How to Identify Silver?

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Carcano, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,805
    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. :cool:

    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?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    72,822
    Usually there is an engraving which identifies the silver
     
  3. joepistole Ordo Ad Chao Valued Senior Member

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  4. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,805
    Oh, thats good...make it tarnish.

    However, if its silver alloyed with zinc, it will be resistant to tarnishing.

    All I've established is that it contains no iron or nickel...both of which are magnetic.
     
  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    31,557
    Why not just take it to a jewler and let them examine it for you. That way you'll see how they test so you can do it next time. ;)
     
  6. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    13,384
    Tell your neice she has good taste.
     
  7. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,805
    I think jewelers use some kind of acid test.

    Or maybe they measure the volume against mass...using the water displacement method discovered by Archimedes.
     
  8. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,805
    Yes, it looks better than the pic.
     
  9. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,805
    I'm not sure every country has rules about stamping silver.
     

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