No, silver is not magnetic.
In fact, a strong magnet would slightly repel silver.
In the following below, we will break down why this is the case scientifically.
Is Silver Magnetic? (EXPLAINED)
What is Silver?
Pure silver is a lustrous and soft mineral that is nearly white in color.
In nature, silver is found as an elemental metal in its metallic form.
As a result, silver commonly exists in nature together with other elements such as sulfide, chloride, and nitrate.
It is also an excellent conductor of heat and electricity.
Silver is one of the lightest precious metals, with a melting point of 962 degrees Celsius.
It is also one of the hardest materials, with a density of 10.49 grams per cubic centimeter.
Silver is one of the most inactive metals.
Therefore, silver does not react when oxygen is present in the air.
However, it does react slowly with sulfur compounds.
As a result, silver is converted into silver sulfide, a black compound in this reaction.
Furthermore, silver is one of the most minor noble metals, particularly because it reacts readily with most of the common reagents, such as sulfuric and nitric acids.
Due to these properties, metallic silver can easily dissolve when the different gold alloys contain a maximum of 30% gold and are boiled in nitric acid of 30% strength.
Since it is a mental element, you figure it would be magnetic, but it is not.
We will discuss why silver is not magnetic in a section down below, but first, you need to understand the meaning of magnetism.
What Does Magnetic Mean?
The word magnetic or magnetism simply means to attract.
Electric currents and magnets are attracted to iron and other metals, while the other type of attraction is magnetic in nature.
For example, two people want to be close so they are magnetic to each other.
You can use this example to describe the magnetic force between two elements for a better understanding of the word.
The electromagnetic force is made up of many different aspects, including magnetism.
In general, it describes forces generated by magnets, which create fields that either attract or repel objects.
Magnetic fields are created when electrically charged particles move.
A magnetic field acts on an electrically charged particle according to its charge, its velocity, and its magnetic field strength.
Magnetism is present in all materials, but some are stronger than others.
For example, Ferromagnetism is primarily experienced by permanent magnets, such as iron.
Except for very rare exceptions, this is the only type of magnetism that people can detect.
Why Is Silver Not Magnetic?
As you can see, pure silver is not magnetic.
Furthermore, if you held a magnet to silver, there would be no attraction, and the force would repel it.
Consequently, silver is classified as a diamagnetic material, which is repelled by magnets, unlike ferromagnetic materials that are attracted to them.
Considering this, only materials with a high degree of sensitivity and fine-tuning would allow you to detect silver’s magnetism.
Due to this, you can assume that the silver you see every day is not magnetic.
Why Is It Important to Know if Silver Is Magnetic?
You can tell if a piece of silver jewelry is real by doing a magnetic test on it.
This is why it is important to know if silver is magnetic.
Magnetic materials are common in silver-plated jewelry.
However, in cases where the item is plated, the magnetism of the item is determined by the type and properties of the core material.
A plated silver piece that is made from nickel alloy or nickel will be highly magnetic.
In sterling silver, 92.5% of the silver is pure, while the remaining 7.5% consists of copper, and copper usually hardens the silver.
However, neither of these metals is magnetic.
This means that if you have a piece of jewelry made of sterling silver, you shouldn’t expect it to be magnetic.
When shopping for sterling silver jewelry, you should look for the .925 hallmark, which indicates that the silver is genuine.
But Why Do Some Sterling Silver Pieces Pass the Magnetic Test?
Some sterling silver jewelry is magnetic for a number of reasons, but these are the most common ones:
- In reality, the jewelry is not sterling silver as advertised but could be made of something like stainless steel instead.
- The jewelry is made of silver-plated material and is not genuine or pure. Always remember that silver can’t be used to make jewelry since it’s too soft and ductile. So, any jewelry labeled as ‘pure silver is likely to be fake, especially if it’s cheap.
- Silver could be magnetic if it contains more nickel than copper, which is a ferromagnetic metal.
If you expect a piece of silver to be fake and the magnetic test does not work, there are other ways for you to know.
For example, you can look for visual cues to see if it is a real piece of silver.
The tarnish of a silver object is one of the signs that the object is real.
The term tarnish refers to the discoloration of silver as a result of oxidation.
This can occur on vintage or artisan pieces made from silver.
Silver itself is not magnetic, and even if it does have magnetic properties, it will repel magnets rather than attract them.
So depending on whether it’s magnetic, it might be silver-plated rather than genuine silver.