Top 10 ways to distinguish platinum from silver at home, a comparative analysis of the properties of metals, how not to buy a fake

Platinum and silver are very popular in jewelry sphere. Visually they are very similar, but very different in other characteristics.

The external similarity of the elements can really confuse the buyer, but their detailed comparison will help to make the right purchase.

Precious metals in the jewelry industry: the status of platinum and silver

Speaking of the differences between platinum and silver, we should dwell on each metal in more detail.

Platinum - is a shiny, noble metal with a silvery white color. It received its name from the Spanish conquistadors, who contemptuously called the metal "silver," believing it to be of little value. Nowadays, platinum is synonymous with luxury.

This precious metal is one of the rarest, its content in the Earth's crust is much less than gold, and most of the deposits are in the United States, Russia, China and South Africa.

Precious metals in the jewelry industry: the status of platinum and silver
Engagement Rings: Platinum and Silver

Platinum exhibits great chemical stability and is one of the most inert elements. It is insoluble in acids and alkalis, and is used in engineering, medicine, industry, and for investments. This metal and its alloys are widely used in jewelry. Jewelers call platinum the "queen of metals" because it embodies rarity, status and individuality.

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Silver is a malleable and fusible element belonging to the group of precious metals. It is considered a symbol of purity, is a universal material for creating amulets and religious paraphernalia, has unique bactericidal properties.

Unlike platinum, silver is accessible to the general public and is not particularly presentable, but is invariably popular.

Table: Comparative analysis of properties

How distinguish the silver from platinum? The differences become apparent when we look at the characteristics of the metals separately:

CriterionSilverPlatinum
ColorSilverSilver
Density10.5 g cm321.09-21.45 g/cm3
Melting point962 оС1768,3 оС
InertiaHighHigh
DurabilityMediumHigh
FusibilityFusible materialRefractory material
Anticorrosive propertiesNot susceptible to corrosionNot susceptible to corrosion  
Thermal and electrical conductivityThe highest performance of all known elementsAverages
Antibacterial propertiesAvailable atNot available
Hypoallergenic propertiesMay cause allergies since it is almost never used in its pure formHypoallergenic
Investment ValueSuitable for investmentSuitable for investment  
Scope of applicationChemical industry, jewelry industry, photography, coinage, mirror making, medicine, shipbuilding, space industry, dentistry, radio componentsChemical and oil refining industry, jewelry industry, dentistry, medicine, coinage, mirror making, radio components
CostInexpensive, available to the general publicHigh
MarkingThe following proofs are provided: 800, 830, 875, 925, 960, 999. Information about the item must be inscribed inside the "keg"Assays: 850, 900, 950, 990, 999. Information about the item must be inscribed inside the octagon.
Popularity, demandHighMedium

Color

These two metals are undoubtedly very similar visually. They have the same shade, but platinum is lighter than silver, has a more pronounced luster, and does not fade over time.

Sterling Silver
Silver Earrings

Density

Under normal conditions, the density of platinum is 21.09-21.45 g/cm3. This indicator makes the element refractory, heavy.

The density of lunar metal under normal conditions is 10.5 g/cm3It is lighter than lead, but heavier than copper.

Melting point

"Queen. metals" melts at an extreme temperature of 1768.3 оС.

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Silver melts at 962 оС.

The first lunar metal was smelted in Russia in 1678, and platinum in 1748.

Inertia

When it comes to reactivity, both metals are chemically inert.

Lunar precious metal practically does not interact with other substances, but dissolves with nitric and concentrated sulfuric acid.

Platinum can only be dissolved with aqua regia or bromine, the reactivity increases when heated.

Durability

Platinum products It is virtually impossible to deform during everyday use. Silver, on the other hand, is a soft element, so it is alloyed with various impurities to increase its wear life.

Differences in proof and marking of platinum and white gold
Platinum products

Thus, a strong silver alloy is a material that contains large amounts of impurities such as copper, zinc, and nickel. Platinum alloys contain almost no impurities because they are themselves very strong.

Fusibility

Lunar metal melts well, you can reach its melting temperature even at home.

The platinum element is refractory. To alloy it in at home special equipment will be required.

Anticorrosive properties

All noble elements are not susceptible to corrosion and oxidation, so the performance here will be identical.

