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Community Member
Posts: 448
Registered: ‎01-26-2006

Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

I have some new nitric acid, and I find 14k acid turns light yellowish-gray on sterling.
I tested some silver alleged to be coin silver and it turns a medium charcoal gray.
Is this right? It did not turn green or blue, that is definite.
I know if it turns green or blue that means the item does not have significant silver content.
Can someone please tell me if my test indicates coin silver or not?
Coin silver (American) is supposed to be 900 silver.
Thank you very much for any help.
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Community Member
Posts: 530
Registered: ‎01-11-2009

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
Do you have 18k? If so it will turn it bluish-white.
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Community Member
Posts: 530
Registered: ‎01-11-2009

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
18k also contains hydrochloric. I assume you just want to know if it is silver and not quality of the silver.
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Some should name the chip that resides on their shoulder "Hypocrite"
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owl4343
Community Member
Posts: 682
Registered: ‎10-24-2004

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
Here's a link for acid testing:
http://www.shorinternational.com/TestGoldScratch.php

Scroll down for silver testing.
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Community Member
Posts: 448
Registered: ‎01-26-2006

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
bwright,
do you mean if it is American coin --900 silver --18k will turn it bluish-white?
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Community Member
Posts: 448
Registered: ‎01-26-2006

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
owl, thank you for that link. It says if the silver is 77-90% it will leave a gray color
. This is very dark gray.
I thought American coin is 90% silver.
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owl4343
Community Member
Posts: 682
Registered: ‎10-24-2004

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
It might be good to ask on the Coins and Paper Money board. They might know more on how certain coins react to the acid.
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Community Member
Posts: 448
Registered: ‎01-26-2006

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
Thank you owl,
but he question is not what the silver content of certain coins is,;
the question is what is the silver content of the group of coin silver flatware I have.
I thought American coin silver is 900 which is almost as pure as sterling but my flatware is testing more like 800 silver. Or is it? That is what I don't know. The test color is very dark gray.
I was sort of planning to scrap it, when silver was about 45. or so. I missed my chance to do that, for the time being anyway. Scrappers do not pay a lot for 800 silver and I won't get much unless silver goes up well into the forties again. Most ebay buyers do not seem to,either.
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Community Member
Posts: 530
Registered: ‎01-11-2009

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
I tested a .900 Am coin and a piece of .925 wire. 18k acid looked the same on both marks as did the 14k acid. I could not find any .800 to test. I will look at work tomorrow.
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Some should name the chip that resides on their shoulder "Hypocrite"
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Community Member
Posts: 530
Registered: ‎01-11-2009

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
Oh, I assume it is marked "Coin Silver"
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Some should name the chip that resides on their shoulder "Hypocrite"
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Community Member
Posts: 448
Registered: ‎01-26-2006

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
No it is not marked "coin silver".
I have seen a lot of American coin silver flatware over the years, and none of it says "coin silver". The flatware I have is marked with the maker's signature only.
I have seen one little dish marked "coin silver" and a number of European, South American and Israeli items marked 800.
I am wondering if the flatware I got is actually 800, European coin silver rather than 900 and if that is why it is testing dark gray with 14k acid. I did not test it with 18k acid.
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Community Member
Posts: 448
Registered: ‎01-26-2006

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
Bwright, when you used 14k acid on the 900 coin did you get a light creamy gray-white color or a dark gray color?
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Community Member
Posts: 530
Registered: ‎01-11-2009

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
I suppose you would call it dark. When you use 18k you get a bluish white, kind of milky change. Maybe if I get time this weekend I will post pics. They make a silver test acid that turns red too. I have always used 18k.
___________________________________________________
Some should name the chip that resides on their shoulder "Hypocrite"
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Community Member
Posts: 530
Registered: ‎01-11-2009

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
Try this site. I did not read all of the posts, but looks like it might help. www.finishing.com/427/65.shtml
___________________________________________________
Some should name the chip that resides on their shoulder "Hypocrite"
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Community Member
Posts: 448
Registered: ‎01-26-2006

Re: Question About Testing American Coin Silver with 14k Nitric Acid:

in reply to mstcwrld7
Hi,
I forgot to say i have that silver test stuff too that is SUPPOSED to turn dark red with sterling.
because mine does not,
and did not from the day it arrived here in the mail.
I have given up on it in frustration.
I was advised by a pro who tests gold and silver all the time to ignore the silver test stuff and just use nitric. I once had a bottle of silver test stuff that worked for a long time, i.e. turned dark red with sterling.
The stuff I have now pretty much stays brown with sterling and also non-sterling'; Occasionally something turns it greenish black,. But it never turns red even on sterling items. Pretty hopeless.
In fact I had such a bad time testing these coin spoons that I unknowingly dribbled some all over one hand and did not even notice it until I had quite a bit of it on me.
It turned my skin brown though ti did not hurt and now is slowly peeling off. It would not have happened it the test had not been so problematic.
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