bar mostly depends on its purity, weight, and condition. 

Pricing Silver Coins

 Silver coin sellers should learn about the coin’s place in larger collections. Popular types of rare silver coins are likely to hold value, especially compared to 90% ‘junk’ silver coins. The value of 90% silver coins based on the silver in the coins. Common US junk silver coins come in denominations of dimes, quarters, halves and silver dollars.  Most junk silver coins are made of 90% silver, however some half dollars and ike dollars are made of 40% silver.

War nickels have 35% silver because they were minted during world war 2 and the government was trying to save copper and nickel for the war effort.  Year of mintage is another important concern. Silver coins come with certain ‘key dates.’ These are dates where an extremely low number of coins were minted, where a major world event happened relating to the coin, or where a unique design was used. 

Aside from key dates, errors on silver coins are a major indicator of value. Collectors love to see coins with minting errors for several reasons. Most simply, these coins are valuable because they are rare. Let’s face it: federal mints don’t make very many errors. Finding a coin with a double-inscription, a dating error, or another imperfection can potentially make the coin extremely valuable. 

For both key dates and coin errors, the best way to begin is to research online. Countless resources are available to help collectors quickly sort through their coins to identify valuable pieces. Key dates are common knowledge among expert collectors in a given niche, and these collectors in the bullion community are almost always willing to share their information with newcomers. 

The price of silver bullion in the form of coins depends largely on these factors, among others. Because coins can vary so much, and because there are so many different kinds, price valuation is a matter of finding appropriate resources and researching extensively. 

Pricing Silver Jewelry 

Pricing jewelry can be even more difficult than pricing silver bars or coins. It can be hard to approximate the value of a set of silver earrings or a necklace, especially because of how many different factors make up the price of a piece of silver jewelry. 

Our recommendation? Consult the experts. Online forums are a great place to start. Not everyone on forums for gold and silver jewelry pricing is an expert. But this does provide an excellent place to start. Like we explained above, experts in the bullion community often love to share their knowledge with newcomers in need of information. The big advantage to looking into the opinions of the bullion community is that these folks are unlikely to have a reason to deceive you on the value of your items. 

Another option is to turn to gold and silver buyers near me. Pawn shops are one option, and some local bullion companies near you might also offer to evaluate the price of your silver or gold jewelry. Unsurprisingly, the downside to this approach is that some pawn shops or local distributors might intentionally provide a low estimate in order to make some extra profit off of your product. 

The way around these pitfalls is to shop around for estimates. A variety of sources can provide a more clear approximate value of a given piece. 

Finding the Right Silver Buyer

One way to ensure you work with the right silver buyer is to research and read reviews for the company or individual you want to do business with. Again, the bullion community is an excellent resource to help people avoid being scammed or losing money on their silver and gold items and investments. Silver bullion forums and groups will quickly develop opinions on the legitimacy and reputability of new bullion buyers. Word travels around quickly, and reading up on potential buyers is always a wise decision.

Sometimes, local coin shops will provide an unmatched level of customer service. Dealing face-to-face with a buyer is a great way for new silver sellers to get a feel for the worth of their item and the strength of an offer. This kind of interaction isn’t available with bigger online purchasers, where business is conducted over the internet and not in-person. 

Trustworthy dealers will be upfront about both their offers and the justifications of these offers. It should not be enough for a buyer to simply say how much they would be willing to pay for a piece. Asking for a more detailed price evaluation is a fantastic way to guarantee you are as informed as possible before making a decision about your silver coin or alternative precious metal product. 

The most important rule in finding a fair price for your silver? Shop around. There is no reason to commit to a single offer until you’ve received a variety of evaluations from different sources. Precious metals are often hefty expenditures, and selling gold and silver bullion coins, bars or jewelry is no less serious of a process. Accepting an insufficient offer could cost consumers thousands of dollars. Patience is the name of the game. 

Types of Silver Buyers Near Me

When searching for silver buyers near me, you’ll get results in all shapes in sizes. To start with, consumers should determine whether they want to sell silver locally or on the internet. Internet options, including eBay, Amazon, online distributors, and countless other sites, may provide the greatest degree of control over the selling process. On listing-based sites like eBay, sellers can post their products with an asking price, as well as a description and relevant photos. 

But self-listing silver items can take quite a bit of time. The research that happens before posting the products should be extensive. There’s really no back-and-forth happening on the value of a silver piece of jewelry, coin, or bar when it’s listed by the seller. It can also take a bit longer, because sellers must wait for buyers to approach them to initiate the deal. 

If you choose to sell silver directly to online dealers and distributors or selling your silver locally provides its own benefits and obstacles. For one thing, these methods are likely to speed things up quite a bit. Selling silver to someone who already wants to buy silver takes some of the waiting out of the equation. Experienced sellers might also immediately come up with an educated and fair offer. 

When it comes to where to sell silver, there are no right answers; it always depends on your situation and needs. The only thing guaranteed is that silver bullion sellers should research and read reviews, complaints, and testimonials for anyone they sell to, online or otherwise. 

Frequently Asked Questions

This section will start to answer some of the most commonly asked questions bullion collectors searching for silver buyers near me. 

Q: How should silver be appraised? 

A: This depends on the type of silver being sold, as well as its purity, among other factors. Silver bullion coins, for example, are valued based on their purity, dates, and potential imperfections. The best way to get an estimate for the value of your silver is to consult as many sources as possible. 

Q: Which silver buyers near me are Honest? 

A: The best way to figure out the trustworthiness or fairness of a silver purchaser is to consult reviews and complaints online. Word gets around when unfair silver buyers near me will give lowball offers or scam new silver collectors. 

Q: What is junk silver? 

A: Junk silver is a term generally used to describe silver coins that derive their value mainly from the silver content. 40% silver and 90% Junk silver Coins are considered “junk silver” if they are common dates, and either in cull or fair condition. Cull coins have been heavily circulated in the economy and include substantial blemishes or marks. 

Q: What is silver spot price? 

A: The spot price for a bullion item is the estimated value that the commodity has. Spot prices apply to silver of various grades. While the spot price of silver can be used to assess the value of the silver itself within a product, some silver products, such as coins, can have increased value unaccounted for by the spot price of the precious metal. 

The Bottom Line: Selling Silver

Finding the right buyer for your silver jewelry coins and bars is essential. Our biggest piece of advice is to research a variety of sources at every stage of the product. When trying to figure out the spot price of silver, the value of your piece, and the reputability of potential silver buyers near me, getting the opinions of other experts in the industry is absolutely essential. 

Silver can be sold in several ways. If you sell your silver jewelry or bullion by listing them yourself on sites like eBay and Amazon may guarantee a fair price, it can take longer to sell and require more research. On the opposite side of things, selling silver locally to established silver buyers near me can speed and simplify things, but could potentially result in a sub-par deal. 

As with many processes in the precious metal sector, selling silver jewelry or coins to trustworthy silver buyers near me can sometimes involve a little research.

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