Silver is not just a metal for crafting feet jewellery anymore. In today’s time, it reigns the statement jewellery segment. Besides its silvery sheen, velvety feel, it also exudes an old-world charm into the wearer’s look and considering all this, more and more designer jewels are being rolled out in silver. Not only jewellery designers are exploiting its potential to the hilt, even jewellery enthusiasts are investing in silver jewellery like never before. But how well do you know silver? Not much? Find your answer right here. Here are the five tips you need to keep in mind before buying silver jewellery.
First Things First – Purity of Silver
Just like gold, even silver jewellery and article are hallmarked by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). At the time of buying, just look for four signs – BIS logo, purity grade/fineness, hallmarking centre’s identification mark/number, and jeweller’s identification mark/number. FYI, grades 9999, 9995, and 9999 are considered fine silver, ideal for buying utensils, bars, and coins. For silver artefacts and jewellery, you can opt for any grade between 990 and 925. Note that 925 fineness silver, known as sterling silver, is considered as a standard.
Know the Content Besides Silver
But yes, copper or zinc is commonly added to silver to enhance its durability. So, do ask your jewellery about it. Also, sometimes silver jewellery is adorned with gemstones. Make sure that the jeweller has not included the weight of these gemstones in the price of silver.
Beware of German Silver
Do not confuse sterling silver with German silver. Know that sterling silver is made of pure silver and other alloys whereas German silver is copper or brass articles with silver polish.
Find out the Making Charges
If you go to your family jeweller, rest assured they will charge you reasonably. Still, instead of taking his rate at face value, do your due diligence. Compare the making charges at different jewellery stores to understand what the prevailing market rate is. This will help you negotiate better. Know that silver-making charges are fixed on a per gram basis.
Check for the Buy-Back Policy
Buy-back is not a new concept. For centuries, silver or gold jewellery is sold to buy a new one. Just that now it is more formalised and thus, there are buy-back policies in place. The idea is to sell the jewellery to the same jeweller from where it is bought for the best deal. So if the policy says, a silver article of 925 grade will fetch you the cost for 92.5 per cent of silver at the time of selling, it means the sale price is fixed while buying itself. Also, you would know the various charges that will be taken into account in calculating the sale price of your jewellery then and there only.
With that, we hope your silver purchase is always a happy experience.
(Jewelpedia feature desk, Mumbai)