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View Full Version : HELP! how do you RECOGNIZE SILVER and prevent scam?



strongman shelford
18th June 2008, 20:02
Hi, I am a big newbie.
I would like to know how to recognize silver?
any techniques PLEASE?????

balou2
18th June 2008, 20:15
Where and how are you buying?

argentos
18th June 2008, 21:17
Also what type of silver do you have in mind? There are umpteen recognised types such as: "Pure", 99.9%; Britannia, 95.84%; Sterling, 92.5%; and that's before you consider the coinage of different countries.

It's probably best to start googling and build up your knowledge that way.

strongman shelford
18th June 2008, 21:23
well I live in Buenos Aires.

99%? .925% no clue!

JesterJay
18th June 2008, 21:24
Local Coin Shop.
Go to yours and look about. Look through and handle their piles and piles of bullion. There's no shortage, you know. Found about 100-130 oz of rounds at mine just a tonight.
Familiarize yourself with what REAL silver looks, feels, and sounds like.
Educate yourself- then buy it ALL,
JesterJay



Hi, I am a big newbie.
I would like to know how to recognize silver?
any techniques PLEASE?????

strongman shelford
18th June 2008, 21:24
yeah, maybe start googlin is the best answer.

JesterJay
18th June 2008, 21:27
(Global Jay, think global).
I so easily forget that I am talking to and with amazing people from all over the world.
Please tell me how you buy locally. Do you have coin shops or other such places to purchase bullion?
I just bought a bar like this:
http://i1.ebayimg.com/01/i/000/f1/1b/cb41_1.JPG
at my Local Coin Shop. Easy to identify and the shop is very reliable and backs the legitimacy of their bullion sales.
Clue me in,
JesterJay in South Dakota, USA.



well I live in Buenos Aires.

99%? .925% no clue!

strongman shelford
18th June 2008, 21:35
thanks for the "amazing people" :cool:
I will follow your advices Jesterjay too.

I am very glad of joining this forum.

It`s like a global silver brotherhood against Ilumminati and CHAOS.

LOL

balou2
18th June 2008, 22:39
(Global Jay, think global).
I so easily forget that I am talking to and with amazing people from all over the world.
Please tell me how you buy locally. Do you have coin shops or other such places to purchase bullion?
I just bought a bar like this:
http://i1.ebayimg.com/01/i/000/f1/1b/cb41_1.JPG
at my Local Coin Shop. Easy to identify and the shop is very reliable and backs the legitimacy of their bullion sales.
Clue me in,
JesterJay in South Dakota, USA.

Nice little score there brother. JM bar at that.

Not to restate what's been said, but silver has very distinct properties when it comes to touch, sound-when-struck, and sometimes color. Google will be your friend. If you have coin shops, develop a relationship with the owner or proprietor. I learned more about numismatics from my local coin shop than the internet.

strongman shelford
19th June 2008, 05:33
thanks balou

argentos
19th June 2008, 05:47
well I live in Buenos Aires.

99%? .925% no clue!

I envy you the climate!

No clue? Well, silver is a soft metal which dents easily, so for things like coins, teapots, plates and cultery it has, from time immemorial, been alloyed with other metals to make it more durable.

The proportion of actual silver in the mix is expressed either as a percentage (eg 90% is 90 parts silver to ten parts base metal) or in thousandths, often called millessimal fineness (999 is 999 parts silver to 1 part base) both being measured by weight not volume.

As has been said by others above, get the feel of handling silver ASAP and meanwhile get googling! :p

Drumblebum
19th June 2008, 13:19
(Global Jay, think global).
I so easily forget that I am talking to and with amazing people from all over the world.
Please tell me how you buy locally. Do you have coin shops or other such places to purchase bullion?
I just bought a bar like this:
http://i1.ebayimg.com/01/i/000/f1/1b/cb41_1.JPG
at my Local Coin Shop. Easy to identify and the shop is very reliable and backs the legitimacy of their bullion sales.
Clue me in,
JesterJay in South Dakota, USA.

