how to tone silver coins


Diamond Tester

Eye Loupe

Acid Test Kit


Gram/DWT OZ Scale



I get ticked off when I read an advertisement that says SILVER something or GOLD something only to find out -- after searching, clicking into and reading an entire page --- that the item for sale is actually plated. Has this ever happened to you? This is illegal and a person or company doing so can be charged with a US crime and/or sued. With that in mind, let us begin with an appropriate statement. IF you desire to buy and sell Precious Metals & Gems. Jewelry and/or Watches, you must do so with integrity and the law (as in Title 15 of the United States Code, Sections 291-300: an excellent READ of the final version of what began as the US Stamping Act - Precious Metal and Gem Dealers license and/or permit - Patriot Act Anti Money Laundering. "goldsmithtraining" ONLINE).

Though you should never rely solely on a Gold Silver or Platinum Purity Stamp when buying or selling, that is where we must begin.


The Karat Stamp of 9K, 10K, 12K, 14K, 18K, 22K denotes the percentage of Gold By Alloy.


10K = 10 parts gold 14 parts copper and silver.

14K = 14 parts gold 10 parts copper and silver.

18K = 18 parts gold 6 parts copper and silver.

The amount of copper vs silver = color = More copper, pink to red gold. More silver, yellow to green gold

The same formula decides the alloy of remaining numbers = 9 x 15, 12 x 12, 22 x 2.

Gold Percentage stamps such as 375, 416, 500, 585, 750, 916, 999.

The PERCENTAGE STAMP denotes Gold By Actual Percentage of 100 percent.

10K = 41.6 %

14K= 58.5 %

18K = 75.0 %

Platinum purity is calculated in 1000 parts. Platinum jewelry with a 900 mark means that 900 out of 1000 is platinum and the rest is other metal.

Purity ranging from 900 to 950 are normal.

Plat, Platinum, plat, Platinum, Plat, 950Plat, Pt950, 950Pt, 900Plat, 900Pt, Pt900,

SILVER is 100%

STERLING is 92.5 = STAMP IS 925 = 92.5 % Silver 7.5% Copper (added for strength/durability in jewelry)


1 troy Ounce = 31.5 Grams

Convert DWT into Grams

21 DWT X 1.5 = 31.5 GRAMS

Pure Platinum start with *spot price

SPOT PRICE divided by 31.5 = $ per gram X how many grams of pure platinum



Platinum Alloy start with *spot price

SPOT PRICE divided by 21 = $ per dwt X CHECK ALLOYS BELOW X how many dwt


Platinum Alloy start with *spot price

SPOT PRICE divided by 31.5 = $ per gram X CHECK ALLOYS BELOW X how many grams

NOTE: Platinum purity is calculated in 1000 parts. Platinum jewelry with a 900 mark means that 900 out of 1000 is platinum and the rest is other metal. Purity ranging from 900 to 950 are normal.

CHECK ALLOY MEANS CONVERT TO X 900 0r X 950 if above


plat, Platinum, Plat, 950Plat, Pt950, 950Pt, 900Plat, 900Pt or Pt900

NOTE: NEVER PAY OR BUY PLATINUM AT THE ABOVE FIGURES UNLESS YOU CHECK WITH YOUR REFINER TO SEE WHAT THEY ARE ACTUALLY PAYING! MANY REFINERS WILL NOT PAY 100% on Platinum. In fact, many pay 75%! So check with your refiner and then make offer to buy or sell.


Now, if the platinum is a watch case or tool or pen or other item. READ BLOW!

This section is from the Free Source GOOGLE: "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.

Platinum Alloys

A mixture of 7 parts platinum with 3 parts iridium. This gives to platinum the hardness of steel, which can be still further increased by taking 4 parts of iridium.

An alloy of 9 parts platinum and 1 part iridium is used by the French in the manufacture of measuring instruments of great resisting power.

Compounds of copper, nickel, cadmium, and tungsten are also used in the construction of parts of watches; the latter acquire considerable hardness without becoming magnetic or rusting like steel, For this purpose a compound of 62.75 parts platinum, 18 parts copper, 1.25 parts cadmium, and 18 parts nickel is much recommended.

