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Testing silver chains


#1

just started making jewelry and have some old chains how do i tell
if they are silver or not


#2

Get yourself a Troy Test kit. The test for silver is especially easy;
a tiny drop from the appropriate bottle will turn bright red on real
silver. Other bottles are used for testing gold of different carats.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#3
Get yourself a Troy Test kit. The test for silver is especially
easy; a tiny drop from the appropriate bottle will turn bright red
on real silver. 

I’ve got an old kit with a flat piece of blackish glass and bottles
of liquid. The box label says it’s a silver test kit. But it came
with
no instructions so I’ve never used it. What is the glass for? And
does the liquid turn red on sterling silver? Or only on fine silver?

Kathy Johnson


#4

Hi Kathy,

I've got an old kit with a flat piece of blackish glass and
bottles of liquid. The box label says it's a silver test kit. But
it came with no instructions so I've never used it. What is the
glass for? And does the liquid turn red on sterling silver? Or only
on fine silver? 

The Troy Test I have just contains 4 bottles and a small booklet of
paper strips that look like blotting paper.

The kit you mention sounds like a touchstone kit. I’ve never used
such a kit, but understand that the method used is to scrape a the
black ‘glass’ with the metal to be tested, so as to leave a streak of
the metal on it. You then place a tiny drop of liquid from one of the
bottles on the streak, and watch the reaction. The liquids are
various acids that react with different results on different metals.
I
understand (someone correct me if I’m wrong) that the acid for
silver is nitric acid. The acid turns a shade of red depending on the
purity. Pure and Sterling silver are very red, but the reaction gets
browner as the grade gets lower.

The Troy Test has full details.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#5
The kit you mention sounds like a touchstone kit. I've never used
such a kit, but understand that the method used is to scrape a the
black 'glass' with the metal to be tested, so as to leave a streak
of the metal on it. You then place a tiny drop of liquid from one
of the bottles on the streak, and watch the reaction. 

The traditional use of the touchstone involves having a selection of
little gold bars or needles of known alloy. One makes a streak of
the unknown gold alloy on the glass (which needs to be matte in
texture) and compares its color to the colors of streaks made by the
gold bars/needles of known alloy.

Judy Bjorkman