Investing a portion of your total portfolio into silver is a way to diversify and store wealth. If you come across a piece of silver and you want to verify that it is authentic, you can check your silver with these four tests:
Testing With a Magnet
The first way to test the authenticity of silver is by utilizing a magnet. It’s best if you use one that’s made from an alloy of neodymium. This type of magnet is the strongest that you can use and will give you the best results. Silver has paramagnetic characteristics, which means that it has magnetic effects that are weak. If you place a magnet against a piece of silver that you are examining and it does not stick, that’s an indication that the silver is authentic. If it does stick to your piece of silver, that indicates that there is a another type of metal inside the core. However, this test should be used with other tests to rule out the possibility of a non-magnetic core metal.
Ice Test for Silver
The thermal conductivity of silver is the highest of common metals. This means that it has the ability to conduct heat at a higher degree than other metals such as gold, copper or aluminum. To conduct this test, take a piece of ice out of the freezer and place it so that it is flat on your silver. It should start to quickly melt and create a pool of water if it’s silver. This test works best for coins and bars.
The Sound Test
For this test, you will need an item that is made from authentic silver. One of the best ways to conduct this test is by using a quarter that was minted before 1965. These coins contain 90 percent silver and produce a high-pitched ringing sound when dropped or tapped with other metals. Listen to the sound that one of these coins makes when you tap it with another metal or drop it on a table. It should have a high-pitched ring tone. Compare this with a quarter that was minted during or after the year 1965. The sound that is produced is dull and low pitched. Your test piece of silver should produce the same high-pitched ring tone when it is dropped or tapped.
Testing With Chemicals
Another way to analyze silver is by using chemicals. However, this method will slightly damage the piece of silver that you are examining. Also, it does involve the use of corrosive acid, which should be handled with care. Silver acid test kits are available online or at major jewelry stores. In an inconspicuous place, take a small metal file and create a tiny scratch for the test. Take the acid from your kit and place a small drop of it on the scratched area and analyze the results. Your kit should have a color-coded scale that will indicate the quantity of pure silver.
These four tests should help you determine if your silver is authentic. However, if you still have your doubts, you can always visit a coin or pawn shop. They should be able to validate the authenticity of silver as they work with this metal on a regular basis.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!