How to Test The Quality Platinum?
It is mandatory to test precious metals to determine their quality and worth. Out of all metals, platinum can be easily confused with other metals like silver, white gold, or palladium. If you’re investing in platinum, here’s how you can distinguish it:
The first thing to look for in your platinum is the hallmark. If the marked stamp displays a number like “850” along with “pt.,” your platinum is 85% pure. If your platinum piece consists of the complete word “platinum,” know that it’s 90-95% pure. If your acquired platinum is incredibly old, it might not be stamped. Similarly, any metal that contains less than 50% platinum would also miss the hallmark.
Another way to identify platinum is through its color. Platinum will reflect a brighter and whiter color in comparison to other metals. You can also check your platinum for scratches. Since platinum is scratch-resistant, there shouldn’t be any scratches on its surface.
The final way to test your platinum visually is by looking for tarnishing or discoloration. If your metal shows black spots, it’s not platinum, but silver.
Weigh your platinum in one hand and silver or white gold in another. Since this precious metal is denser than palladium, silver, and white gold, it would feel heavier than each of them.
Use a Magnet
Platinum is not magnetic. Therefore, if your piece is attracted to a magnet, you can conclude it’s not platinum. If you notice your metal being slightly pulled by the magnet, your piece is possibly white gold mixed with nickel.
If you still aren’t sure about your metal, conduct a simple scratch test by following these steps:
- Buy an acid scratch test kit.
- Wear latex gloves before performing the test.
- Use a scratch stone and scratch your metal with it.
- You will see a small streak on your testing stone.
- Use a dropper and add two drops of acid to this sample.
- If the streak dissolves, it’s not platinum.
Unfortunately, many white non-magnetic metals will pass the magnetic test for platinum. For example, cobalt, chromium, stainless flatware, etc. To ensure your metal is platinum, always conduct a variety of tests.
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