any chemists here?

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Mar 13, 2007
Atlanta, GA
interested to find out whether a silver wire is pure silver or contains other metals like iron/copper

cuz apparently the wire is attracted to magnets

so.. can anyone devise a simple chemical test to show this?

i've access to various reagents, acids etc.

will 10M HCL be a good option? considering if silver is non soluble in 10m HCL whilst other metals would probably react

what should i use to precipitate the other ions? iron? copper?


Senior Member
Dec 30, 2004
Digging out my secondary school chemistry text book...

Assuming only 3 possible metals namely Silver, Iron, Copper.

If you use HCl, only Iron will dissolve while Silver and Copper will remind because they are generally not dissolve in HCl. You may want to use concentrated Nitric Acid instead.

2HCl (aq) + Fe (s) -> Fe2+(aq) + 2Cl-(aq) + H2 (g)

Testing for Iron(II) ions
Effect with aqueous Sodium Hydroxide -> green ppt insoluble in excess
Effect with aqueous ammonia -> green ppt insoluble in excess

Refer to Wikipedia, you find a list of Ferromagnetic materials

You can actually use Wikipedia to see the individual properties of the metals and devise a suitable test for the presence of the metals. :)

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