How to test if it may be silver?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Joy Matherne, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Joy Matherne

    Joy Matherne I'll never quit!!!

    Was wondering if someone knows a test that can be done at home to see if a coin is silver?
     
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  3. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

  4. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    The tissue test will help you tell if the coin's surface is silver. It won't say anything about whether it's solid or silver-plated.
     
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  5. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

    What a party pooper :depressed:

    The majority of coins will test correctly. If the OP found a silver looking post 1964 Quarter then there are other ways to figure that out.
     
  6. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Sorry, I've been troubleshooting code all day, I'm in full nit-picking mode. :rolleyes:

    I don't find myself reaching for the tissue-paper test that often, but that's because I don't deal with a lot of unfamiliar coin types (and I've got a scale). The few times that I've tried it, it's seemed pretty effective. In particular, I've seen some really glossy stuff plated with other metals that looked silver, but failed the tissue test miserably.
     
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  7. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    @Joy Matherne what coin do you have that you believe may be silver?
     
  8. rte

    rte Well-Known Member

    I use a neodymium magnet and a metal detector with a good meter.
    You could research the coin and use a scale and calipers.
    20170324_194619.jpg
     
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  9. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    True.

    Also true, but then neither will anything else, that is a non-destructive test. Weight, even a specific gravity test will not prove the coin has the correct silver composition as both weight and composition can be faked with the proper alloys.

    As for the magnet and meter - ehhh, I dunno. Probably work most of the time, but I suspect it could probably be beat too. But like I said, I dunno.

    Joy - about 95% of the time, the tissue test will tell you what you need to know.
     
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  10. Joy Matherne

    Joy Matherne I'll never quit!!!

    I did the tissue test and it shows to be silver, however I'm gonna get it tested before I post
     
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  11. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

    We might be able to help you right away. Just show us.
     
  12. Joy Matherne

    Joy Matherne I'll never quit!!!

  13. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Oof. NOT silver.
     
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  14. Joy Matherne

    Joy Matherne I'll never quit!!!

    Ok explain to me why, just curious
     
  15. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Just search the forums here. Plenty of people have posted the same question. The odds of you having one are basically nil. You can get it scanned by an XRF scanner though. "We Buy Gold/Silver" shops should probably have one they may do it for you. Your other option is to send it to a TPG and shell out the money for them to tell you what you've already been told here. It's up to you.
     
  16. Joy Matherne

    Joy Matherne I'll never quit!!!

    Thank you
     
  17. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Also, for what it's worth, the tissue test probably won't work for war nickels. That alloy tarnishes to something even darker than a regular nickel.
     
  18. serafino

    serafino Well-Known Member


    Right you are, I tissue tested a silver plated coin I have and a 90% silver Franklin Half and they both look the same.
     
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