so long as counterfeiters can produce fakes for less than the cost of authentic silver coins, and sol long as valet ’ mho nature is what it is, there will always be bogus coins on the marketplace. While the relatively broken price of the metallic makes argent coins less susceptible to counterfeiting than gold, fraudsters can still make a bundle by passing off imposter silver coins, minted with cheap al-qaeda metals, onto unsuspecting buyers.
so how do you tell if a coin is actual silver or a fudge silver mint ? There are several tests to which you can subject your coins. Some of them are potentially ( or decidedly ) destructive, so they shouldn ’ thymine be used with collectible coins. Some tests are elementary ; others are complicated and require limited tools. But no matter your budget, you should find at least some of the sixteen tests described below utilitarian. Some of the tests are even fun !
The ‘Ping’ Test
This most basic of tests is amazingly effective : simply drop a ( non-numismatic ) silver coin that you know to be real on a table and listen for the distinctive “ ping ” sound — this is very difficult to fake. The ping test doesn ’ t guarantee you ’ ll spotlight every fake ash grey coin, but it should be the first test to which you subject any distrust coins. associate : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.youtube.com/watch ? v=GajK6Vrh2Rs
The ping test runs the risk of inflicting “ micro-abrasions ” on coins, which is why it shouldn ’ thyroxine be used with rare eloquent coins .
The Ice Test
This is a fun test : Take two ice cubes and place them on ( 1 ) a silver mint you know to be substantial, and ( 2 ) a mint you suspect may be a talk through one’s hat. If the ice on the suspect coin melts much slower than the internal-combustion engine on the silver coin, you ’ ll know you have a fudge on your hands. silver is the most heat-conductive metallic element in universe, so ice melts identical promptly whenever it comes into contact with it. This consequence is particularly detectable when you compare how fast ice melts on eloquent versus how lento it melts on a metallic pan. But in my own tests, I was surprised to see how promptly ice melted on top of a cheap-metal challenge mint or even a mod U.S. quarter ( with no silver content ) — decidedly not equally fast as the silver medal mint, but much faster than the alloy pan. Keep this in judgment — and keep an authentic silver coin on hand for side-by-side tests. link : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.youtube.com/watch ? v=WaYh3SlRK0w
Magnetic Tests (2)
If a purportedly eloquent coin sticks to a attraction, you can guarantee that it ’ s a fake. Of course, many fakes will pass the simple magnetic test — zinc, for exemplify, is non-magnetic — but eloquent international relations and security network ’ t non-magnetic, it ’ sulfur diamagnetic : This means it is repelled by charismatic fields. Silver ’ s diamagnetism makes the magnetic-slide trial very effective at spotting fakes. In the television linked below, a man has constructed a slide made out of magnets, which he uses to slide down juke and real flatware items. The juke decrease down the slither with no resistor, while the real items slide down much more lento. connect : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.youtube.com/watch ? v=8gLB2uMAMYM It should be noted that copper and lead are besides diamagnetic ( although their diamagnetism international relations and security network ’ thyroxine ampere strong as flatware ’ second ). As the author of the video recording linked above notes, a silverplate coin with a copper congress of racial equality would likely pass the charismatic swoop test .
Visual Tests (3)
ocular tests can well spot crying fakes, particularly with the help of an authentic mint for comparison ’ s sake. The mint ’ sulfur markings, edge finishes, and easing ( i.e., the height of its images relative to the coin ’ s surface ) should close match the actual article. A jewelry maker ’ mho loupe is a great joyride for ocular inspections, but a blow up glass can suffice in a pinch. Using 10x exaggeration or greater, you should be certain to check the edges of the coin for reeding ( i.e., its grooves ). The absence of reeds about guarantees the mint is a imposter, since non-reeded authentics are rare and valuable errors. Of course, not all eyes are created ( nor cultivated and maintained ) evenly : An experience jewelry maker will be able to spot a bogus a lot more faithfully than you, and even experienced jewelers can be tricked. thus, ocular tests can eliminate fakes but they can not guarantee authenticity.
