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eBay silver from China


#1

I had bought some “silver” on ebay from a seller located in China.
To make a long story short I discovered the stuff was plated, or so
I hope.

I bought some silver testing acid from Kassoy. I followed
instructions somebody (from another forum) had given me, since the
acid did not come with any instructions.

I rubbed the suspect silver on the test stone and I dripped the acid
solution onto the silver.

The test piece proceeded to effervesce, somewhat like a alka seltzer
tablet in water.

The silver coating dissolved, turning the solution a dark gray, an d
most of the copper was exposed.

My question is, what do I have? Silver plated or silver ‘tone’? I
must have at least 2 ounces worth of this junk, if it is sterling
plated, is it worth my while to have it refined into pure sterling
silver?

Liz


#2
what do I have? Silver plated or silver 'tone'? I must have at
least 2 ounces worth of this junk, if it is sterling plated, is it
worth my while to have it refined into pure sterling silver? 

Junk sounds exactly the right description for what you have,
unfortunately. I just looked at sterling silver items on ebay,
looking out for Chinese suppliers. I found one heavy men’s “sterling
silver” ID bracelet, with a “buy it now” price of UKP 3.99 UKP (with
free postage to anywhere in the world)!!! The sterling silver to make
such a thing would probably cost ten times what they want, so a rat
is to be smelled immediately. It seems like such “cons” don’t bother
the consciences of some Chinese sellers - they see it as good
business practice according to a documentary I saw recently.
Obviously there are some honest Chinese people to do business with (I
don’t want to imply that all Chinese people are dishonest - they’re
not - but they do have a certain reputation when it comes to
business). You have to know what you’re looking at, and what it is
worth. If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is - to use
a cliche.

I would imagine that having your “junk” refined would cost you more
than the silver content is worth. Better perhaps to chalk it up to
experience and buy some fresh sterling bullion from a reputable
dealer in your country, or if you’re buying finished jewellery for
reselling, then buy the sterling jewellery from a wholesaler
locally.

Incidentally, if it’s plated, then it will be plated with fine
silver, not sterling. And there is no such thing as “pure” sterling,
as it is 92.5% fine silver and 7.5% copper (or a combination of
copper and other things such as germanium in the case of Argentium
sterling). But that’s just me nit-picking! :wink:

Helen
UK


#3

Sorry Liz, The same thing happened to me, I bought chains from
several vendors. My test was to anneal it. It immediately looked
suspicious but I pickled it anyway - again not behaving like silver.
The “silver?” coating began flaking off. I have since read about the
Chinese using cadmium in jewelry which has me a little worried. My
Chinese “925 Sterling” came from several vendors and I applied this
test to all of the chains hoping that at least one was authentic.

All were marked.925 but not a single one was silver.

I was able to return some but not all. Definitely took a loss as I
will never use these.

Cyndy Wolf


#4

Hello Cyndy,

That’s alarming news! May I ask why you went that route instead of
American made chain?

Jeff Herman
http://www.hermansilver.com


#5

Heh. I also bought some snake chains from ebay (China) with a price
that was too good to be true and they refused to melt even when using
my big torch tip. (And they were all happily marked with .925)

Good thing I only bought a small amount and had it shipped for free,
but I was suspicious in advance any way.

I’ve recently started looking more at adding gem stones to my work
and due to my rather inadequate knowledge of stones have decided to
only use North American sellers for the same reason.

Jakob


#6
Heh. I also bought some snake chains from ebay (China) with a
price that was too good to be true and they refused to melt even
when using my big torch tip. (And they were all happily marked
with .925) 

I recently got a “solid sterling silver Pandora” chain on ebay for
$1.58 (and free shipping). From China, of course.

I didn’t expect it to be high quality for that price. I just wanted
a Pandora-like chain of the right size to use for fitting when making
beads for that style of bracelet. It arrived with one of the threaded
bead locks already broken off and floating free on the chain. The
Pandora-style clasp is proudly marked “Pandora.925” but it’s an ugly
plated white metal color. I don’t think it’s ever even been near real
sterling silver.

It works for my purposes, but I’m glad I didn’t invest in a bunch of
them to resell. I’d have been stuck.

Buyer beware when buying on ebay OR from China.

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
www.featheredgems.com


#7

Has anyone reported these sellers to Ebay? If not, please contact
them to prevent these scumbags from deceiving others.

Jeff Herman
http://www.hermansilver.com


#8

Anyone in this group who has been scammed should contact MJSA
immediately. This is a powerful industry group that has influence in
Washington regarding these types of fraud issues.

Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America
57 John L. Dietsch Square
Attleboro Falls, MA 02763
401/274-3840, 800/444-6572, Fax: 401/274-0265
http://www.mjsa.org/

This is VERY serious stuff.

