Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Silver filled sterling chain is marked?

Hello Folks,

I’m seeing listings that say .925 sterling and then later in the
descriptions say silver plated.

It was my understanding that if a piece is marked.925 or sterling
that it is to be sterling (92.5% silver).

What would a piece that was made from silver filled sterling be


That marking is misleading. I have come across silver chains being
bright silver plated to improve finish and cover variations in the
underlying sterling silver colour due to soldering etc. but haven’t
come across the double marking.



Stay away from any product that looks suspicious. I wrote an article
that highlights this scam:

“Silver filled sterling?” Never heard of it. If you see a chain
that’s marked sterling selling for .99 and the shipping is free from
China, stay away. China is by far the biggest perpetrator of
fraudulent sterling. Don’t go by eBay’s sellers’ feedbacks. The
buyer may not know they got swindled for a month, and by that time
it’s too late to leave a negative comment. And be careful, there are
plenty of sellers in this country hawking plated base metal and
calling it solid sterling.

If you’re on the fence regarding the purchase of a questionable
piece, DON’T BUY IT!

Jeff Herman


In the UK it would not be marked. Anything Silver that is 7.75g or
more has to be hallmarked. Sterling is .925

If it contains any other metal that has to show up on the marking as
well. So rolled silver, silver filled and silver plate in small
amounts would not get a hallmark. In the UK if is not hallmarked and
over 7.75g for silver you can still sell it but you must not call it
silver, Shiny white metal would be fine.


Thank you all for the several responses.

What I’m wondering is how we’ll tell the silver filled chain (sold
by Rio and others) from the sterling chain?


What I'm wondering is how we'll tell the silver filled chain (sold
by Rio and others) from the sterling chain? 

Get a finely graduated beaker from chemical supply house. Fill it
with water to a mark. Place chain in the beaker and notice increase
in volume. That is the volume of your chain. Weigh the chain on a
scale and divide volume by weight to obtain chain density. Density of
pure silver is 10.5. Density of copper is 9. So sterling should be

((925 * 10.5) + (75 * 9)) / 1000 = 10.3875 or 10.4

The methods has drawback if performed on small quantity of metal.
Care is required in reading water level and weighing. The beaker must
be of professional quality, or results cannot be trusted. However, if
done with reasonable care and on large chain, the actual number
should not deviate too much from 10.4. One way to obtain more
accurate results is to perform test several times and average out the
results. In this way, the systematic errors are reduced.

A word of caution. Some books recommend this method of gravimetric
displacement to be used in determining gemstones specific gravity
(density). Used on such small quantity as average size gemstone, such
method is unreliable.

Leonid Surpin

you will need a touchstone silver testing set. of course if everyone
did what should be done and truthfully disclosed all
metals/gemstones/treatments correctly then you would not need to
test. It is all about ETHICS.


you will need a touchstone silver testing set. 

For silver, wiith most testing, you only need the acids, not
actually Au touchstone or comparison needles. Just the type of
reaction of the metal= to the acid (nitric) and the color of the
reacting drop of acid will give y= ou the needed info. A vial of
those red, potassium dichromate (I think that= s what they are if I
recall) can be even more certain, again without an actu= al

Peter Rowe

The problem, John, is that silver-filled is, allegedly, 500 to 1000
times thicker than silver plate. Just testing the outside of a
silver-filled piece with a touchstone will yield sterling silver
results. You’d have to cut into it to find the layer of brass.
Silver-filled, sold by legitimate companies, such as Rio Grande,
contain an outer layer of silver at least 1/10th the weight of the
metal. It can be soldered, formed, stamped, textured, polished to a
high degree, even engraved.

Like gold-fill, it is an affordable alternative to solid though it
does take a bit of practice to learn how to work it. While not a
master smith’s, or even a beginner’s, metal of choice… Well… Some
of us have fewer choices than others. I’m just waiting for them to
make Argentium silver-fill.


This silver-filled material, is there a law that it be stamped as
such? What if needs repairing and your file cuts through to the base

Jeff Herman