However, impurities in the alloy can reduce corrosion resistance. For example, copper, which is the main ligature for lunar metal, increases its hardness while maintaining fluidity and malleability, but promotes oxidation.

Thermal and electrical conductivity

Lunar metal has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity at room temperature, so it is used to make contacts for electrical products, elements of batteries, contact relays, and capacitors.

The platinum element has a thermal conductivity of 300 Kelvin and a relatively low electrical resistivity, which determines its wide application in electronics and instrumentation.

Platinum products
Platinum Engagement Ring

Antibacterial properties

The antibacterial properties of silver have been known since the dawn of civilization. Ancient Greeks, Indians and Egyptians used silver tableware. Lunar Silver is considered corrosive to as many as 350 types of pathogenic microbes. It is used in the cosmetics industry because it promotes tissue regeneration, slowing down aging.

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The precious metal ions have bactericidal, antiviral, antifungal, and disinfecting properties. They have a beneficial effect on the digestive system and heart, and help lower blood pressure.

Platinum isotopes are used to create cancer drugs and dental prostheses, but they do not have a positive effect on the human body when worn daily.

Hypoallergenic properties

Platinum precious metal is absolutely hypoallergenic and does not cause irritation even to sensitive skin.

Silver usually does not cause allergies, but it is almost always alloyed with various ligatures, which can contribute to a reaction in allergic people.

Investment Value

Both metals are suitable for investment. The financial market can be unstable and deceptive, but precious metals hardly ever "drop" in value. They are categorized as protective assets.

It is worth noting that most investors prefer to invest in gold and silver because platinum prices are highly dependent on industrial risk factors. The best solution would be to include several precious metals in your investment portfolio at once.

Scope of application

The fields of application of the metals overlap, with most of the mined elements coming from the jewelry industry, industry, and machinery.

It is impossible to imagine photographic photography without the lunar metal, because the basis of obtaining a photo is the process of photochemical decomposition of its halides.

Without platinum alloys, the biomedical and oil refining industries are impossible.

Platinum alloy
Platinum alloy

Cost

The value of precious metals varies greatly.

If we look at the stock exchange of the Central Bank of Russia, we can conclude that the current price of pure silver in 2021 is about 47 rubles, and platinum - about 2,500 rubles.

Marking

Printing on silver The first mark is the state inspection code, then the mark of the assay certificate, and after that the numerical designation of the sample.

The state inspection cipher informs about the territory where the product was branded.

The mark of the assay certificate on the territory of Russia looks like the imprint of the profile of a woman in a kokoshnik.

The following markings are provided for silverware: 800, 830, 875, 925, 960, 999.

All information about the silver product must be inscribed inside the figure, shaped like a keg.

Platinum jewelry may have the following stamps: 850, 900, 950, 990, 999.

The seal must also contain the code number and the state inspection mark. Information about the product will be written in the octagon.

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Popularity, demand

Lunar metal has never lost its popularity. Its popularity is due to its relatively low price, useful properties, and attractive appearance. It is easy to melt, which makes it possible to create a wide variety of objects with its help.

Platinum is designed for the premium segment, which is why it is not so popular. Jewelry made of this precious metal began to be produced only in the 18th century. Now it is used to create collections by such jewelry houses as Tiffany and Cartier.

Branded platinum rings
Tiffany & Co. engagement ring

Most often, the items made of these materials are encrusted with pearls, emeralds, and diamonds. These are the stones that look the most advantageous with these precious metals.

Both metals are in demand in Islamic countries. The Koran forbids men to wear gold, so Muslims buy jewelry made of silver and platinum materials.

Top 10 ways to distinguish platinum from silver at home

How to tell the difference platinum from silver at home? There are many methods. Let's take a look at the most effective Of which.

Sample on the product

First of all, it is worth looking at the markings on the jewelry. Platinum and silver jewelry are branded differently.

A shade of gray

The gray cast is characteristic of silver alloy. Platinum alloys are lighter, shinier, not grayish.

Also from constant wear silver jewelry are covered in black. This is due to an oxidation process to which platinum products are completely immune.

Weight, product size

These precious metals are noticeably different in weight. If you compare two silver and platinum rings of the same size, the platinum ring is much heavier.

Ring with stones
Platinum ring with stones

Also, platinum alloys rarely come in large sizes. Large gray-white jewelry is most likely made of moon metal.

Product density

To measure the density of the product at home, you will need a measuring jar.

