How To Tell The Difference Between Real And Fake Silver

Silver is one of the world’s most precious metals and something that many people choose to invest in. Maybe you want to add it to your retirement account using a resource that won’t decline in value. However, how can you be sure that the metal coin or bar is genuine? Here are four tried and tested ways to differentiate fake silver from the real article.

Look For Hallmarks of Authenticity

When you first receive a piece of metal that looks like silver, take a good look at it. Many precious metals will be stamped with authenticity hallmarks, making it pretty easy to tell if you’ve got your hands on the real deal. Be sure to research these hallmarks beforehand so that you know what you’re looking for.

These hallmarks are specifically made to be as hard to copy as possible. For that reason, fake silver won’t contain them. If they do, they’ll be so badly done as to be an obvious fraud. Silver bars and coins are always made with hallmarks so check them over for these before you do anything else.

Apply Ice

Amateurs can never be 100% sure if they’ve got real or fake silver. That’s why it helps to do as many tests as possible to raise your confidence levels. After checking for hallmarks, one of the simplest options is to do a simple ice test.

Since silver is one of the most thermally conductive metals out there, it will melt ice quickly. Put an ice cube on the metal and see what happens. If it takes a long time to melt, then you’ve probably got a low-quality metal. The faster it melts, the more likely it is that you’re dealing with genuine silver.

Polish the Metal

The next test you can try to find out whether your silver is real or fake is to give it a good polish. Silver, unlike lower-quality metals, requires plenty of polishing to keep it shiny. Silver is a metal that oxidizes and tarnishes. Use a white cloth to polish it. If it’s real, you’ll notice a black residue building up on your cloth.

Oxidation is what causes silver to turn black. Any black marks are a good sign and represent authenticity. Conversely, rust is only seen on iron. If there are signs of rusting as your polish your metal object, then it likely contains more iron than silver.

Use a Magnet

If you deal in precious metals, then you should always carry a magnet. One of the biggest differences between low-value and precious metals is the level of magnetism.

Silver – along with gold and copper – has a very low level of magnetism, meaning that it won’t stick strongly to a magnet. If your object can easily be picked up by a magnet, then it’s undoubtedly fake silver.

With these four methods, you’ll have a good idea of whether you’re dealing with fake silver or something authentic. Use all of them to be sure that you’re spending your money on a genuinely precious metal.