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topic 34808

Testing purity of silver


I work for a freight salvage business and we have received a container (about 50 lbs) of what we were told is silver. I took it to a jeweler and they confirmed that it is indeed silver. However it is in misc. pieces that look as if it is the waste material of a manufacturing process. We do not know the origin of this silver. The jeweler offered us about 70% of the market value of silver.

Is there a way to test for the purity of this silver or to test what other alloys might be in this silver? Also if it is not pure how do we assess the value and/or how do we have it reclaimed or find out if it is worthwhile to do so?


Karen Hawkins
salvage - Kansas City, Missouri

Textbook of Quantitative Inorganic Analysis


Dear sir, you please read "Quantitative Inorganic Analysis" [link is to info about the book at Amazon]" WIDTH=1 HEIGHT=1 BORDER=0 style="vertical-align:bottom"> book written by Mr. Vogel of English language book society.(ELBS)

Bhupesh Mulik
jewellery - India


I have a similar situation. I have an 4 pound ingot that I need to know its purity.

Chuck Jones
- Melbourne, Florida

Electronic Gold Tester


I have about 5,000 ounces in silver bars but the purity is not known. Is there anyone in my area who can test it? Conway, S.C.


Barry Ross
- Conway, South Carolina

January 31, 2008

I have a sari and want to test if the zari on it is real silver or not.

Arpana David
hobby - Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India

October 27, 2009

how to find purity of unknown silver?

- baroda, gujrat, india

October 27, 2009

Hi, folks. Sorry that many of these questions remain unanswered. We hope that a knowledgeable reader will answer, but we can't force them :-)

Perhaps if the questions would take into account the effort that a responder has already put in, instead of starting from the top again, and if they were cast in a compelling personalized way, there might be a better response.

Meanwhile, you'll find some good answers in letters 25450, 36471, and 42765. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 28, 2009

i need something to test silver percentage in silver jewelries. would you know a process or an equipment that can do this? thanks

joey jiao
buyer - marilao bulacan philippines

February 11, 2013

Q. What could cause a well calibrated XRF gun to test 100% positive for Ag; scratch stone creamy, yet too hard to be silver? I have a fork no markings or hallmarks. Its testing positive with 18K jsp solution for silver. Ground in deep, still same reactions. Had it tested with a well calibrated Niton XRF and testing 100% Ag. how is this possible. There is no such thing as a 100% solid silver fork is there? I've been a scrapper for years and this is the first I've ever come across this. everything else is testing right sterling is testing right around 92.7- 94.6 yet this fork no markings 100% and passing nitric acid? what the heck please advise..

R Fabiano
owner - Los Angeles

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