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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Acid Testing Silver - A Video

Hello, Readers! It's been a while since I posted and I apologize for that. I'll try to do better.

I ran across a video recently that talks about silver content in various types of pieces. But the thing that was really interesting was the demonstration of the use of nitric acid to test for silver content.

The video narrator is Rick Harrison, one of the stars of The Pawn Stars on the History Channel. Rick is an entertaining guy and he does a good job of explaining. You can find the video here:
It's only a couple of minutes long and is worth the time to view it.


Alan Abbott said...

From a chemical point of view, I would expect hydrochloric acid( called muriatic acid in the hardware store) to make a milky white spot with silver, not nitric acid. I have not tested this, just an educated suspicion. I did notice that his acid bottle had no label on it so how did he know which acid it was? Muriatic acid is also very corrosive.

Alan Abbott said...

Alan Abbott back again. My apologies to the guy in the pawn shop video. He is correct and my last comment was incorrect. I tested silver plate with some nitric acid (carefully, in a laboratory fume hood) and it showed up milky white just as he said it would. Moreover, the acid I suggested HCl had no effect on the silver.