How do you test for fake silver?


Quick Answer

The easiest methods used to tell real silver from fake silver are the magnet test, the ring test and the ice test. You can perform all of these tests at home without any technical knowledge, chemicals or equipment.

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How do you test for fake silver?
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Full Answer

Silver is not magnetic, so if a piece sticks to a magnet, it is definitely not silver. The best type of magnet to use for this test is a strong, rare earth magnet known as neodymium. Many other metals are also non-magnetic, so this test does not provide a guarantee that a particular piece is made of silver, but it can offer a good indication when combined with other tests.

The ring test involves striking the piece against another piece of metal. The silver piece should produce a high-pitched bell ringing sound. Typically the sounds lasts for one to two seconds.

The ice test is quick and easy to perform at home. Simply place an ice cube on top of the piece. Silver has the highest heat conductivity of any metal, so the ice should begin to melt immediately and at a much faster rate than it would normally. Place a second ice cube on a table or other surface if necessary for comparison.

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