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Thread: 100 ozt engelhard bar tests as sterling

  1. #11

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    Use your sigma tester to test another bar side by side with the questionable bar. See if there is a noteworthy difference.

    Use a secondary test, like an acid test with a small scraping.

    Use a third test, like an Archimedes test.

    Report your results & draw conclusions.
    “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”
    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, January 2008
    This is no longer posted in the Fed Minutes of January 2008, but still quoted here - https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna22592939. The FOMC minutes still quote MR. Reifschneider. as stating the same thing.

  2. #12

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    Following up. I ordered a better digital scale that will weigh 300 ounces and am waiting on it so I can run a specific gravity test. Meanwhile I took the bar to 2 local shops today who each had the more expensive Sigma PMV PRO. They got the same readings. somewhere between 90% and Sterling with a stronger reading on the 90% setting.

    I just sent Sigma an email. A partial copy follows here:
    "I would also like to know what the actual difference in the metal ('s) content is between the 90% pre-1900, the 90% pre 1945, and the 90% coin 1960? Which are the various 90% different setting on the machine.
    Also the difference between the 99.99? and the 99.9% pure?
    Is it that the other filler alloys were different metals? different purities of copper, etc?

    I have a 100 ounce Engelhard bar that tests inside the brackets on either the 90% or the sterling but NOT on the others. I wonder if the earlier Engelhard bars were smelted from junk silver or sterling and stamped 999 fine silver?
    PS... I took the bar to 2 different LCS's in my area that tested the bar on their Sigma PRO at each store and got the same readings as I did on my basic Sigma PMV."

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverPalm View Post
    Use your sigma tester to test another bar side by side with the questionable bar. See if there is a noteworthy difference.

    Use a secondary test, like an acid test with a small scraping.

    Use a third test, like an Archimedes test.

    Report your results & draw conclusions.
    As reported earlier, I did test 2 other 100 ozt bars, and Engelhard and a JM and they both tested perfectly in the middle of the brackets for 999 purity.

  4. #14

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    Interesting, without having any experience actually using these machines, my first thought is they are calibrated in such a way that the alloy of that specific bar gives a reading below .999. Your specific gravity test should give an accurate enough assessment if the bar is mostly pure silver at .999. Is it possible to find dimensions for this specific engelhard bar, and is it stamped with a serial# Of course there could be another anomaly that the machine is picking up. Did I read correctly that this bar has a drill hole in it?
    Last edited by and4rik; 05-11-2023 at 12:34 AM.
    "That's not money" - Ben Bernanke

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by and4rik View Post
    Interesting, without having any experience actually using these machines, my first thought is they are calibrated in such a way that the alloy of that specific bar gives a reading below .999. Your specific gravity test should give an accurate enough assessment if the bar is mostly pure silver at .999. Is it possible to find dimensions for this specific engelhard bar, and is it stamped with a serial# Of course there could be another anomaly that the machine is picking up. Did I read correctly that this bar has a drill hole in it?
    yes it is stamped with proper stamping and serial #. everything looks identical to another 999 bar one of the lcs's had in stock. and yes someone else along the way drilled a small hole in it (small bit and about 1/2 " deep in very center of the back side.
    Last edited by maxwellsilverhammer; 05-11-2023 at 06:53 AM.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxwellsilverhammer View Post
    yes it is stamped with proper stamping and serial #. everything looks identical to another 999 bar one of the lcs's had in stock. and yes someone else along the way drilled a small hole in it (small bit and about 1/2 " deep in very center of the back side.
    Maxwell, I am not saying that you should off load that sucker onto an unsuspecting LCS, but I'd be very much unlikely to keep that sucker.
    Do your own due diligence

    I stand united with my friends & family in Canada who seek freedom.

  7. #17

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    Didn’t really do the math but the $ difference between 100oz 999 and 100oz 90% would be close to $700 if my thinking is correct.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed Clampett View Post
    Didn’t really do the math but the $ difference between 100oz 999 and 100oz 90% would be close to $700 if my thinking is correct.
    If it's sterling it would be 7 1/2 oz less silver. If 90% would be 10 oz less silver in the 100 oz bar.

    Ag guy
    live for today, admit your faults, do the right thing (even if you don't want to) & trust God!
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    Whether you know it or not, you are a spiritual eternal being! Ag guy

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxwellsilverhammer View Post
    ...
    I just sent Sigma an email. A partial copy follows here:
    "I would also like to know what the actual difference in the metal ('s) content is between the 90% pre-1900, the 90% pre 1945, and the 90% coin 1960? Which are the various 90% different setting on the machine.
    ...
    I seem to remember that information being on the sigma website, or in one of their youtube videos from back when I researched those instruments. It may not be easy to find, but I think that it is there. I vaguely recall that the alloys on the older 90% had looser tolerances.
    “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”
    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, January 2008
    This is no longer posted in the Fed Minutes of January 2008, but still quoted here - https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna22592939. The FOMC minutes still quote MR. Reifschneider. as stating the same thing.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverPalm View Post
    I seem to remember that information being on the sigma website, or in one of their youtube videos from back when I researched those instruments. It may not be easy to find, but I think that it is there. I vaguely recall that the alloys on the older 90% had looser tolerances.
    yes, here is a partial email response from the folk at sigma company...

    "Thanks for reaching out. To answer your questions and inquiries:

    Due to how sensitive they are, each Wand needs to be installed and calibrated to their specific unit by our engineers here at the factory. That means if you’d need to send your entire device in to us for the upgrade. Let me know if you’d like to do that and I can arrange it.
    The different eras of 90% silver account for different levels of contaminants naturally occurring in coins of those eras. Minters in the 1880s thought they were minting clean 90% silver coins, but there were all kinds of contaminants they either couldn’t remove or didn’t even know were present, so older 90% silver samples read as higher resistivity than modern 90% silver samples. The era setting helps ensure that an older sample is not flagged as bad due to the contaminants that were common in the minting process at the time it was minted.
    While both 99.99% and 99.9% silver are marketed as “pure silver,” 99.99% silver technically has slightly more silver in it than 99.9%. The .001 remainder of 99.99 and .01 remainder of 99.9 are usually copper and a very small amount of other elements, but it’s enough of a difference to result in different readings on the PMV.
    We hear fairly often about older Engelhard bars reading out of the range on the .999 setting. This is either due to high contaminants (that .01 being something other than copper, such as a higher-resistivity element like tin) or they are 99.5% instead of 99.9%. In any case, bars should only really be tested on their intended setting; if a bar is stamped with .999, it should be tested on the 99.9% setting"

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