How To Test Silver With Vinegar

Last Updated on May 16, 2022

Jewelry and other accessories come in many metals, including gold, silver, bronze, and many other substances. Many people order such accessories online, and sometimes they are not the real deal. That is why it is crucial to know how to check different metals at home to know their authenticity.

So, if you have bought silver jewelry and you need to know it has silver, then you are in the right place. Here is a short guide that will help you test silver jewelry with vinegar.


How To Test Silver With Vinegar?

Testing silver with vinegar is incredibly easy. You have to make a small scratch on the accessory where it will not be visible. After that, pour a tiny drop of vinegar on this spot.

Remember that you can easily use the white vinegar you have available in your pantry. Once the vinegar is on the spot, you can just wait for a few minutes. If the spot changes color, it means that your accessory is not made from silver.

This is an easy test, and it will tell you the authenticity of your silver within minutes. You can also record this process to show the company you have bought the silver item from that it is not silver as they have stated.

2022 American Silver Eagle .999 Fine Silver with Our Certificate of Authenticity Dollar Uncirculated US Mint

What Will Vinegar Do To Silver?

Vinegar does not do much to silver, which is why you can easily use it for your silver accessories. Many people also use vinegar and aluminum foil to clean silver. This takes place because of ion exchange, which is a chemical process.

A simple salt and vinegar solution will transfer some of the silver molecules onto the aluminum foil. The solution will remove the tarnished surface and show the bright silver lurking below when this happens.

How Can You Test Silver At Home?

There are various ways you can test silver at home without paying a high cost. Here are the top ways you can test for silver at home today:

1. Look For Stamps Or Markings

The first thing you can do to understand the authenticity of your silver is to look for stamps or markings. That is because silversmiths and manufacturers use markings to indicate the date of the manufacturing or other information. Besides that, international sellers use markings such as 800, 900, or 925.

Such markings indicate how pure the silver is. For example, sterling silver typically has a mark of 925 because it has a purity of 92.5% silver or even higher.

2. Testing With Magnets

Did you know that many precious metals such as copper and gold are not magnetic? Of course, silver is also no exception to this rule, which is why you can take the magnet test. If the magnet sticks strongly to the silver material, then it is not silver.

That is because fake silver items have silver-plated items or other metals. It is an easy test that will offer you the best idea to understand if your item is silver or not.

3. The Sniffing Test

Silver is odorless, which is why when you take a sniff, you will not smell anything. On the other hand, if your item has a noticeable smell, it is most probably not silver. For example, many people smell a metallic or sulfur-type fragrance and mistake it for sterling silver when it is not.

If you have a strong smell sense, then this is the best test you can take. In a few seconds, you will get to know whether the material is silver or not.

4. Polishing The Silver

You need to polish silver from time to time because it tarnishes and oxidizes. To understand its authenticity, you can rub the tarnished silver using a soft white cloth. If there is no black residue on your cloth, it means that the item is not silver.

The polish test is a great indicator of whether the item is silver or not. That is because lack of oxidization or rust suggests that the item is made from a different material than silver.

5. Using Ice

Finally, a neat little trick you can use to understand if the item is silver or not is to take the ice test. You can take an ice cube and put it on the silver object. Remember that silver has the highest thermal conductivity as compared to any other alloy or metal.

Because of this, even at room temperature, the silver will melt ice at a rapid rate than usual. If it melts faster than normal, it is silver.

Jackie Palmer is a Houston-based coin journalist and fashion enthusiast. She joined Jewels Advisor’s content team after years of experience as a content strategist, managing blogs and social channels for local stores. Jackie mostly collects and studies US coins produced during the 20th century and over the years, published hundreds of articles for multiple coin publications.