How to Tell if Silver Is Real: The Basics Explained

how to tell if silver is real

Did you know that there are more than 1.7 million metric tons of silver in the world? While that sounds like a lot, remember that silver usually has many more uses than other precious metals like gold. Silver is used in many technologies, and that usage reduces the number, thus increasing the value.

But with all the fake precious metals circulating on the market, it is important to know how to tell if silver is real. Read on to learn more about this so you don’t get scammed.   

How To Tell If Silver Is Real

The easiest way to tell if silver is real is by a close examination of the surface. One major giveaway is flaking or layering. Real silver does not flake in large amounts, compared to other metals that are used to make counterfeit silver. 

You can also look to see if silver coins or silver bars that are older are tarnished on the exterior. This is the result of oxidation on the metal and this naturally occurs with real silver. Additionally, you can check to see if a silver item has an authenticity stamp.   

What Tests Can You Perform to Check? 

If you still have suspicions after visually inspecting your silver investments, there are simple tests you can perform to check. Some of these tests include:

Ice Test

One of the simplest tests, this one is performed by placing your silver on an ice cube. Because of silver’s high thermal conductivity, the ice should melt quickly. 

Ping Test

Silver has a higher frequency than many other metals. To perform the ping test, simply slap a silver object with another metal and you should hear a high-pitched ring.

Magnet Test

Real silver is mostly a non-magnetic metal. You’ll need a strong magnet for this test to get an accurate reading. If the metal attracts the magnet, it is most likely not silver. 

Bleach Test

Another easy test that is performed with a basic household product, bringing bleach into contact with silver to test the oxidation. Silver is highly sensitive to oxidation and will tarnish quickly.

Other Tests

While the aforementioned tests are typically effective, there are others that are more exact but require specific equipment. These tests are used by professional appraisers to determine the purity of the silver. Some of these include:

  • XRF Thermo Testing Machine
  • Sigma Metalytics Machine
  • Electronic Tester

Having Silver as an Investment

Having some precious metals in your portfolio is a good investment. You can own the physical metal rather than having a piece of paper.

During times of inflation, metals like silver gain value, so they can act as an insurance policy.  

Are You Ready To Test Your Silver?

Now that you know how to tell if silver is real, what are you waiting for? It is a great investment if you can protect your assets. Luckily for you, there are basic and more complicated tests to run. 

If you’re ready to get started with your silver investing, contact us to learn more.