One sure way to lose in the world of silver investing is to buy counterfeit silver. And, the types of counterfeit silver that you may encounter can differ significantly, including counterfeit silver that is truly silver, but more on that later.
There are a few ways you can test for counterfeit silver at home with simple items that you may have at your disposal. While these methods to detect counterfeit silver will vary in ease and accuracy, they are probably sufficient to either confirm or deny that what you are testing is either counterfeit silver, or at least requires further testing to be confirmed as counterfeit silver.
One Way To Test For Counterfeit Silver: Chemicals
Quick chemical reactions can denote real silver. Silver is very reactive and it corrodes easily. Because silver is so reactive, there are items in the usual everyday household that will quickly react with real silver. One of those readily available chemicals is chlorine bleach.
To perform this test you will need only a drop or two of bleach, and the silver item to be tested. WARNING: This Test Will Cause Permanent Cosmetic Damage To The Silver Coin Or Silver Bar You Are Testing. If you are okay with perhaps causing a permanent mark on your piece of silver in order to rule out the possibility that you may be holding counterfeit silver, then this test may prove worthwhile.
Carefully place a drop of undiluted chlorine bleach on an inconspicuous part of the silver coin or silver bar you wish to test. In just a matter of seconds, the area in contact with the bleach will turn dark and discolored. If there is no change in coloration, you may have encountered counterfeit silver. More testing will be necessary to confirm the presence of counterfeit silver.
Also very important to note here, is that the bleach test will not determine the presence of silver plating counterfeits. A silver plated counterfeit has a thin coating of real silver on the exposed surfaces of the coin, and these surfaces will test like real silver, because the outer layer is real silver and not counterfeit silver.
If you suspect a coin or bar of being silver plated, the only low tech solution to testing for this is to try to scrape away the outer layering to expose any metallic shenanigans going on inside of the counterfeit silver bar or counterfeit silver coin. This, of course, will also leave a permanent mark on the silver you are testing.
Another Way To Detect Counterfeit Silver: Magnets
Silver is not magnetic. Therefore, silver will not be attracted to a magnet. Oftentimes, when silver counterfeiters try to counterfeit silver, they mix metals together. The metals they mix together must form an alloy that looks and acts similar to silver.
Unfortunately perhaps for these creators of counterfeit silver, the most common inexpensive silver-like alloys contain metals that are magnetic. Therefore these counterfeit silver alloys tend to have some magnetic qualities to them that are easy to feel, especially with a strong magnet.
Find the strongest magnet you have in the house. Perhaps a refrigerator magnet or a hobby magnet or even the magnet on a stereo speaker if available. Stereo speaker magnets are often very very strong. Take caution to make sure the speaker is disconnected from any electrical source. Place the silver coin or silver bar in question directly on the magnet. There should be no attraction.
If the silver in question clings to the magnet, you have encountered counterfeit silver. If there is a slight magnetic attraction, more testing is necessary, but this could be an indication that counterfeit silver has been detected.
Another Way To Test For Counterfeit Silver: Ice
Everyday common household ice can help you test for counterfeit silver. In this case, the water composition or purity of the ice really has nothing to do with the test, any ice will do. This test for counterfeit silver has to do with the physical properties of silver itself.
Silver is an excellent conductor of both heat and electricity, in fact silver conducts heat and electricity far better than metals that cost much more and much less. For this reason, real silver will transfer its heat to ice quicker than a non silver metal, and the ice will melt rapidly.
Place an ice cube on the silver item to be tested. At the same time, place an identical ice cube on a piece of silver known to be pure and authentic. For best results, both silver items should be of like kind; that is, if you are testing a one ounce coin, use a known one ounce silver coin to test the suspected counterfeit silver coin against, if you are testing a ten ounce silver bar, then use a known authentic ten ounce silver bar in the comparison.
Also, the silver items should be at the same temperature, and the ice cubes should of course be the same temperature. Once you place the ice cubes onto the silver, the ice should melt at the same pace. If one ice cube melts much faster than the other, the silver item that won’t melt ice is either counterfeit silver, or impure silver.
Buy From A Reputable Dealer To Avoid Counterfeit Silver
If you are concerned about buying counterfeit silver by mistake, or on someone else’s purpose, perhaps the best and easiest thing to do is buy from a reputable dealer that guarantees the purchases of it’s clients for authenticity.
An ITM Trading Professional Discusses Reasons To Buy From An Established And Reputable Precious Metals Trading Firm.
Please do your due diligence before you buy gold and silver. Please consider ITM Trading. ITM Trading has been selling precious metals for 20 years and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.