Measurement Tests (6)
veridical silver coins have accurate dimensions and a consistent weight : Any coin that is besides big or besides small, besides light or besides heavy, is obviously a imposter. You can measure the weight, thickness, diameter, and form of four different coins ( including the american Silver Eagle ) using a joyride called the Fisch. simple weight unit can be determined using any scale with accuracy to at least 0.1 grams ( scales with accuracy to two or three decimal places are preferable ). Of naturally, it ’ south far from impossible for sophisticated counterfeiters to get the dimensions and slant of their coins right, so — precisely as with ocular tests — basic measurement tests can catch some but not all fakes. But what about advanced measurement tests ? The specific gravity test is a estimable one : It involves weighing a silver coin submerged in body of water, and dividing that weight by the coin ’ s dry system of weights. The resultant role, which is the coin ’ mho particular gravity ( i.e., relative concentration compared to water ), should be very close to 10.49 ( the particular gravity of pure silver ). note that you ’ ll need to suspend the silver subaqueous using a piece of string — in order for the test to work, the silver medal can ’ thyroxine be touching any part of the water container. See the video recording linked below :
link : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.youtube.com/watch ? v=xYdSEAm-7uI Another advance quiz is the supersonic thickness screen. You ’ ll need a $ 185 supersonic thickness gauge to conduct this one, and although it ’ s highly accurate for thickly bars, it doesn ’ thymine study ampere well for coins. See the video linked below : radio link : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.youtube.com/watch ? v=_T8fdshyEek
There are two more advanced measurement tests to consider :
- XRF analysis, which uses x-ray fluorescence to detect precious metals and other content; and
- Metalytics, which involves sending electromagnetic waves through metal to confirm its composition.
XRF analyzers can cost close to $ 2,000 ( or more ), while the Sigma Metalytics valued Metals Verifier starts at $ 699. See the video of the latter linked below : liaison : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.youtube.com/watch ? v=C1BhZQ3zCEE
Destructive Tests (3)
I ’ ve saved the most good and accurate tests for last :
- The bleach test
- The acid test
- The fire-assay test
All three tests are destructive and should not be used with numismatic coins. The bleach test is very simple : You precisely expose your mint to a drop of bleach ( i.e., Clorox ). real silver tarnishes very promptly, which means it turns black when exposed to oxidizing chemicals. link : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.youtube.com/watch ? v=BNQfub7ZIfo
The acidic test requires an acid testing kit out. A ash grey coin will stay a certain color ( silver-blueish ), while imposter ash grey will turn a unlike color depending on the alloy used to counterfeit the coin. link : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.youtube.com/watch ? v=jY0bbRx3K64 Both the bleach test and the acid quiz have difficulty sniffing out silverplate coins with cheap metal cores. For these, nothing beats a fire assay — but this ultimately destructive test international relations and security network ’ t very practical. indeed, its inclusion on this tilt serves to underscore the relative undependability of the other fifteen tests.
Combine Tests for Greater Confidence
It ’ s easy for counterfeiters to pass some tests at the expense of others — but it ’ second very unmanageable to pass several of the tests with the lapp forge coin .
- Start out with the simple “ping” test.
- Conduct an ice test with a genuine silver coin, the suspected fake, and several known fakes (or non-silver coins).
- Make sure the suspected fake isn’t magnetic — and if you have a magnetic slide, subject the suspected fake to the magnetic-slide test.
- Examine the suspected fake with a jeweler’s loupe or magnifying glass, paying especially close attention to its reeds (or lack thereof).
- Weigh the coin using a scale accurate up to at least 0.1 grams — 0.01- or 0.001- gram accuracy is preferred. Use a Fisch if you have one.
If you ’ re not convinced of the coin ’ s authenticity at this point, consider using the bleaching agent or acerb tests — or investing in higher-grade ( and more expensive ) equipment. In general, people don ’ metric ton apply these tests to coins before they buy them, but entirely subsequently. For person-to-person transactions, some of the tests are allow, but many are not. For on-line deals, all of the tests are impossible — which underscores the importance of transacting with reputable dealers.
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