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PLnauta

Metals : polish nickel vs silver

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Hi all,

 

this is a problem that come to me unexpectadly with the Petrified Wood Compass geocoin. I'd always refered to the "polished version" as "silver" by mistake obviously since it was always presented as "polished nickel".

 

And now i saw that the one of the versions of Rainforest Jewel are named "silver" and in some ebay sellers appears as "nickel" - (no its not the black one)

 

My question is.

Is there a diference between "polished nickel" and "silver". Are they the same metal league and there are differences in the shining (?);

 

I never gave to much thoughts on the metal finishes but now, with this small "problem" i'd like to became more aware of the differences between metal and their finishes.

 

Thanks.

 

Paulo

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That's something that has always confused me as well. I 'think' they're the same, but I'll let someone more knowledgable chime in.

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There are several 'platings' that look silver in appearance;

 

silver

nickel

chrome

rhodium

 

Some are difficult to tell apart. I can only speak for my versions of coins but I have always ordered them with silver plating and list them as silver plating. They are NOT nickel although you will see them listed as such by others.

 

I'm sure you'll get several well thought out answers here to help you with metal plating differences.

 

tsun :(

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A lot of metals look very closely alike (take bronze and gold for instance). I've seen there is only a slight variation in the tint of the metal for it to be called something else. If it looks silver, people will call it just that. My personal coins were done in Ant. Bronze, Bronze and Nickel... although if you look at the geocoin collecting site, they have silver and gold listed as well :(

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Nickel has a slightly yellow tint to it. If you put a silver and nickel coin next to each other, you can see just a slight difference.

 

I remember back in the day, antique silver was sometimes called pewter, but that's another story. =)

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I can't speak from the geocoin perspective, but I can speak from my HS jewelry shop experience.

 

In my jewelry making days, we used a metal called Nickel Silver. It is usually an alloy of nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu). It has NO Silver (Ag) in it. It was cheaper than working with Silver, but its appearance is like that of Silver and it doesn't tarnish.

 

My guess is Nickel could be short for Nickel Silver and its elemental composition is different than Silver.

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Well, one difference is silver will easily tarnish whereas nickel will not. So if your coins look like your mom's old formal flatware that she only pulls out at thanksgiving, then you've got real silver ones. But if you can touch them all day long and they only get fingerprints but no "staining" then they're probably nickel. Of course, over time, nickel will take on a foggyness that cannot be polished out.

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True polished silver exposed to air without treatment will tarnish like your great-grandmother's kitchen utensils. Therefore, coins of a silver color that are indeed polished to shine are most likely to be polished nickel.

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Great discussion! I cannot wait to hear what people say. I have had to end up putting stickers onto the plastic sleaves when I receive the coins just so I know what color they are. If I do not remember to do it right away, I end up having to go back and find my invoice to remember what color I ordered!

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Sometimes silver (the color) fits better in an ebay title than white nickel or silver nickel or antique silver. I know I use it all the time, but if you read the listing copy, you'll see the proper verbage is in there :(

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I can tell the difference with the nickel and silver versus the rhodium the easiest. the rhodium is MEGA shiny, almost a clear chrome look to them. I am sure Fox-and-the-hound could answer it better, as he had to explain all the metal choices when I was making my Frozen Buns coin. Good Luck which ever you chose. :(

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I think that this is more of a marketing thing

 

Given the price of gold, I am quite confident that there is no gold in almost all of the coins that have that designation (the only exceptions that I am aware of are the 2008 Alaska solid gold coin, and the 2006 and 2008 Alaska .999 silver with gold leaf - if you check the prices of these, you will see why I am so sure that all the rest of the so-called "gold" coins don't have so much as a single atom of the stuff in them)

 

Similarly, I seriously doubt that there is any silver in most of the coins listed as such

I do not think that there are more than a dozen geocoins that actually have any silver in them, and those are solid silver, and priced accordingly

 

Maybe better (more accurate) words would be "golden" and "silvery" or even "imitation gold/silver"

But those do not sound nearly so snazzy

 

And, given that the spot price for rhodium is close to $7,000 (about eight times that of gold), I think that it is safe to say that coins advertised as having a "rhodium" finish are imitation as well

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There is actually a significant difference in the finishes; however, it is mostly noticeable to those who handle all the different finishes on a frequent basis. Some people refer to nickel as silver, but it is not. A real silver finish is real silver and it will tarnish easily. It looks very bright and can obscure the details that are on a coin. Nickel is a darker finish and does not corrode as easily. Chrome is even darker and can actually look like a "dirty" nickel. Rhodium, while thought of as a great metal, is actually one of the weakest finishes along with black nickel, but it looks like an in-between of nickel and chrome.

 

Antique silver is real silver that has had a corrosion agent applied to it. Antique gold is a real gold that has also had a corrosion agent applied to it. And the same applies to antique bronze. The visual difference between antique bronze and antique gold is very slight, and even some coin makers can't tell the difference. However, some designs can bring out a significant visual difference in the two finishes since bronze is a little more reddish than the gold.

 

Polished and antique gold plating from many makers is 18K to 24K gold, and polished and antique silver varies in a range of .912 to .999 real. In some cases, there are still a few makers out there that call their fake finishes gold and silver. In the case of eBay, it is mostly trying to fit the name in the title, a lack of knowledge, or an attempt at marketing.

 

The plating on logo coins is so thin that the cost of gold and silver plating is very slight. Most of the cost difference in the finishes is due to the labor involved to get the finish buffed/brushed to specs. Usually antique finishes cost more because they involve extra steps in production above what polished requires.

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Well

 

there are lot of anwsers, and i thank you all.

 

So if I understand clearly, the coins are made of a base metal leage and treated with a metal finish, that in the case of gold, silver, antique gold, antique silver, include those precious metals (gold and silver) in thin platings.

 

Then this makes all the sense:

 

"Quote Coins&Pins"

[in some cases, there are still a few makers out there that call their fake finishes gold and silver]

 

"Quote Bhob"

[Maybe better (more accurate) words would be "golden" and "silvery" or even "imitation gold/silver]

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Sorry, error posting.

Edited by wutzebear

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