Silver has been generating quite a bit of buzz lately due to its newfound investment appeal, but contrary to public opinion not all publicity is good publicity. It is rather easy for manufacturers of automobiles, appliances and electrical components to determine whether or not a piece of “silver” is real or not, because silver is the most conductive of all metals, and by a wide margin.
Individuals who invest in silver bars or coins, however, may lack the expertise of industrial silver buyers. How, then, can silver investors quickly, easily and affordably determine if something is pure silver? After all, Chinese counterfeiters have decades of experience and can produce replicas of one-ounce silver coins that cost as little as $0.50 each to make. Local silver dealers may not have the tools or knowledge to decipher a piece of metal’s true content, and reputable silver dealers online are hard to come by, so just what is an investor to do?
Thousands of years ago, the Greek philosopher Archimedes suspected that certain coins contained too much alloy and not enough precious metal. He developed a simple test to solve this dilemma. Archimedes surmised that each metal has a unique specific density, so by placing coins he knew to be correctly minted in a glass of water he was able to measure the amount of water displaced. Dropping suspect coins into an equal amount of water would quickly reveal whether or not the coins contained as much precious metal as the king’s mint claimed.
Since that time, a number of more “advanced” silver testing methods have been developed. Most recently, a string of tests purporting to separate fake silver from real silver have popped up online, but not all such tests are fool-proof. Some, like biting into the metal, would have doubtlessly left Archimedes shaking his head. Below we have listed the most common methods investors use to determine if the bars and/or coin they hold is, in fact, genuine silver.
If you want to avoid the anxiety of not knowing and don’t want to have to test every piece of silver you buy, wasting time and possibly staining your silver in the process, call the Certified Gold Exchange today for a complimentary copy of The Insider’s Guide to Silver Investing: 2015 Edition, as well as an obligation-free consultation with one of our trained, non-commissioned silver specialists.
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