A friend asked me recently why her sterling silver ring was starting to look like it was ‘worn’, ie – some darker/ dull silver colour was coming through the ring underneath. Was it a fake she asked?
This ‘worn’ appearance is quite common on modern silver jewellery that’s been well loved. The reason for the ‘worn’ condition is that a lot of silver jewellery is nowadays platinum or rhodium plated. This gives the jewellery a super shiny, almost white-like appearance; a jewellery style which is very sought after in fine jewellery design at the moment.
Genuine sterling silver is a very slightly dull metal that tarnishes easily. Platinum/ rhodium is super shiny and silvery-white in colour, and it’s this ultra clean finish that we see on many silver rings today.
So if you’ve purchased some silver jewellery and are worried that a darker white colour is showing through the metal then the chances are it may simply be the platinum plating wearing off. You can easily get it re-plated at most good quality jewelers.
(note: also, solid white gold is normally platinum or rhodium plated in this way too; real white gold is a whitish-yellow colour – it’s the plating that gives it the ‘pure silver-white’ finish. White gold can be re-plated at many jewellers).