3 ways to determine if silver is real

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by CATO, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    1) The Ring Test
    Silver has a nice ringing sound when it is tapped. If it is a coin, you can flick it into the air. Alternatively, you can gently tap it with another coin. In both instances, you should hear a high-pitched bell-type ring that lasts about 1-2 seconds. A fun way to try this is with a U.S. quarter from the years 1932-1964, which is 90% silver, and with a modern U.S. quarter (post 1965), which is 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel. The silver quarter ring will be much higher-pitched compared to the dull ring of the copper quarter. Be careful when doing this with whatever coin you are testing so as not to ding or damage it.

    2) The Ice Test
    In addition to having the highest electrical conductivity of any element, silver also has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. If you place an ice cube on a silver coin or bar, the ice will begin to melt immediately. Obviously, ice will melt if placed on anything at room temperature, for example, but if placed on silver it will melt much more quickly and impressively. Try it!

    3) The Magnet Test
    Silver is not magnetic. If you place a strong, rare-earth magnet called a Neodymium magnet on a silver coin or bar, it should not easily stick to it. If you are testing bars, you can angle one at 45 degrees and let the magnet slide down. It should slide down very slowly. If it sticks or it slides very quickly, it is not silver. However, keep in mind that just because the magnet does not stick does not necessarily mean that it is silver.

    These three tests are not absolutely determinative, but they are quick ways to help you gauge the purity of your “silver” if you do not have a digital scale readily available or do not want use silver acid testing. Of course, they are especially useful if you have a piece of silver you know is pure and you are using it against a not sure pure “silver” coin or bar that has a highly imitative look and feel of silver.
    NotSoSneaky likes this.
  2. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    I always keep silver coins in my pocket to compare the ring test. I also have a ND magnet. Small pocket sized one stuck to my keychain.

    ...I don't usually carry ice though... just sayin.
  3. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    I learn something new every time I check in here. [coo]
  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Three more field tests for Silver:
    1)A drop of french's yellow mustard, on a silver coin will leave a black stain when heated by sun or flame. This mustard is high in sulfur which will ALWAYS react with silver when heat is present.
    2) hold a match to a silver coin and light it with another match, again you will have a black stain on a silver coin.
    3) a piece of tissue paper laid over a silver coin, and with a strong light (flashlight) it will reflect much more than any non-silver metal. held side by side, the silver coin is obvious.

    Black stains (Silver Sulfide) from these tests will not wipe off, but do not damage the metal in any way, and can be cleaned off with vinegar. :cool:
    NotSoSneaky likes this.
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