Looking to buy or sell 925 silver? Don’t rush into the process.
Because real silver is worth a lot of money, there’s no shortage of fakes, scammers, and low-ballers out there.
To help you understand how much 925 silver is worth, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to determine its value and authenticity.
Make sure to read until the end, or you’ll miss crucial tips on ways to get cash for your sterling silver and how to spot fakes.
Let’s get started!
What is 925 sterling silver?
925 sterling silver is a popular metal for jewelry making, especially in the US.
This is because it’s an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper.
This means that it has the same properties as pure silver but it’s more durable and affordable.
Is 925 silver real silver? Yes, 925 silver is considered real silver with 92.5% pure silver content.
Is 925 sterling silver high-quality silver?
Yes, 925 sterling silver is high quality and a favorite among jewelry makers.
It’s the most common type of silver used for making jewelry (at least in the US) and it’s great for all types of jewelry designs, including rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and even watches.
How much money is 925 silver worth?
The price of sterling silver fluctuates daily, just like the price of gold, platinum, and other precious metals.
There are several factors that determine the value of sterling silver:
- The spot price or current market price of silver
- The weight of the item
- Condition of the piece
- Any additional elements in the piece, such as gemstones or diamonds
- Where you sell it (a pawn shop will give you less than a jeweler)
- Purity of the metal
The most common DIY method for determining how much your sterling silver is worth is to multiply the spot price by 0.925 (the purity).
For example, if silver is trading at $20/ounce, 925 sterling would be worth $18.71/ounce ($20 x 0.925).
Thus, if a piece held 10 ounces of silver, it would be worth $187.10.
For a more precise calculation, use an online silver price calculator to know real-time silver prices.
Sterling silver price vs. scrap sterling silver price
Sterling silver items can fluctuate in value depending on their condition, but they’re worth much more than scrap silver.
Sterling silver that has been damaged beyond repair may be considered scrap sterling silver. Items that fall under this category include:
- Broken jewelry
- Stained flatware
- Damaged candlesticks
- Tarnished picture frames
The price of scrap sterling silver is about 5x less than the price of pure silver.
This is because it takes work to extract the silver and additional work to refine it into a usable form.
Similar to 925 silver, how much you can sell scrap silver for depends on current prices and who’s buying it.
What’s the difference between pure silver and sterling silver?
If someone is trying to sell you a “pure silver” piece of jewelry, take that as a red flag.
That’s because pure silver and sterling silver have different compositions, and savvy buyers/sellers know the impact of that difference on both price and value.
Pure silver, aka fine silver, is the purest form of this precious metal and contains 99.9% silver.
Since it has higher silver content, it’s worth more than all other types of silver.
However, pure silver is extremely soft and easily bent, so it cannot be used to make jewelry.
It needs to be combined with other metals to make it harder and more durable. When other metals are added to pure silver, the resulting alloy is sterling silver.
American Gem Society (AGS) notes that these metals give the silver enhanced durability and resistance to tarnishing while still allowing the material to be worked into various shapes and designs.
The Advantages of 925 or Sterling Silver
Sterling silver is one of the most affordable types of silver jewelry. It’s also versatile and has a beautiful, pure white luster.
However, there are other benefits beyond its looks:
Sterling silver is hypoallergenic, which means it’s a great choice for people with sensitive skin.
It doesn’t contain nickel, so it’s less likely to cause rashes, allergies, or discoloration.
Sterling silver is one of the strongest and most durable precious metals on the market.
Sterling silver has a hardness rating of 2.5–3 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, thanks to including metals like copper.
Easy to care for
Unlike other precious metals, sterling silver is easy to maintain and only requires occasional polishing.
Many people prefer its natural coloration as opposed to other metals that must be returned to their original polish every so often.
Even when tarnished, sterling still looks beautiful with its warm patina that’s darker than its initial shine.
All sterling silver tarnishes over time. However, sterling silver is less likely to tarnish than other types of silver because it contains copper.
Copper slows down oxidation (the process that causes tarnish).
The Disadvantages of 925 or Sterling Silver
While silver is beautiful, it does have some downsides:
Prone to Scratching
One of the biggest disadvantages of sterling silver is that it’s relatively soft even in alloy form.
This makes it prone to scratching and tarnishing. If you wear your jewelry daily, this can be a problem.
Another disadvantage of sterling silver is that some people are allergic to copper, which is often part of its composition.
If you’re not sure whether you’re allergic to copper, try wearing a piece of sterling silver jewelry for a few hours or days.
If your skin turns green or becomes irritated, you may be allergic to the material.
