What is the difference between sterling silver and silverplated?

- Aug 27, 2018-

Sterling silver items contain a minimum of 92.5% pure silver. Silver-plated items are made of a lesser quality metal and then covered with a thin layer of silver, making them less valuable than objects made of sterling silver. Sterling silver will last for a long time if cared for properly, whereas silver-plating generally does not last longer than 20 years. Fluorescent x-rays are used by those in the jewelry industry to distinguish between sterling silver and silver-plated items. A scratch test can also be used, but runs the risk of damaging the item being examined.