All That Shines is Not Silver – Tests to Identify Fake Silver


It is possible and very easy to fake anything and everything these days. Counterfeiters just have one motive; to earn money by selling sub-standard items and charging the same rate as that of an original from the customer.

When it comes to making counterfeits, the counterfeiters are always more attracted to make the replicas of expensive items because it fetches them more profits. A very popular item is Silver.

Luckily, Silver is quite a unique element and the fake ones have very little resemblance to the real ones and with numerous tests to identify fake Silver, it is very easy to spot fake Silver.

The best way to avoid buying fake Silver is by purchasing it from a certified dealer or a jeweller. The worst thing one can do is by buying Silver from auction sites. Buying from reputed dealers will assure that the Silver you have bought is legitimate.

Through this blog, we bring out some easy methods to spot fake Silver:

To spot fake Silver, the first tools are your eyes and experience. So Before testing with those corrosive chemicals, observe it carefully and you can surely see some signs of falseness if your Silver is not real.

1. Stamp: A lot of countries require pure Silver to be officially stamped. This stamp includes details of the Silver and is more prominent on bars. As it is not compulsory for all the countries, so your Silver might still be real if not stamped.

2. Magnifying Glass: If you take a closer look at the stamp using a magnifying glass, you may find International Silver Ratings. A three-digit number might also be present indicating purity.

3. Imperfect Coins: A fake coin is very easy to spot as it has poor lustre and poor quality. If the coin is old, it may show signs of rust or wear-off which is uncommon with real Silver.

4. Mint Marks: Many counterfeiters will not include mint marks or will create poor copies of legitimate mint marks. These are very easy to spot.

How to test for fake Silver
There are few popular tests known worldwide to test fake Silver. As these steps are easy to conduct, require few materials, people have started carrying out these making it difficult for counterfeiters to sell fake Silver.

1. Ice Test: This is a very easy step to identify fake Silver. As Silver has amazing conductive properties, you can test this conductivity by place some ice on the Silver and then place another piece of ice a few inches away from it. If the Silver is real, the ice on the Silver should begin to melt immediately, as the Silver will have retained heat from your hand. The ice next to it will start melting slowly.

2. Neodymium Magnets: These are common magnets used to test Silver and can be bought at fairly cheaply prices and in different sizes. Silver is para-magnetic and has very weak magnetic properties. If your magnet sticks strongly to the piece, it has a ferromagnetic core and is not real Silver.

This test may not reveal true results, as there are a few other metals that do not stick to a magnet and can be made to look like Silver. It is always better to perform the magnetic test with another test to make sure the core is not another metal.

You can also try the sliding test. If you are testing Silver bars, there is another way by which you can test if your Silver is real or fake. Make a 45-degree angle with your Silver bar. Slide the magnet down it. If the Silver is real, the magnet will slide slowly down the face of the bar. This may seem absurd, but as Silver is paramagnetic and the rare earth magnet induces electric currents in the Silver which act as an electromagnet. It creates a braking effect that slows the descent of the magnet.

3. Sound Test: Pure Silver will always emit a ringing sound when it is tapped like a bell whereas the cheaper metals will emit just a dull thud. To check for Silver purity, tap the piece with something metallic and listen to the sound it produces. If you drop it onto a flat surface, it should produce the same ringing sound.

4. Bleach Test: Real Silver loses lustre very quickly, whereas many of the metals commonly used in fake Silver will not. To test purity, place a drop of bleach on the piece of Silver and observe. If the reaction is immediate and the piece begins to tarnish and turns black, it is real Silver. Silver plated items will also pass this test.

All these tests are easy to perform at home, and do not require any special equipment. Besides, you can also get some chemical tests done from outside to check if the Silver you have purchased is real or not.