That 5 ozer looks an awful lot like my Silvertowne...

Bought mine at a local shop too along with a little 4 oz JMC (polished, looks nice!)

pkrebaum
19th June 2008, 20:45
The method of Archimedes (weight of an object versus the volume of water it displaces) will easily spot a major fake, such as a piece of silver plated lead or steel. Telling the difference between 999 and 925 would demand very accurate equipment and impeccable technique, though.

925, due to the copper, is slightly yellower than 999. You need to buff the surface with a rag and compare side-by-side with an authentic sample, also buffed. A room lit by sunlight is preferred. Pure silver has a particular "whiteness" to it's shine.

People on this forum have often mentioned that thinner pieces of silver (coins) have a particular "ring" to them when struck, though I've never tried it.
I just prefer to buy bullion made by well known manufacturers. Any on the LMEs or Comex's list of "manufacturers acceptable for good delivery" will do.

Lastly, check the weight and outside appearance of the bar. "Shaving" a bar is the oldest form of debasement, and it's why coins have "reeded" edges.

goldminer
19th June 2008, 21:06
Bullion (pure) silver .999 fine = .999 parts of 1, or 999 fine = 999 parts of 1000...they are mathematically the same thing and = 99.9% pure... has a very distinct ringing sound when it is struck or say gently dropped on a hard table or counter top.

Items of significant silver content (90% = 900 fine or 90%) and above also tarnish from sulfides that are in the air and concentrated in many paper and other items. In addition, silver in density is so close to lead that if you take a (say) 1 oz. lead fishing sinker and bounce it in one hand and bounce a 1 oz. silver bar or coin in the other hand, you will not be able to feel a difference in weight.

All silver and gold coins struck for circulation have and are alloyed with another/other metal(s) to make them durable so they can withstand the rigors of circulation. This is also true of silverware, jewelry, and other applications, because gold and silver in their pure forms are to soft to serve well as functional items.

All this said, talk to reliable dealers in your area. Pick their brains to learn about the different forms and sizes of silver bullion that is available in your area...and most importantly which are most recognizable, accepted, popular, and thes most liquid (readily traded) in your area.

Many people who think they are "in the know" believe that the price of silver is going to increase a lot over the next 10-20 years, so you might want to consider acquiring smaller forms/sizes of silver...say 1 to 10 oz. sizes as opposed to (say) 50 or 100 oz. sizes. As the price gets higher, there will be a lot more people who have money to acquire smaller sizes from you then a large size = more liquid (readily sellable) when you plan to trade out some of the silver you have. In addition, making fake silver bars or coins has to be profitable so persons are much more likely to fabricate larger then smaller sizes/forms of bullion.

Welcome! I hope this helps some.

The Big Red 1
20th June 2008, 16:47
In addition, silver in density is so close to lead that if you take a (say) 1 oz. lead fishing sinker and bounce it in one hand and bounce a 1 oz. silver bar or coin in the other hand, you will not be able to feel a difference in weight.

Because they DO weigh the same. LOL :roll:

My Pants Are Cold
20th June 2008, 22:17
In addition, silver in density is so close to lead that if you take a (say) 1 oz. lead fishing sinker and bounce it in one hand and bounce a 1 oz. silver bar or coin in the other hand, you will not be able to feel a difference in weight.

No s**t, an ounce of lead weighs the same as an ounce of silver? LIES ;)

pkrebaum
20th June 2008, 22:49
The Archimedes method measures the weight of an object vs its volume, in other words, it finds the DENSITY of an object. Lead has a density of 11.34 grams/cc. Silver has a density of 10.49 grams/cc. A 100 Troy Oz. bar of lead would displace 274.25 cc. of water, a 100 Troy Oz. bar of Silver would displace 296.47 cc. of water. The difference in displacement (22.22 cc., or about 1 1/3 cubic inches) would tell you that the denser lead was not genuine Silver.

