How to Use Nitrite Acid to Test Silver

Silver and gold, are two precious metals in the world. Besides as a currency, they are the main ingredient of various type of jewelry. From ring, bracelet, necklace and earring. There are many combinations of beautiful stones covered by either silver or gold. Do not be mistaken, the glowing silver and gold can also come from fake chemicals to press down cost from the expensive real silver or gold.

Checking Real Silver with Nitrite Acid

There are many ways to detect real metals. You can use household chemicals to test gold. There are also ways to make sure that your silver is real. For those who unfamiliar, telling the authentic silver can be confusing. Surprisingly there are many ways to test silver for its authenticity.

There is the magnet test that if you put the silver item on the magnet. It is a fake silver if it sticks and if it slides down, congratulations your silver is real! But of course, there is also an easier way to test silver without using laboratory items to make the right conclusion. You can use nitrite acid.

This substance is one of many acid solution example in everyday life. You can mix it up with other chemicals, make a nice cleaning liquid of you can test silver with it. Here are some of the steps to try on how to use nitrite acid to test silver.

  1. Prepare the material. You need to have a nitrite acid as the indicator for silver. Your questionable silver and a silver material as a comparison. You need to have a real silver as a control medium. Do not forget a pair of glove to protect your hand. It is really important to keep your body away from any chemicals and use proper protection. You can have a burn mark or something worse. That is why should an individual working with chemicals understand the hazard and use the proper solution.
  2. Take a safe spot. You want to do the test in a clear area with a large table. Therefore, you can easily move around and the silver object is vivid can be observed.
  3. The drop. If you want to test a precious metal, you need to know whether it will leave stain or not. It is very difficult to remove a stain in metals, let alone your skin. So you do not need to wonder why does silver nitrate stain human body. You need to use a droplet to take the nitrite acid from its container. Then drop it to the silver material that you want to know if it is real or not, and the material which is real silver.
  4. Combining result. The citric acid mark in real silver will turn into yellow, but when you wipe it out with tissue or a piece of fabric it will not stain. The fake silver will turn to bright green and leave a green stain in your tissue. This is the result of different element produce different colours of light when heated. In this case, the object changed colour when coming in contact with nitrite acid. It is most likely to be something made out of copper or brass.
  5. Stains. The droplet mark will stain the items. You do not need to wonder what is the white spots on your silvery items. There is a chance that someone already tests it for silver. For a safer result, you need to find a small spot which either hidden with the stones or in the backside. Therefore, the stain from the test does not look bad.

There you have it. Some simple steps to follow by using nitrite acid to test for silver. There are so many examples of acids and bases in everyday life. One of them is using nitrite acid to find out the authenticity of objects. This will come in handy when you have silvery items that were passed down from generations and you want to know if it is real or not.