Can you tell the difference between pewter and sterling silver?

Report a post

Thank you for taking time to help Etsy! Please note that you will not receive a personal response about this report. We will review this post privately...

Why are you reporting this post?

Any additional comments?

Edit Post

Edit your post below. After editing, the post will be marked as edited and the date & time of the last edit displayed.


What is this?

Admin may choose to highlight awesome community posts that are friendly, answer questions, and offer informative links.

What does it do?

Highlighted posts are placed at the top of each page in a thread for greater visibility.

This thread has been closed and archived.

Original Post

beadyize says

I've got some daisy spacers I'm taking off of a necklace I made at least a year ago. I can't tell if they are silver pewter or sterling. I've bought both kinds in the past (although I only buy sterling silver these days) but the design looks exactly the same to me.

Does anyone know how you can tell the difference? Will oxidizing them more tell me anything?

Posted at 12:51pm Jul 8, 2008 EDT


I don't think pewter will blacken in the presence of sulfur. Keeping this open for you to maybe get a jeweler to answer.

Posted at 12:54pm Jul 8, 2008 EDT

Camias says

If I'm not mistaken, won't pewter 'mark' on paper? Anyone remember this trick?

Posted at 12:55pm Jul 8, 2008 EDT

beadyize says

I just rubbed a known pewter heishi on paper and it didn't actually put down any color. Is this what you're thinking should happen with pewter?

Posted at 12:58pm Jul 8, 2008 EDT

marynewton says

You might be able to tell the difference if you polish them. Pewter will polish up but I think sterling looks shinier when polished.

Posted at 1:00pm Jul 8, 2008 EDT

Pewter doesn't take the same shine that silver will, and is *much* softer.

Posted at 1:04pm Jul 8, 2008 EDT

RockLove says

Pewter is much much softer and will only shine to a dullish grey. Silver will look bright and mirrored. Also, the inner portions of the spacers - are they dark dark black? If they are silver, then they will achieve a dark black from sulfur (oxidizing)... pewter will only get darkish matte grey.

I welcome any photos if you want to send them to me :)

Posted at 1:08pm Jul 8, 2008 EDT

Sacrifice one spacer and break it in half, you should be able to see what it looks like in the center.

Posted at 1:11pm Jul 8, 2008 EDT

dlpom says

Pewter is softer and will feel more lightweight compaired to something in sterling silver of the same size.

Also, pewter won't polish to a shiny finish like sterling silver will.

Posted at 1:16pm Jul 8, 2008 EDT

beadyize says

I didn't know where else to post a photo so I stuck it temporarily on my blog. :-|

Not sure if my photo is good enough to help or not, but thanks!

Posted at 1:18pm Jul 8, 2008 EDT