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Testing silver


#1

Without a test kit is there a way to test silver? How can I tell if
the customer has brought me silver or a silver colored base metal. It
just doesn’t feel like silver to me, but the customer thinks it is.
While we’re at it, how can I tell the difference between Sterling and
Argentium?

Thanks.
Dick Stromberg


#2

Argentium is a Sterling Silver. Any silver alloy with 925/1000 or
greater is Sterling.

John


#3
Argentium is a Sterling Silver. Any silver alloy with 925/1000 or
greater is Sterling. 

Not strictly true. In UK, the Hallmark grades for silver are
925/1000 (marked as 925) for Sterling silver and 958.4/1000 (marked
as 958) for Britannia silver. Britannia silver is slightly softer than
Sterling, but has a higher melting point (between 50 and 85 degrees
C), making it more suitable for enamelling.

There are various standards that are, or have been, in use
worldwide:

980 (common standard used in Mexico ca.1930 - 1945)

958 (equivalent to Britannia silver)

950 (equivalent to French 1st Standard)

925 (equivalent to Sterling silver)

900 (equivalent to Coin silver in the USA, also known as one nine
fine)

835 (a standard predominantly used in Germany after 1884)

833 (common standard used in continental silver especially among the
Dutch, Swedish, and Germans)

830 (common standard used in older Scandinavian silver)

800 (minimum standard for silver in Germany after 1884; Egyptian
silver; Canadian silver circulating coinage)

750 (uncommon silver standard found in older German, Swiss and
Austro-Hungarian silver)

Regards, Gary Wooding


#4

sorry, i did not clarify, i was speaking only for usa

john