That said, the really smart counterfeitter would alloy his lead with a lighter metal (such as tin, density 7.31 gm./cc.) to get a density equal to Silver's.
The really smart buyer would counter with the "ring" test by dropping the bar, and the dull "thud" of the solder alloy would be a dead give-away.

In short, a gram of lead weighs the same as a gram of Silver, but they don't take up the same amount of space. Hope this helps.

goldminer
24th June 2008, 17:38
"...Because they DO weigh the same..."

Silver and lead don't weigh the same...close but not the same.
For two reasons:

Lead is a bit more dense then silver, and they are weighed using different systems of weight.

Silver is weighed using the Troy system: 480 grains = 1 oz.
Lead is weighted using the Avoirdupois system: 437 grains = 1 oz.

1 ounce of silver is heavier then 1 ounce of lead. Conversely, one pound of lead is heavier then 1 pound of silver (16 oz. to a lead pound; 12 oz. to a silver pound).

If/when silver prices soar somebody will most likely be producing fake bullion items...probably more bars and rounds ("fake") then government minted coins (counterfiet). This is one reason why a lot of "little guy" collectors (?) do not acquire anything larger then 10 oz. bars...all the time, effort and risk have to be monetarily worth it so it is larger items that will probably be faked...like all the 100 oz. extruded Engelhard bars were "drilled and filled" (with lead...removing about 50% of the silver), end covered back over with silver, and polished. The only way to identify these bars is to cut them in half assay 'em. I've been told that the "ring" test doesn't always work with large bars (particularly poured "loaf") bars.

I think anything alloyed with a smaller silver item...say 1 oz. bar or coin will prevent the object from passing a "ring" test and will thus easily be identified by anyone who knows about the ring silver has.

My Pants Are Cold
24th June 2008, 19:31
Silver and lead don't weigh the same...close but not the same.
For two reasons:

Lead is a bit more dense then silver, and they are weighed using different systems of weight.

Silver is weighed using the Troy system: 480 grains = 1 oz.
Lead is weighted using the Avoirdupois system: 437 grains = 1 oz.

1 ounce of silver is heavier then 1 ounce of lead. Conversely, one pound of lead is heavier then 1 pound of silver (16 oz. to a lead pound; 12 oz. to a silver pound).

If/when silver prices soar somebody will most likely be producing fake bullion items...probably more bars and rounds ("fake") then government minted coins (counterfiet).

Sorry but 1 ounce of silver weighs the EXACT same as one ounce of lead. Just like one pound of platinum weighs the same as a pound of scungilli.
However, one cubic inch of silver weighs less than 1 cubic inch lead.
LOL, I think anyone faking silver products with lead would be smart enough to use the same units of measurement.

goldminer
25th June 2008, 15:46
"...Sorry but 1 ounce of silver weighs the EXACT same as one ounce of lead. .."

Last time for possible penetration....

One ounce of silver weighs 480 grains
One ounce of lead weighs 437 grains

= they do NOT weigh the same.

Argentum
25th June 2008, 16:28
LoL... the old lead vs silver trick question. One must be mindful of the unit of measurement.

One thing I always do with my fake 100 oz bars... just re-sell them :P

strongman shelford
25th June 2008, 16:28
Ok goldminer . Got It

Then I , a big newbie, go to a bullion dealer

how the heck i check the BULLION WITH THE oz/ cc method ?:confused:

The Big Red 1
25th June 2008, 18:13
I agree with My Pants are Cold. I do not think it is a good idea to compare 2 things that are measured in different ways based upon 2 different things. Yes, I understand the difference between Troy & Avoirdupois, but you're right MPAC, volume, (cubic inch or whatever) is a much better way to compare.

goldminer
27th June 2008, 20:21
Just give 'em a "ring" test. It's quick and works every time.