Author Topic: is silver wire REAL silver?  (Read 2156 times)

Offline livinitup0

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is silver wire REAL silver?
« on: November 30, 2012, 03:11:55 PM »
I have a decent length of "silver" wire that was used for some craft projects several years ago. They were originally wrapped around some wine glasses and a few platters as decorations.... im not sure if the wire is pure silver...Anyone know how I can find out?

Ive read about the yellow mustard test... but havent tried it yet. Anyone else have experience with this?

Offline Rob_Cleveland

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Re: is silver wire REAL silver?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 02:05:18 AM »
Saw a link that might be helpful...
I am pretty sure if you coil the wire into a coin sized piece of silver you could easily perform the "Ice Test"

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: is silver wire REAL silver?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 07:56:59 AM »
If you take it to any jewelry store that buys scrap gold and silver can easily test it for you.  All the stores I worked at would do it at no charge.  I do recommend stopping buy when they are not busy.  Feb 12 to 14th is a bad time to go too a jewelry store....

Offline Crazy Fox

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Re: is silver wire REAL silver?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 08:09:30 AM »
According to my crafty girlfriend, wire for jewelry crafts can be one of the following:

Stirling: This is ~92% silver alloyed with other metals to achieve desirable mechanical properties.

Plated: This has a thin silver plating on a cheap base metal like steel.

Silver Filled: This is a very thick (~50% of the wire thickness) coating on a cheap base metal.

I agree with PorcupineKate, see if a jewelry shop can test it for you. If they can't, or if you live out in the sticks, here is what I suggest:

  • Use a magnet to determine if the wire has iron in it.
  • Like Rob_Cleveland said, try the ice test.
  • To be really sure, get ahold of a volt meter, sand the ends of the wire and use resistance measurements to calculate the resistivity of the metal. Compare this to the listed value  for silver