Question by  Rrr (18)

What is a test I can do to find out if something is sterling silver?


Answer by  MaximillianG (116)

It may be cheaper to take your item to a jeweler to find out. There is a home liquid acid test that you can purchase but it isn't cheap and is kind of hard to find. You have to be cautious with it too because it can leave scars.


Answer by  Danielle36 (11)

My favorite way to test for silver is the mustard test. Take a drop of mustard and place it on the object and heat it in the sun or with a lighter. If the metal turns dark and almost black than the surface most likely is silver. Further tests are necessary to determine whether the whole object is sterling silver.


Answer by  cubicz (16)

I would soak it in dish soap and a little bit of vinegar a few minutes. I would rinse in cold water. Also take a towel and rub the ring til it shines. Mostly, I would use an old toothbrush to brush the ring also. The brush will remove any tarnish after you have soaked the ring.


Answer by  noey1958 (1405)

You can buy a test stone and testing acid off of the internet. You rub the item on the stone and get a good solid line and then apply the acid to the stone. Follow the instructions that come with the acid to read the result.


Answer by  Purple (948)

It is usually marked on the back. You can also use a Sterling Silver cleaner and it will shine it up good. A polishing clothe will work too


Answer by  BrianC2 (117)

Take some mayonnaise or an egg yolk and put a teeny dab in it spot that is hidden or won't show. Let it sit overnight and if it discolors or turns black it more than likely is not silver. Remove the spot a bit of baking soda and water.


Answer by  Cecilia (2828)

A common though dangerous and damaging test is to make a deep scratch in an inconspicuous location and a drop of Nitric acid is applied. White foam indicates silver.


Answer by  Jessie124 (1885)

If it really is sterling silver, it will be at least 92.5% silver. That's what the marking '925' means on jewelry. However, this can be forged. Use the heated French's Yellow Mustard test. This mustard is high in sulfur and will react to genuine silver by leaving a dark stain, which can be easily cleaned away.


Answer by  beck (1099)

Purchase a test kit for precious metals. Scratch through the surface of the metal in an inconspicuous place, then test making sure it's solid silver and not plated.


Answer by  RowdyDawg (106)

According to articles I've read you can either do the acid test or you can try a magnet test. The magnet test is not reliable. If it doesn't stick to the silver it isn't silver but if it sticks it might be silver but not pure silver.


Answer by  kate74 (273)

Sterling silver is almost ALWAYS labeled as "sterling" or "92. 5", referring to the amount of real silver in sterling silver. Real silver may have markings (called hallmarks) but sterling silver will say the word "sterling".

Reply by Flutterbye (161):
Actually the marking is usually 99. 9 and may even be 99. 5 though that is much more rare.  add a comment
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