Very ductile platinum-copper alloys have also been made, e. g. the so-called Cooper gold, consisting of 3 parts platinum and 13 parts copper, which is almost equal to 18-carat gold in regard to color, finish, and ductility. If 4 per cent of platinum is taken, these latter alloys acquire a rose-red color, while a golden-yellow color can be produced by further adding from 1 to 2 per cent (in all 5 to 6 per cent) of platinum. The last-named alloy is extensively used for ornaments, likewise alloy

Ten parts platinum, 60 parts nickel, and 220 parts brass, or 2 parts platinum, 1 part nickel and silver respectively, 2 parts brass, and 5 parts copper; this also gives a golden-yellow color.

For table utensils a favorite alloy is composed of 1 part platinum, 100 parts nickel, and 10 parts tin. Articles made of the latter alloy are impervious to atmospheric action and keep their polish for a long time. Pure white platinum alloys have for some time been used in dental work, and they have also proved serviceable for jewelry.

A mixture of 30 parts platinum, 10 parts gold, and 3 parts silver, or 7 parts platinum, 2 parts gold, and 3 parts silver.

For enameled articles: Platinum, 35 parts; silver, 65 parts. First fuse the silver, then add the platinum in the spongy form. A good solder for this is. platinum 80 parts, copper 20 parts.

For pens: Platinum, 4 parts; silver, 3 parts; copper, 1 part



OK, you can get a Electronic Gold Tester. The Gel types are the best, BUT NOTHING BEATS GOOD OLE' ACID TESTING:


Diamond Tester

Eye Loupe

Acid Test Kit


Gram/DWT OZ Scale

An acid test kit consists of:

10K 14K 18K 22K Gold Acid Test Solution.

Silver Test Solution (one solution will test for a variety of Silver from Pure to Sterling and 800 Silver)

Platinum Solution

A testing stone (do not go cheap with the little stone. )

You DO NOT NEED NEEDLES unless you have no gold to practice or want to spend the $$ to learn to test. (just GOOGLE Gold Test Kit)

Testing gold is simple. are you listening. reading? SIMPLE!


1) FIRST use loupe to identify any MARK/STAMP. 585. 14K what ever.

2) Take the piece and RUB a solid area of piece against the stone. Do not to rub the bottom of rings, they may have been soldered/sized. DO NOT RUB CLASPS they may be real and the chain plated.


2c) EXAMINE the

area with loupe. You are checking for any PLATING.

2d) Then open the appropriate bottle. Say 14K solution. Place a drop on the gold rubbed/transferred on the stone. IT SHOULD REMAIN THE SAME COLOR.

2e) If it lightens in color, or a visible change is noticed, perform the rubbing procedure from the same area of the piece against the stone. try 10K solution on the new gold transfer. If it does not change it is 10K.

3) If you use solution and the gold disappears, it is not gold.

Chains, Charms, Bracelets, Rings, all of these can be tested fast and easy. There are chains out there that are super plated. That is what the Magnet is for. Any question on large/heavy piece use magnet, if in doubt, FILE a groove and test filings.


SAME AS ABOVE except the solution changes COLOR. a little practice from red to yellow red. READ INSTRUCTIONS that come with the solution and practice with STERLING piece and PRE SILVER piece







In the US, most states have laws that require an individual or company to acquire a Precious Metal Dealers License or Permit in order to engage in the BUSINESS of buying, selling and trading in Precious Metals (Bulk or Jewelry) that originates from any source other than a Wholesale or Retail Jewelry/Bullion Company. In the state of Georgia, one must have a Precious Metal and Gemstone Dealers Permit, they must have a physical location that the Permit is attached to and they must buy IN THAT location and hold all buys from 7 to 30 days and must report their buys within 24 hours to their local sheriff or police department.

(GA LAW) Dealer in precious metals or gems' means:

(A) Any person engaged in the business of purchasing precious metals or gems or goods made from precious metals or gems from persons or sources other than manufacturers, manufacturers´ representatives, or other dealers in precious metals or gems; or

(B) A person engaged in any other business if, in conjunction with such business, precious metals or gems or goods made from precious metals or gems are purchased from persons or sources other than manufacturers, manufacturers´ representatives, or other dealers in precious metals or gems where such purchase is for resale in its original form or as changed by remounting, melting, re-forming, remolding, or recasting or for resale as scrap or in bulk.

