There is a lot of information on how to check silver at home. We list the methods of home testing, dividing them conditionally into three types: mechanical, with the use of chemicals and the so-called indirect methods: determination by touch or smell. Of course, not all options provide one hundred percent certainty of authenticity. However, the hallmarks of silver may not always be an absolute guarantor. Cases of fakes have been encountered since the last century.
The most accessible mechanical method is scratching. We draw a thin needle along the inside of the product: if the resulting trace does not change color, you have silver, and if the strip has turned reddish-yellow, then this is brass coated on top with a thin layer of silver. You can make a notch. The method is reliable, but requires great care to avoid damaging the product. If you're an antique lover and don't mind buying antique silver at the flea market, the needle method will work for you too.
Possessors of a subtle sense of smell, able not only to feel the nuances of smell, but also to remember them, can identify the metal by a specific smellsilver.
The easiest way is to hold a piece of silver in your hand. Being a good conductor of heat, this metal will immediately heat up.
Taking the silver thing in the palm of your hand, twist it with your fingers. The remaining trace suggests that silver is contained here in minimal quantities. If the skin of the fingers is clean, then you are holding a quality product.
You can also check the metal with ordinary chalk. It is enough to rub the product with a small pinch of chalk powder. If the chalk has darkened, then you have a piece of silver in front of you.
Silver is not attracted to a magnet. To verify the authenticity of the metal, simply bring a piece of magnet to the item being checked.
You can test silver with acids or iodine. A small drop of iodine will leave a dark spot on the metal. However, as a precaution, in this case it is better not to experiment yourself, but to turn to specialists.
Tips on how to test silver at home using simple household products can be found in various sources. Here are the most popular ones:
- Place an ice cube on the inside or outside of the item. You can use a teaspoon. Silver is a good conductor of heat. Follow the time. A silver teaspoon cools in 5-10 seconds, a silver-plated one in 30 seconds.
- Take a small amount of French mustard. Then warm it up. You can even use a lighter on fire. Place on the item. If the silver is genuine, then the mustard stainwill darken. You can remove it with vinegar.
In addition to specific methods of how to check silver at home, pay attention to the following information: if the seller emphasizes that it is nickel-plated silver (or the label contains such an inscription), then the word "silver" here is conditional. This item may contain little or no precious metal.
Varieties such as German or Indian silver appeared in the West in the 1880s. German silver is still called an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc. Copper in its physical properties is very close to silver. It is added even to pure silver in order to increase elasticity. Experts call this process alloying.
Fortunately, we live in a world of ever-increasing technology. Even knowing several ways to test silver at home will not replace testing with a special reagent, the so-called silver test, which is commercially available.