How To Test for Platinum?

Platinum is a valuable metal that seems silver or white gold to the untrained eye. 

However, Platinum has several distinguishing properties. It is scratch resistant because it is tougher than other precious metals. It is also denser than other precious metals and does not tarnish.

It’s not always easy to know what precious metals your jewelry comprises. To properly appraise jewelry, you must have a thorough grasp of precious metals and how to test them. 

Platinum is one of the most easily mistook precious metals for a variety of other precious metals, including white gold and silver. We’ll go through how to tell the difference between Platinum and other precious metals using visual cues and a scratch test.

First, look for a stamp, also known as a hallmark, to check whether your item is Platinum. Do an acid scratch test if you can’t find one or aren’t sure what it means. Take your item to a jeweler to ascertain the metal type if everything else fails.

TESTS FOR PLATINUM

Below are the ways to test for Platinum:

Try Visually Identifying It On Its Own:

On the item, look for a “platinum” inscription. A stamp, often known as a hallmark, is required on pure platinum jewelry with at least 50% platinum. If your item says “platinum,” it’s at least 95% pure. A number like 850 or 85 is more commonly preceded by “pt” or “plat.” This indicates that the item is 85 percent pure since 85/100 of the piece is Platinum.

If your platinum jewelry is from a country where these markings are not required, it may not be stamped if it is exceptionally old.

Any metal that has less than 50% platinum will be omitted.

Secondly, look for a bright, white surface with little scratches and no tarnish. Silver, white gold, and palladium have a brighter and whiter color than Platinum. Compare it to another metal piece to see the difference. It is also more scratch-resistant, though scratches are still possible. There should, however, be very few scratches. Finally, tarnish implies a silver rather than platinum piece.

The metal’s color and appearance may suggest that it is Platinum, but additional testing should be conducted to be sure.

If it has a ‘mark’ that isn’t a hallmark, you’ll want to do some tests on it.

The Magnet Test:

The easiest and simplest test for Platinum is the use of a magnet. You can use a magnet to detect whether or not the metal is Platinum. Platinum has no magnetic properties. As a result, if the item you’re evaluating attracts a magnet, you know it’s not platinum. If you feel a tiny magnetic pull, the metal is probably white gold combined with nickel or cobalt.

The Scratch Test:

If you’ve tried everything else and are still unsure if you have Platinum, you may conduct an acid scratch test at home by purchasing an acid scratch test kit. A jewelry retailer or precious metal refiner can do it for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.

A scratch test involves scratching your item against a scratch stone, which leaves a small sample of its contents behind. One or two drops of acid are then dispensed over the sample using a dropper. If the sample of Platinum recovered from your item dissolves, it is not platinum.

If you decide to do this, wear rubber or vinyl gloves to protect your skin from the acid.

Process of Doing a Scratch Test For Platinum:

If you decide to perform the test for Platinum on your own; you’ll need to follow the following steps:

Get an acid scratch test kit to inspect platinum jewelry. You may buy an acid scratch test online or in a jewelry store if you can’t find any markings on your jewelry or aren’t sure what they mean. A scratch stone and bottles of various acids are included in acid scratch test kits. Metal testing for several metals is included in many scratch kits.

After that, you would need to scratch the item a couple of times on the stone. Platinum is difficult to scratch. Therefore, you may need to run it over the stone several times while applying pressure. Make a visible mark on the stone between 1 and 12 inches (2.5 and 3.8 cm). Because the stone may harm your jewelry, test it on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Wear latex or vinyl gloves and pour the platinum testing acid on the stone. Always use gloves while working with acid to keep your skin protected. Apply one or two drops of acid from the acid bottle to the scratch mark you produced on the stone. Replace the lid on the acid immediately after use to minimize spills or mishaps. Make sure the cap is secure and set it back in the kit.

Keep a keen eye out for the acid reacting with the stone’s metal. If the metal dissolves rapidly in acid, it is not Platinum. Platinum will retain its original color and brightness when exposed to platinum testing acid. Ensure the acid is at room temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit and 22 degrees Celsius). The acid dissolves Platinum when it is heated.

If the piece isn’t Platinum, keep testing it with other acids to figure out what it is. For each type of acid, make new scratches on the stone. The stone should be examined with one acid at a time. The object is not Platinum, silver, or white gold if all of the scratches vanish.

Conclusion

To properly appraise jewelry, you must have a thorough grasp of precious metals and how to test them. Platinum is one of the most easily mistook precious metals for a variety of other precious metals, including white gold and silver.

It is always safe to test for Platinum if you’re unsure what sort of metal you’ve bought or discovered. There’s no reason to be unsure about the worth of your precious metals when there are so many techniques to test them.

 

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