Post by heidi52974 on Oct 27, 2011 10:32:10 GMT -6
A friend of mine gave me a huge bag of old jewelry, mostly sterling and gemstone. She refused any money for it and only requested that I make her a couple pairs of earrings out of some garnets that were in there. I told her I would probably scrap most of the metal for trade and she said that was fine. Most of the silver had a .925 stamp on it, but I need help with the rest. It was tarnished, and you can see a few spots that I polished with a polishing cloth. It doesn't stick to magnets. Is there any rule of thumb to go by when determining whether or not metal is sterling? Thanks!
Post by elemetalpieces on Oct 27, 2011 16:30:36 GMT -6
if your only intention is to scrap it and you've got some silverblack handy, you could try taking little sections/shavings (basically, a piece that is not just the surface part) and leaving it in silver black for a while.
In my experience, things that look silver and aren't either arent't affected or turn to a green copper patina mixed with grey after long exposure.
but i'm basing this on one experience...
How i learnt this:
i wouldn't recommend this method, but I recently found out a necklace a friend had given me to fix for her was *not* sterling when i knocked over a bottle of "silverblack" on my workspace....that was slightly not closed....and didn't notice for three days.
the necklace my friend had given me had looked silver at the time, but after a few days in that mess (it was a mess....the metal latch on the container I use for my silver had even rusted) i could tell it wasn't. All the real silver that had been out in my space was black. Even some things in sealed bags tarnished. the necklace chain got alot of copper-green patina on it, and the other pieces were plated with something that made them ok...