just yesterday I was shown a silver plated bangle stamped 925.
Thin plating over brass. The lady who showed me is a brilliant glass
maker but not a precious metal smith. She also told me of plated
chain being sold off the role it is sold as sterling.
I wish we had an assay office in Australia for imported goods it
would stop this fraud.
30 years ago a buyer of Balinese sterling jewellery was going to
take the products to England and make a fortune. I told her it was not
sterling, one look I could tell it was 800 silver or less.
The English assayers gave the whole range the sledge hammer, got to
love those guys.
She wanted to know how I knew it was not sterling. Well I work with
sterling or 18 kt everyday.
You can tell by the "look" what the metal is on the surface anyway.
I once saw an argument between a second generation goldsmith and a
jewellery re-seller over a bangle that was not fineness marked. The
re-seller said it was 18 kt, the goldsmith squeezed it and said no it
is 9 kt (aka crap). Assayed 9 kt.
When you spend years working with certain metals you get to know
what they are by the jewellers sixth sense.