Q:

Can you test for sterling silver with a magnet?

A:

Quick Answer

Sterling silver is an alloy of metals that are not magnetic, and so it does not typically react when exposed to a magnet. Sterling silver's components may become magnetized when placed in a magnetic field but not to the same degree as a ferrous metal.

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Full Answer

Sterling silver is a silver alloy composed of 92.5 percent silver. Fine silver, a 99.9 percent silver alloy, is too malleable for common use. Typically, copper is added to the silver to make the alloy more durable, though zinc, platinum and germanium are sometimes used instead. Additives including silicon and boron may be added to enhance the properties of the alloy.

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