First, the ornament is weighed, then it is placed inside a bowl with water. After that the volume of the displaced liquid is determined in cm3.

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Then the weight of the piece in grams is divided by the resulting value. If the resulting figure is close to 21.5, then this is platinum jewelry.

Resistance to high temperatures

How do you tell the difference between platinum and silver with a gas burner or kitchen stove? It's simple - platinum alloys are refractory and do not change color even when heated intensely.

In addition, this metal has less thermal conductivity than silver, so it will heat up more slowly.

Test with a rotten egg

If you put a piece of jewelry on a rotten egg, you can see the following effect: under the influence of hydrogen sulfide, the lunar precious metal will begin to turn black, platinum will not change color.

Reaction to iodine

If you drop iodine on platinum alloy, it should leave a dark spot on the surface, which can be easily cleaned afterwards.

Iodine will also leave a dark mark on the silver surface, but it will be much harder to remove the stain.

If the iodine left no trace, you are faced with a fake.

Silver jewelry and iodine
Iodine to check the authenticity of silver

Tooth Check

To avoid injury, it is better to expose the jewelry being tested to other mechanical influences. Nevertheless, a bite or other similar action will not leave traces on the surface of the platinum jewelry. Marks will appear on silver jewelry.

The effects of royal vodka

Czar's vodka is a mixture of saturated hydrochloric and nitric Acids with a ratio of 3 to 1. The lunar metal dissolves in such an essence, turning into silver chloride. Platinum does not react with acids.

Warning. Tsar's vodka will dissolve the platinum alloy if heated.

Ammonia solution

All noble metals react to ammonia except platinum. It does not darken from such exposure, unlike silver.

Important!

When carrying out such a test, precautions should be taken not to inhale ammonia vapors, protect the skin from accidental contact with the solution.

Question and answer section

Platinum and silver which is more expensive?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
The cost is one of the key criteria by which one can distinguish these items. Platinum items are much more expensive than silver ones, with the purchase price starting at 2,500 rubles per gram.
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They also have a special status, a prime example being platinum albums and credit cards.

Platinum and silver what to wash off the green?

Opinion of an expert
Andrey Seleznev
Chemical-technologist of the plant "Krasny Oktyabr" Volgograd
Zelenka can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol or hard alcohol. Hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine, available at any drugstore, will also work.

Platinum jewelry can be easily cleaned with makeup remover. Silver jewelry should not be cleaned in this way.

Platinum and silver how to decide?

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
The choice depends entirely on personal preferences, financial resources, the presence of allergies.

The platinum pieces are visually very similar, but the platinum jewelry is many times more expensive. They do not cause allergies and do not darken with time, but they do not have the healing properties of silver either.

Platinum and silver how to distinguish the fake from the original?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
Sometimes imitation jewels are made very skillfully, it is difficult to distinguish them from the originals.

You can try to attract jewelry with a magnet, genuine precious metals will not be attracted.

Try applying iodine to the product. The reagent should leave a dark blot on the surface. If the color of the stain is light or the iodine does not leave any marks, it is a fake.

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
White gold looks brighter, more intensely shiny. Platinum alloys have a steely and more subdued color.

Over time, white gold can begin to turn yellow. Silver alloys also have a difference in color - they are less light and do not have a saturated luster.

The key difference between these elements is the cost. Platinum alloys are much more expensive.

How to distinguish platinum from silver and palladium?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
You can try a drop of iodine on the surface of the item. If contact with this substance leaves a stain on the surface or the reagent itself has changed color to a lighter color, it is palladium.

It is possible to distinguish platinum alloy from silver alloy by mechanical action. Marks will appear on the surface of the lunar metal.

Video: how to tell the difference between platinum and silver - some sure ways

Jeweler's comment

Molokanov N.M.
Molokanov N.M.
Jeweler, experience in jewelry manufacturing 26 years.
There are various ways to tell if you are looking at platinum or silver. Platinum alloys are much harder and difficult to melt and deform. The difference between these elements is immediately noticeable by comparing their physical properties. Also, platinum is considered to have a more "masculine" energy, although this is more a matter of taste and everyone's choice.
The author of the article
Raisa Koshman
A chemical technologist by training. She is engaged in manufacturing silver and gold jewelry in her home workshop. She has the 4th category of jeweler.
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