(2) 'Gems' means any precious or semiprecious stone which is cut and polished.

(3) 'Numismatic coins' means coins whose value as collectors´ items exceeds the value of the content of the precious metals in the coins.

(4) 'Person' means an individual, partnership, corporation, joint venture, trust, association, or any other legal entity however organized.

(5) 'Precious metals' means gold, silver, or platinum or any alloy containing gold, silver, or platinum.




Patriot Act Anti-Money Laundering Program (ML) requires that any person or business within the United States who has purchased and sold at least $50,000 worth of “covered goods” during the preceding year business qualify as a “dealer” and are required to establish an AML program. A person is a “dealer” if the person: (1) purchased more than $50,000 in jewels, precious metals, precious stones, or jewelry; and (2) received more than $50,000 in gross proceeds from the sale of jewels, precious metals, precious stones, or jewelry. (GOOGLE AML ). A RETAILER is a dealer only if it purchased more than $50,000 in covered goods from persons other than from other “dealers” or other retailers. Businesses licensed or registered as pawnbrokers under state or municipal law are specifically exempted from the definition of “dealer".


C) - GOOGLE: Title 15 of the United States Code, Sections 291-300


Plain English Summary: Sections 294-300, the NGSSA of 1906

Unlawful Acts

Article Defined

Gold Quality

Silver Quality - "Sterling," "Sterling Silver," "Coin," or "Coin Silver"

Plated and Filled Items

Articles with Components of Different Quality

Identifying Trademark on Quality Labeled Articles

Legal Actions: Criminal Prosecution and Civil Suits

Application of State laws

Where to get more information

Chapter 8 - The Law (Statute) with AIS Annotations by Elly Rosen

Title 15 - Commerce and Trade

Chapter 8 - Falsely Stamped Gold or Silver or Goods Manufactured Therefrom

Sec. 291. Stamping with words "United States assay", etc. unlawful

Sec. 292. Forfeiture

Sec. 293. Penalty for infraction

"National Gold and Silver Stamping Act of 1906"

aka "Jewelers' Liability Act (Gold and Silver Articles)"

aka "Gold Labeling Act of 1976" (Established "Plumb Gold" standard)

Sec. 294. Importation or transportation of falsely marked gold or silver ware prohibited

Sec. 295. Standard of fineness of gold articles; deviation

AIS "Plumb Gold" Amendment Table

Sec. 296. Standard of fineness of silver articles; deviation

Sec. 297. Stamping plated articles

(a) Words "sterling" or "coin" forbidden

[Labeling of gold or silver plated and filled items]

(b) Identifying trademark

AIS Notes on 1970 Amendment

Sec. 298. Violations of law

(a) Criminal prosecutions; penalties; jurisdiction

(b) Suits by competitors, customers, or subsequent purchasers for injunctive relief; damages and costs

(c) Suits by jewelry trade associations for injunctive relief; damages and costs

(d) Award of costs to defendant

(e) Jurisdiction of civil action

Sec. 299. Definitions

(a) "article of merchandise"

(b) "person"

(c) "jewelry trade association"

Sec. 300. Application of State laws

AIS Note on State Laws

Many states have their own quality labeling and trademarking laws for gold, silver or platinum and some of those requirements are distinctly different than those of the above law so it is important to consider and be aware of all of the laws which might be relevant to our own jurisdiction. As a general rule it is usually best to do everything in accordance with this federal law as it is the more stringent one in most cases. This is especially true as regards quality mark tolerances for gold and silver. There are however some state laws which are more stringent when it comes to the issue of trademarking requirements on quality labeled articles.

Any competitor, customer, competitor of a customer of any person violating this law, any subsequent purchaser of an article of merchandise which has been the subject of a violation, or any duly organized and existing jewelry trade association can sue for injunctive relief restraining further violation in any district court of the United States in the district in which the defendant resides or has an agent. The amount of money in controversy does not matter, and if successful the person bringing the action can recover damages and the cost of suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee.


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