If you are digging through your treasure trove of jewelery and collectibles to find something you can take into gold and silver buyers for cash, you will often find that silver is one of the more difficult materials to narrow down and separate from other metals. Real gold is usually pretty easy to spot. With a specific luster and a weight that is hard to miss, it is not too difficult to tell the difference between what is real and what is fake. Silver on the other hand can be a little more complicated. Here are a few easy tips to help you out.
Test Using a Strong Magnet
Silver is known to be paramagnetic, which basically mean that it is not magnetic, but only interacts with the magnetic field of the magnet itself. Therefore, a magnet should not stick to the silver completely, but may show a slight attraction. If you have found a piece of jewelry in your box or a coin in your collection that you think may be silver, touch it to a magnet and pay careful attention to what happens. See if you detect a slight interaction, which may be displayed by the tendency for the magnet to draw near but not actually hold onto the piece. If this is what you see happen, you may have real silver.
Test Using Another Piece of Silver
Anyone who works with gold and silver all of the time can tell you that precious metals have a specific sound when they are pinged together. Now this test may not give you an exact answer if you have no experience, but it is a good measure to help you figure things out along with other tests. Get a piece of jewelry or a coin that you are sure is silver and tap it against the suspected silver. Real silver will have a slightly higher-pitched ping than a lot of other metals when they clank together. A good example of this fact is when two silver coins are pinged together in comparison to two coins that have contain cadmium and nickel.
In the end, you can always take a piece of suspected silver in to a silver and gold buyer like Coins Plus to have it assessed for purity. However, it is always helpful if you can track down real silver at home before you go. Use these two tips to help you out while you sift through what you have.