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Is there an easy way to test for platinum?

Discussion in 'Gold Silver (All things Metal)' started by cd120, Nov 15, 2010.



  1. cd120

    cd120 Seeker Seeker

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    Haven't posted since we switched over...

    I have some what I believe to be platinum wire. But I'm not 100% sure...

    Is there an easy way to test it to see if it is, or where I could go to have it tested?

    Thanks!

    Chris
     
  2. teamnick

    teamnick Seeker Seeker

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    Platinum is very dense, it should feel very heavy for its size. Kind of like how a gold coin has more heft than it looks like it should? Platinum feels even heavier. That's your first clue.

    You can buy an acid test kit on Amazon for cheap. Or, take it to a local jeweler and ask them, they should have the materials to test it. Just be sure to not sell it to them, most jewelers give you half of spot if you're lucky.
     
  3. herb

    herb New Member

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    I've heard if you heat it to just red and then let it cool you shouldn't see any change in color. (I've heard)
     
  4. Gcubed

    Gcubed Banned

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    No, there is not an "easy" way. Working with platinum is both difficult and expensive. The assayers and refiners earn their money.
     
  5. cd120

    cd120 Seeker Seeker

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    I may try the jewelry store to see if they can test it... I would never sell to them, I know I'll be lucky to get half...

    I have a decent amount of it in pre-cut lengths. Less than a gram each so hard to tell by feel (weight wise)

    I did see something about heating it. Does it change its mechanical properties (i.e. bend easily after?)
     
  6. Gcubed

    Gcubed Banned

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    You offer very little information as to what you are working with. A jeweler will most likely not be equipped to do a qualitative much less a quantitative analysis. I'd suggest that you start with specific gravity and then decide if the cost of further analysis is warranted. Just my dos pesos. Good Luck.
     
  7. teamnick

    teamnick Seeker Seeker

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    I would think most jewelers would have platinum acid, and even if not, they should have an electronic tester. Platinum will test as 18k+ gold on my electronic tester. In my experience, most of the time when someone is "not sure" if it is valuable or not, and it isn't marked, it usually isn't. If it dissolves completely under the acid or doesn't show up as karat gold on an electronic tester, that lets him know that whatever the wire is, it isn't platinum. If it does past the test, then he can start worrying about specifics, but acid testing it will be a quick way to eliminate 99% of the other things it could be.
     
  8. Gcubed

    Gcubed Banned

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    Go for it.
     
  9. tomexxtra

    tomexxtra Seeker Seeker

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    Herb is right with this one. Platinum becomes red hot before melting and cools down with no color change. Your wire maybe partial platinum, in which case you need an assay. Refiners are the only people that do accurate assays. If you have a lot, like 12'' or more cut one 1" off & give
    it to somebody trusting to get assayed.
    Good Luck
     
  10. cd120

    cd120 Seeker Seeker

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    It was some wire from discarded medical devices. I know some platinum is used in the device. It could just be a coating thus, there would be little overall. But if it's solid, great!

    Thanks for the info. I'll see if I can get it tested then if it looks like it's worth further research.
     

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