How To Test Silver? (Answered)

Last Updated on March 30, 2022

It is common to find fake or replicas of antiques and other collector items like coins. This is a sad reality we have to accept; there will always be fakes out there that disrupt the entire market. Be it coins or any other item initially made from silver.

If you regularly deal with silver coins or any other valuable item, you should know how to test it. This is a skill that everyone should have, so no one can scam you by selling fake silver.


How To Test Silver?

There are different types of tests for every piece of silver. Other than coins if you are looking to test silver, mentioned below are some tests that you can use. These tests will make sure that you have your hands on original silver.

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Vinegar Test

This is one of the most common methods many use to test silver. It is a simple and easy way to test silver. Just make sure to carry it out carefully.

To start, all you need to do is scratch the item but make a tiny scratch. Then pour a slight drop of vinegar on the scratch. If the spot in the scratch changes color, then it isn’t silver.

However, never use this method on a silver coin, as you wouldn’t want to scratch it. Damaging the coin can affect its grade and the value you can get by selling it off. Using vinegar to test silver can only be used on jewelry or other silver items.

Acid Test

This is the most accurate test that you can use to test your silver. However, make sure to use safety measures such as gloves and eye protection before using the acid.

Just put a drop of acid on the silver item. If the color turns wrong, then it is a fake one. However, if the color turns right, the silver thing is original.

Magnet Test

Silver is one of the non-magnetic metals. However, some people use metal is silver items to increase their weight and match the importance of an original article. Therefore, using a magnet to test your silver item can come in handy.

If the magnet sticks to the item, use a magnet, then your silver item is fake, and you must get rid of it.

Eye Test

One of the easiest and simple ways to differentiate between real silver and fake. The shininess and appearance of silver is the main feature of it. So if the item you have doesn’t shine as silver should, it could be a fake one.

Therefore, make sure to test the silver appropriately and verify the originality.

Ping Test

When two silvers are hit against each other, they make a ping noise. After hitting two silver items, the ping noise is high-pitched and lasts a long length.

If you do that and the ping noise isn’t created, then the silver item you have in your hands could be fake.

Test For Silver Coins

It is very important to test your silver coins. Make sure to carry it out if you have some silver coins. It would help you make sure that you have original silver coins.

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Specifications Test

This is one of the simplest methods to test a silver coin. However, you need to have intense knowledge about the coin you are testing. In addition, it would require you to have a look at the coin from every side.

Many things are included in a specifications test. Date, denomination, quality, thickness, and diameter are some of them. However, the edge type of the coin also matters. So make sure to have a deep look into the coin to ensure it is a real silver coin.

Weight Test

This is the standard method many people use to tell if the coin is real silver or not quickly. But, first, make sure to be aware of the weight of the actual coin. Once you know that, it would be easier to compare and assess if you have the original one.

However, make sure to use a calibrated weighing scale. If you don’t use a calibrated weighing, the weight difference can make a lot of difference in making the decision. Therefore, always use an accurate and reliable weighing scale before carrying out this test.

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.