Jewellery made from precious metals is always one of the best gifts for your loved ones. Whether it is a ring from Tiffany and Co or an expensive watch by Armani, precious metals like Gold, Silver, and Platinum play a significant part in their value.
However, the catch is that more than often, fake precious metals are used in the construction of these valuable items. In fact, many times, you will never even know that the metal is impure. Scary, right?
Well, we have for you some of the top tests that you can perform to check the purity of the precious metal you just bought. Read on.
Check the weight
Precious metals, specifically Platinum, have a considerably higher weight than other metals like mercury. You can check the weight before purchasing to ensure authenticity.
Yes, hallmarks are a great way to identify whether or not the jewellery or precious metal is pure. Hallmarks indicate that the piece has been checked to meet the basic requirements for the contents of a precious metal.
You will find the hallmark on the inner side of the ring or very near the bracelet’s clasp region. The hallmarks for major precious metals are listed below for your reference:
- Gold – 24-karat golf or 24K or 24kt hallmark is pure gold, whereas 22K means 90% plus gold
- Silver – at least 92.5% will be the benchmark for sterling or solid silver
- Platinum – 95% plus content is required for it to be declared as a precious metal
Touchstone and acid tests
The touchstone test is amongst the oldest methods of testing precious metals. It verifies the identity and the purity of these metals.
In this method, the metal is rubbed against a touchstone. This touchstone consists of rubbings of another substance coated with Aqua Regia, a mixture of several acids. The colour change of the rubbing and the dissolution indicates the purity compared to the reference sample.
Touchstone checks are accurate to 15 parts over a thousand. Other alternate tests will be stronger and more reliable in comparison with the touchstone. The only benefit is that it is very cheap to perform and is non-destructive.
The Ping test
This testing method for precious metals is also referred to as a ping test or the ear test. If you are a bullion owner, you must know that real precious metals/coinage will also produce a loud chiming noise if it is struck against metal.
On the contrary, regular metals like iron will make a duller sound. In case you have a precious metal coin that you want to check, this is the perfect way to do so. Strike the coin against some other coin and hear the noise.
Thereafter, compare the noise to a regular metal coin to see the difference and analyse. Some of you might not have a base metal coin, so various mobile applications can be used to simulate the sound of both precious and regular metals.
Precious metals are costly and must, at all costs, be pure. If you’re investing a huge amount of money, it should be worth it. Use these tests to check the authenticity and purity of your jewellery. You can also take help from a professional who will readily check the metal purity for you.
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