How to Check a 100 Oz Silver Bar

Silver ingots are an investment choice.
Silver ingots are an investment choice. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

When purchasing silver bars, buyers will want to be certain to get exactly what is paid for. While many silver dealers claim to sell only bars made of 99.9 percent pure silver with recognized hallmarks, there are some fake silver bars and silver bars filled with lead in circulation. Make the most of your investment by taking the necessary precautions to ensure that you are purchasing 99.9 percent 100 oz. pure silver bars.

Things You'll Need

  • Silver acid test kit
  • Scale

Buy only from trusted, reputable, highly recommended coin and jewelry dealers who have been in business a long time and have a high customer-satisfaction rating. Ask friends for recommendations, check with the Better Business Bureau and conduct Internet research.

Look for bars stamped with recognizable and well-known hallmarks such as Engelhard, Johnson-Matthey, Sunshine Minting, Wall Street Mint, Sheffield (English), Academy and Handy & Harman.

Require the dealer to give you an invoice that specifies the serial numbers of the bars you are purchasing.

Be suspicious if you are paying a price that is below the current price of silver. The value of silver fluctuates daily, so expect to pay the going rate per ounce.

Weigh the bar. A 100-ounce bar weights 6.86 pounds.

Perform a silver acid test. Scratch the side of the bar, then apply the acid to the scratch and follow the directions included with the kit. Depending upon the type of kit you use, the metal will change different colors based on the purity of the silver. Compare the color of the silver with the color chart in the kit to determine the silver's level of purity.

Tips & Warnings

  • Carefully follow the instructions included with your acid test. Wear gloves and keep the acid away from your face and eyes.

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