One of my nieces brought home a necklace she bought at a garage sale a few days ago. She paid all of five dollars for it, but as soon as I picked it up I noticed it was quite heavy. Hmm, I said, maybe this is real silver...which would make it worth 40-50 bucks just for the melt value. Wowee, she shouted...or maybe its platinum! Dont push your luck kiddo. So I got a magnet, and sure enough its not magnetic. Most junk jewelry is magnetic. I'm still not sure though. It could be sterling silver, but then it would usually have a 925 stamp on it somewhere...indicating 92.5% silver alloy with copper or zinc. Or it could be plated??? I just dont know. Is there anyway to identify real silver without destroying the piece?