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Identifying metals


#1

Marc, I use the following methods.

(1) Get a magnet-- if your metal is attracted, there is iron or
stainless steel there (the nickel in nickel-silver is generally not
enough to be attracted in a decisive manner, at least in my
experience)

(2) Get a little bottle of Silver Testing Solution. Mine is "JSP"
brand

–can’t remember where I got it. Clean a test area, put on a tiny
drop

– if it becomes creamy-colored, the metal is silver; if it turns
green, it’s base metal (brass, copper, nickel-silver). Rinse it off
immediately, and DON’T get the testing solution on you. It’s nasty
stuff. I assume that if you tested an intact piece of gold-filled
wire, it would also remain creamy-colored, although its interior
could be another matter.

Hope this helps
Judy Bjorkman


#2

Get a magnet-- if your metal is attracted, there is iron or
stainless steel there (the nickel in nickel-silver is generally not
enough to be attracted in a decisive manner, at least in my
experience)

Be aware, though, that the cobalt platinum alloys are weakly
attracted to a magnet. With stronger magnets, the magnet will be able
to pick up chunks.

Peter


#3
     I assume that if you tested an intact piece of gold-filled
wire, it would also remain creamy-colored, although its interior
could be another matter. 

No, if you place a drop of the acid on gold filled wire, you will
get the same reaction you get on a piece of solid gold wire, since
the surface is in fact gold. A drop on the cut end however will
produce a reaction appropriate to the composition of the base metal.
It would probably fizz green, since the base metal most probably
contains copper.

Jerry in Kodiak


#4
Get a magnet-- if your metal is attracted, there is iron or
stainless steel there 

I have an anecdote. I don’t know what it means-- but it happened.

I melted some casting buttons and poured them into water to make
shot. The resulting bits looked oxidized, so I had the brilliant
idea of throwing them into the tumbler. I figured I could just pick
up the steel shot with a magnet and leave the silver. It worked, but
took for-e-ver!! Anyway, a few of the pieces of silver stuck to the
magnet! I removed any that did, but there is no apparent way the
silver could have gotten contaminated with iron or nickel or
anything else. I have no idea why this occurred.

–Noel


#5

Continue from:
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/identifying-metals

Noel, I have no idea how come you got “magnetic silver”(!) but your
quote from my post–

 Get a magnet-- if your metal is attracted, there is iron or >>
stainless steel there 

reminded me to correct it, in that stainless steel is not necessarily
magnetic. I tried my magnet on those commercial ear-wires made of
stainless (surgical) steel. They weren’t at all magnetic… I know
some folks have explained that on earlier posts.

Judy Bjorkman


#6

Dear Group,

I just returned from a week at the William Holland School where my
youngest daughter and I took classes.

I finally finished reading a week’s worth of digests and wanted to
thank those who replied to my question concerning identifying
metals.

Best wishes to all. Now I think I’ll make a donation before I put it
off again.

Marc