Sterling silver oxidizes when exposed to air, water, or other chemicals.
This means the metal tarnishes over time and eventually becomes dull or discolored, if not cleaned periodically.
How Do You Know 925 Silver Is Real or Not?
Not all silver jewelry is created equal—some pieces are made of purer silver while others are made of lower-grade silver that may be combined with cheaper metals.
So how can you tell if your silver jewelry is genuine?
Here are some tips on how to identify real silver from fake ones:
Check for the stamp on the piece
All items made with silver are stamped with a hallmark or maker’s mark to indicate the purity of the silver.
The most common markings are “925” or “.925” which indicates that the item is 92.5% pure silver or “sterling.”
Another common marking is “sterling” or “ster.” If you don’t see any stamps, ask about them ASAP.
See if it makes a ringing sound
Silver rings should produce a high-pitched bell sound when tapped against another hard object like glass, porcelain, or metal.
This ringing sound is known as a bell test and it occurs when two pieces of metal collide at high speed.
If it makes a thud sound, it has a higher likelihood that it’s counterfeit.
Check how hard the silver is
Silver is soft and malleable and can be easily scratched or dented by hard objects.
So if your silver piece bears small dents or easily gets scratched, it’s a good sign that your item is real silver.
Check how it smells
A genuine silver product will have no smell whatsoever.
A fake one, on the other hand, might give off a metallic or sulfuric fragrance.
So, if you want to find out whether your item is real or not, it’s a good idea to start with this quick and simple test.
You can also try rubbing a piece of tissue or cloth against the silver product and sniffing it to find out if it smells of anything unusual.
Bring it to a jeweler for appraisal
Bringing the piece of silver to a jeweler for an appraisal is the most accurate way to determine whether it’s real silver or not.
They’ll use proven methods such as X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) testing, the acid test, and an electronic metal analyzer to determine purity and value.
Don’t know any jewelers in your area?
You also contact the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for a list of appraisers in your location.
Common Ways to Sell Silver for Cash
Silver is a good investment, but it’s a volatile one. The price of silver changes quickly, and that makes it difficult to predict when to buy or sell.
If you’re looking to cash in on your silver, here are a few ways you can do it:
Sell Your Silver Online
Online marketplaces like eBay are a good option for beginners because they handle all the listing, payment, and shipping details for you.
It’s easy to create an eBay listing, but selling on the marketplace does come with a few disadvantages. For instance, eBay charges between 10% and 15% of your sale price as a fee for using its services.
Double-check the fine print so you can get the most money for your 925 silver.
Look for Local Buyers
You can also find local buyers by searching online with terms like “sell my silver” and place names near you.
The best local buyers will offer the highest prices. However, they might only purchase in bulk or certain types of silver items.
Auction Off Your Silver
If you want to get top dollar for your silver, an auction is one way to go.
But unless your silver is extremely valuable already, it’s not likely worth paying high auction fees. You can find cheaper auction sites online to start out.
Find a Private Buyer
If you have friends or family who are into silver or collectibles, they may be willing to buy your silver items from you.
Check with them first to see if they’re interested in buying what you have to sell.
Craft fairs and flea markets are also great places to find private buyers for your silver items.
These venues allow you to meet face-to-face with buyers and negotiate prices for your items.
How much do pawn shops pay for sterling silver?
Can you pawn 925 silver? Yes, pawnshops will buy 925 silver items like jewelry and watches.
Pawnshops are one of the easiest places to sell silver, but they’ll offer less money than more specialized buyers.
If selling your silver quickly is more important than getting the most money for it, this could be a practical option.
When you bring your silver in, the pawnshop will weigh it and examine it and then make an offer based on its weight and purity level.
They will often pay 50% to 70% of the spot price of silver or lower. This isn’t a hard rule, but a good baseline.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much money can you get for a 925 silver ring?
This also depends on other factors. Some rings are more valuable than others, based on their design and style.
If you’re looking to sell your 925 silver ring, your best bet is to shop it around to different pawn shops to find out which location will offer you the most money.
How much is a 925 silver necklace worth?
The value of your 925 silver necklace depends on its purity and other factors.
For example, gemstones or other precious metals part of the design can increase its value. Your necklace could also be worth less than the current market value due to defects or damages.
How much is a 925 silver bracelet?
The answer to this question varies widely. A 925 silver bracelet can cost from $10 to over $1000, depending on the size and quality of the piece.
We hope you found this guide useful, and that you learned more about your 925 sterling silver items along the way.
Try not to rush into selling your sterling silver. Getting the most cash for your item is a matter of studying the market, researching your options, and comparing which one is the best for you.