We are frequently asked if our Sterling Silver is solid.
This is a good question in the particular venue we are in.
The law states that Sterling is a quality mark which actually is supposed to meet a standard that 92.5 % of the product is Silver. This means that items advertised as sterling over base metal is an unlawful use of the word sterling. Other unlawful uses meant to confuse the readers would be that the product is Sterling over brass or some other metal.
Both of the examples are using a small amount of silver (if indeed any) over a larger amount of some other metal are misapplying the word Sterling.
Furthermore, many vendors advertise solid sterling but in fact their products will not meet the standard of 92.5 percent content of silver. This is known as undercarating. This is also an unlawful practice, but much harder to spot. When you see the term "Sterling Plate" or "Sterling Plated" used you will not get a product with "Sterling Silver". Long ago it was ruled out as proper terminology. A good indication that products are misrepresented are if the seller uses incorrect terminolgy in their listings.
Acid testing may not get an accurate reading although you will learn to become pretty close with expirence, fresh supplies (acid) and quality products to use as a bench mark.
We would appreciate your letting the community know that this was helpful. Just remember, these are just the simple facts, but not always well known. This is not meant to be the last word in the definition of sterling silver, but a beginning to create an understanding of the product. I will frequently add to any of my guides as time permits me to continue with any particular guide, as long as there seems to be some interest.
Good luck out there.