One of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether silverware is indeed pure silver is to scrutinize it for marks that state, “925,” “Sterling,” “Sterling Silver,” or “925/1000. Each of these symbols indicates that the silverware you have on hand is pure silver.
Another easy test to perform on an item to determine whether it’s silver or not is to hold a magnet to it. Any silver item will not attract interest – only items with high amounts of steel and other types of metal will be magnetic. Polishing the thing gently with a cloth will also help determine its silver content – a genuine silver item will leave a black residue on the fabric, while other metals will not.