Anyone have any suggestions or ideas of what the actual alloy
I can’t tell you what the alloy is, but I offer some comments. First,
how much are you willing to pay to know? Once you have figured that
out then you can define your choices: Atomic absorption
spectrophotometry, x-ray fluorescence analysis and so on.
Next, here’s a suggestion I learned from grade 12 chemistry. It’s the
borax bead test. See page d114 of the CRC handbook of chemistry and
physics. In oxidizing flame, silver is colourless, copper is green
(hot) and blue (cold), and nickel brown and red (cold). In a reducing
flame silver is grey and opaque, copper is red, and nickel is grey and
opaque. We know that sterling forms a fire scale when heated even
mildly. Any present?
Finally you could try applying Archimedes Principle.
David in Victoria, where summer has finally arrived (at least for the
next five days)