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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > General Discussion > Do It Yourself (DIY)
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Do It Yourself (DIY) Making and repairing of instruments, accessories, and more.

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Old 08-29-2012, 07:37 PM   #1
hooks
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Default diy test for silver

Just wondering if there is any quick test to determine if fittings are silver or some other metal.
Thanks
Dave
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: diy test for silver

Maybe a magnet?
I think nickel is magnetic and silver isn't.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: diy test for silver

Silver looks like silver. If it's solid, then there's frequently a hallmark.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: diy test for silver

The US does not require halmarks for silver produced here. Does it tarnish if you expose it to sulfur?
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: diy test for silver

Even if there's not a requirement, sterling frequently is hallmarked.

I don't know what silver reacts to, but any test like that isn't going to reveal the difference between silver and silver plate.

You can taste it too. Silver tastes like silver and nothing else does.

There's a plantation house near New Orleans that has a sculpture of Lincoln by Borglum. The owner bought the statue at auction as a bronze. When he got it home he found out it was badly tarnished silver. So even auction houses can mix things up when it comes to metals.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: diy test for silver

Yes, the OP was about silver and another metal.

So we have taste and exposure to sulfur to cause tarnish. Silver will always be whiter in appearance than nickel or other metals.
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: diy test for silver

Nickel is paramagnetic I believe. It has a "weak" magnetic attraction. Silver will instantly turn black when exposed to hydrogen sulfide.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: diy test for silver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gr8_Piper View Post
Nickel is paramagnetic I believe. It has a "weak" magnetic attraction. Silver will instantly turn black when exposed to hydrogen sulfide.
Great! I think I have some of that beside the jelly in the pantry.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: diy test for silver

I'm not sure if there's a home test you can do.

However, I had a set of pipes come in for possible purchase and the owner said they were silver. If they were I would have purchased but I had my doubts so I asked his permission to take a piece of a drone section to a jeweler. He agreed and I did. The jeweler was able to verify by an acid test that it was definitely NOT silver. To the best of my knowledge this is the only 100% sure way to tell if there are no markings.

So that would be my recommendation. Go to your local jeweler. The guy didn't charge me a dime either.

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Old 08-30-2012, 08:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: diy test for silver

Thanks for the replies people.
I think the jeweller sounds like the best bet
Cheers
Dave
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