Jeff Herman
http://www.hermansilver.com


#9

I bought a 10K rose gold ring from China… same thing. I knew it was
a fake before I bought it because it was only 99 cents… I just
wanted a better look at the design. To an unknowing eye, it is a
passable fake. It is heavy and appears to be plated with 10K rose
gold. I have been meaning to cut it in half to see what it was made
of. I figure brass. It is heavy and looks good… so someone not
understanding they were getting ripped off would probably be happy
with it for a while… till the plating starts to wear. It is not
hallmarked. I looked over the ad carefully before I bought it to see
what their trick was… small print saying it was plated, but there
was none. It was sold as 10K gold… for 99 cents. I remember thinking
the shipping was a bit high… I figure they are making more on
shipping than the ring.


#10

I don’t buy ANYTHING from China that I can’t inspect personally
before I buy it.

And I don’t put anything in my body that’s from China - too many
documented cases of them using poisonous ingredients to make a bit
more money.


#11
Has anyone reported these sellers to Ebay? If not, please contact
them to prevent these scumbags from deceiving others. 

Thanks, Jeff - I haven’t wanted to get into this thread, but I’ve
had this nagging feeling about people getting taken and just walking
away, seemingly. They are thieves, crooks, criminals. It’s not “I
didn’t know it wasa fake.” They are designed and made to be
fraudulent, regardless of the price. File a complaint - do it every
time.


#12

its obviouslty fake just dont buy, easy


#13

I would absolutely stay away from these companies. Having these fakes
on the market will only make people apprehensive when purchasing
pieces made of solid precious metal alloy. Regardless of price, DON’T
DO IT! What’s the point?

Jeff Herman
http://www.hermansilver.com


#14

what made you to buy silver from another country? are there not
enough silver suppliers in America…“buyer beware!”…sorry for my
questioning on this topic…

Gerry!


#15

In a nutshell I filed a claim via ebay and they required me to ship
back to the seller before I could get a refund. However, my
internet went down for a week and by the time I got it back the
deadline passed and my case was close/denied. I tried to appeal, but
they denied me, saying I should report this to some online crime
devision if it’s over $100. I think it the fake silver cost me a
total of $117.

Ebay claims they got thebuyer covered and I think that’s a load of
bull.

Liz


#16
I tried to appeal, but they denied me, saying I should report this
to some online crime devision if it's over $100. I think it the
fake silver cost me a total of $117.

I only pay for Ebay purchases with a credit card. If you have an
issue, it is in the purchasers favor to initiate a charge back. I
bought Zircon from a Chinese seller and got CZ. There are people in
countries with different cultural values, and if they can rip you
off, they will. There is no moral or ethical consideration.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co. 80210


#17
And I don't put anything in my body that's from China 

How can you be so sure? Unless you are totally into health foods and
eat no processed foods how can you be sure where every ingredient
came from. Remember the pet chow that caused kidney failure in dogs
and cats because the Canadian animal food processor that manufactures
most of the pet chow sold in the US used wheat gluten from China that
had chemicals added to it to raise the protein level.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
rockymountainwonders.com


#18

Yesterday, I went to an Intergem show, and there was a vendor with
silver colored beads that had a sign that read “Chinese Silver”.
They said that they were made of 30% silver, with the balance being
copper and rhodium, nickel and lead free. They looked good in the
light in there, were well finished and the price was astoundlingly
cheap. I wouldn’t want to mix them with the beads I already have,
which are sterling. If they don’t tarnish or discolor, they’d
probably be OK for a hobbiest (I think). Silver has gotten so
expensive, that it’s created a market for such items.


#19

The term “Chinese Silver” normally means SOLID silver made in China.
The solid silver is legitimate, though, it’s anyone’s guess as to
the actual fine silver content of the alloy. I’ve restored many
antique pieces of Chinese silver that never displayed any type of
plating.

The vendor said “30% silver,” but how do we know that’s true? Lead
free? Is anyone certain but the manufacturer that there’s no cadmium
in this stuff? Keep in mind that if you purchase these new,
fraudulent items you may have customers returning them for a refund
because the plating rubbed off in a day. That savings will then
leave a bad taste in your mouth, not to mention a tarnished
reputation for selling inferior goods.

I’m honestly trying to help here. Stay away from this crap - period.

Jeff Herman
http://www.hermansilver.com


#20

There was a familiar saying a hundred years ago or so. “I’ve been
Shanghai’d.” It was way too common in that city at one time to be
scammed out of your money or valuables. It seems the culture hasn’t
changed all that much, as my sister found out from living there for
a year and a half, as all her landlords pulled the same dirty tricks
on her.

Ray Brown