Testing precious metals can be a problematic thing, especially if you are not sure just how to do it properly. The main reason why it might be problematic is because there’s a good chance that the items which you are testing, whether they may be jewelry, precious metal bars or coins can get damaged or worse destroyed beyond recognition. For these reasons you should be very careful when testing precious metals, but one of the most important places where you need to take care that the precious metals are not damaged would be scratch testing.
For those who are not familiar with what exactly scratch testing really is, it’s one of the several ways of how you can detect fake precious metals and it’s used because it’s a very precise test. In order to test the precious metals, it has to be scratched up against a scratch stone of some sorts so that a thin mark of the precious metal surface is left behind. Acids will then be poured on the the mark that was left behind. Depending on how the acid reacts to the precious metal, the tester will know just what kind of quality of gold, silver, palladium, platinum or any of the other precious metals it is dealing with.
Key thing here would be that the precious metal item is scratched, and that’s something that we’d like to turn your attention to. One of the major disadvantages of this type of tests would be that the precious metal item will lose a bit of its weight each time its scratched, not to mention that it’s gonna be damaged as well, it’s surface will lose cohesion and it won’t be as shiny and beautiful as before since there will now be marks present along the surface.
For these two reasons, because there are gonna be loss in weight and because there will be a certain degradation in the appearance of the precious metal item, whether it be jewelry, bullion coins or bars, you need to be very careful not just how you are testing for precious metals with the help of scratch tests, but also how many times something is tested. Excessive testing could cause you to lose a lot of the weight of the item, not to mention that it’s appearance is gonna take a huge hit. Even do each scratch test takes aways only a very small amount of the items weight, given enough tests you’re gonna end up with a substantial lose of the weight, even if it’s 1 gram, you could lose 50-100$ depending on what kind of market price for gold is, if gold is what we’re talking about. Be very careful not to overdue it, and only test when you absolutely have to. Take care of your precious metals.