Cobalt, iron, nickel, neodymium, samarium, and gadolinium are magnetic metals. Few metals we encounter every day are magnetic. Some you may know are iron, nickel and cobalt.
silveris not magnetic, even with the strongest magnet.
If you hold a silver coin at 45 degrees, a suitable magnet will slowly slide down. This is because the moving magnet establishes an “electric field” * that slows its fall. Now try it with a non-magnetic coin (most coins), the magnet, as expected, simply “falls” out of the coin. This is not a warranty test for silver.
Copper is also diamagnetic (although not as strong as silver). Most silver-plated items are made of silver on copper. Therefore, if a magnet “sticks” to the item, it cannot be silver or copper. If a suitable magnet shows the diamagnetic effect, the item could be silver (most likely with a coin) or it could be plated with silver on copper.
The QUICKTEST “magnet tester” for silver. We supply three magnets suitable for you to test coins of any size, I say the magnets are “right” because if a magnet is too heavy it won't work and if it's too weak it won't work. We have chosen three small but very powerful magnets (neodymium). You will receive all three magnets, a copper coin** (98% copper) to test, a carrying bag and instructions.
An ingot bar) is not magnetic. The jewelry is made of a mixture (alloy) of gold and other metals. Varying the percentage (expressed as “carats”) of copper and silver results in yellow, red, or pink gold; none of these are magnetic. White gold will contain silver, and maybe palladium (none magnetic) or nickel (which is magnetic, but the proportion of nickel will be very low).
So no matter what the mix of gold (carats) is, you won't be able to detect gold with a magnet. WHITE GOLDIf you have read all of the above very carefully, you may have noticed that white gold may contain a small percentage of nickel and platinum may contain a small percentage of cobalt, and both are magnetic. A magnet won't attract white gold, but it will (if it's strong enough) attract platinum. This is because cobalt is three times more magnetic than nickel.
Magnetic metals include iron, nickel, cobalt and most of their alloys. Some forms of steel are magnetic, while others are not. Gold, silver and platinum are not magnetic. The next time you see a precious metal, put it to the test.
Take your coin or piece of jewelry and place a strong magnet on top of the object. Slowly tilt the metal object to see if the magnet sticks to the object by the magnetic pull or if it slides to the ground. Some rare earth metals, nickel, cobalt, iron and alloyed metals containing these elements are ferromagnetic. If you have any questions about your gold or silver items, consider consulting a precious metal refinery such as Manhattan Gold and Silver.
For collectors, it is rarely important to determine the exact percentages of non-precious metals, but it is important to determine a general label. A stamp is a sign included in a piece of jewelry that assures the purchaser that the piece meets the minimum requirements for precious metal content.
treasurehunters find rare coins using metal detectors, while bargain buyers often find precious metal jewelry in pawn shops and consignment shops. Neodymium magnets (made from the metals neodymium and iron and metalloid boron) are also highly coercive and are the strongest type of permanent magnet available today.
Although silver and gold are not magnetic, this does not mean that non-magnetic objects are always real precious metals. When you think of precious metals, you probably think of expensive jewelry, Tiffany's cases, or the intricate gears of an expensive watch. It can be more difficult if the metal is a small piece, such as when an embedded part of a larger ornate object. The most common are ferrite magnets, made of an alloy of iron oxide and one or more other metals.
But if the simple tips above don't reassure you, the best way to determine the metal content of your belongings is to take it to a certified precious metal specialist. This, in and of itself, does not mean that the metal is platinum (many white metals are magnetic), but it does mean that you should perform further testing and not automatically discard it. This is because, even if the surface of the item is gold or silver plated, the metals underneath could cause the magnet to stick. But stay away from neodymium magnets: Smaller magnets can be swallowed and larger magnets are too strong, they will cause injury when the child gets caught a finger between the magnet and a metal object.