Peruvian silver jewelry, the 950 silver, have you heard about? Let's talk about it. You see it everywhere around Peru, but how trust-able this mark is? I mean, how can I know I m not buying some aluminium? "Si, senor, es plata 950", vendor tells you. You do as you understand, but the truth is, you have no idea what he is speaking about, you only heard about sterling silver. Do you recognize yourself in this situation? No, worry, you are not the only one. It also happened to me, in the very early beginning.
You see this jewel, so shiny, so amazing, you wear it...and you get the surprise: you sunbath and ops...your jewel suddenly becomes yellowish or even worse, black.
Well, let me tell you, when this happens, 99% of cases, that means that piece is not 950 silver. Real Peruvian silver is the same color as the tears of the moon.
950 silver is 950 pieces of silver out of 1000.
Sterling silver is 925 pieces of silver out of 1000.
Alpaca silver is 850 pieces of silver out of 1000.
Are you getting it? 950 silver is basically the purer than sterling that is purer than alpaca silver.
Now, how can you know which is which? Is the 950 sign the proof? My dear, we are in Peru, things work differently down here. Let's put it this way: an real Peruvian jeweler is able to recognize 950 silver immediately, whether it has the sign or not. In the same way he can recognize a lower silver with the misleading sign. Yes, sadly, it can happen, specially in tourist areas, you got it right.
So what can you do to be sure on what you are getting? Well, you can do a course on metals and jewelry at GIA or you find a jeweler that you really have a good feeling about and trust your good intuition.
One important thing: good quality jewelers know what they are doing and know the value of their work. A good quality jeweler, one that puts heart and soul in its work, knows its value and does not sell in a discount. When possible the jeweler likes to look deep into your eyes, in order to see the story of your soul and give, or even better make, that one piece you need to enhance the journey of your unique one soul. Yes, because a jewel is a piece you will pass on through generations, right?