There is another way to try to identify the metal content of a piece - by using an acid test - literally! We purchased a test kit with a small vial of acid. The metal will react with the acid and the color to which the liquid changes is a clue regarding metal content. We tried it on a sterling piece and it appeared to work. In the case of "92.5% silver", which is the definition of sterling, the color was a dark red.
So, if you really want to do this, you can find these acid kits on eBay. Be aware that you have to scratch the piece a bit in order to perform the test. The acid also dulls the piece and leaves a mark. You probably can polish that out. You can use this kit to try to identify:
- Pure silver
- 92.5% silver (sterling)
- 80.0% silver
- 50% silver
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