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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/white gold or silver


My husband just bought me a wedding set from a pawn shop as I had to sell line do to financial reasons.He told the woman he wanted white gold and she assured him that the set was intact white gold. However, the only stamp on the inside of the ring is a "S" and the bottom of the rings have a very light yellow tarnish to them. I think they may be silver because I thought white gold had the kt stamp?

I think the question was posted twice, but just in case, here is another reply.
Questions about coding inside rings are best referred to a jeweler since these are outside my area of expertise.
You could do a crude density test provided there are no stones mounted on the ring: Get one of those cheap hanging postal scales. Tie the ring from a thin thread, hang from postal scale and weigh. This is called "weight in air" or Wa; record the measurement in grams (if in ounces then convert). Now submerse the hanging ring into a cup with water. Make sure it does not touch side and bottom and is completely submersed (Of course, do not submerse the scale). Record this "weight in water" (Ww) also in grams. Calculate the density or specific gravity (SG) of the ring as follows (make sure units are in grams):
SG = Wa / (Wa-Ww)
Pure gold would have a density of 19. But rings are rarely pure gold, so values between 15 to 19 would indicate with a high probability that you have a gold ring. Pure silver would have a density of 10.5, with gold plating or some gold mixed into it probably a little more.
Another possibility would be to put the ring into some egg yolk (No kidding). A pure silver ring would be coated in a layer of black, a reaction caused by the sulfur in the egg with the silver making black silver sulfide. This can be removed with silver polish and some elbow grease. If it is gold alloyed with silver then you would get some strange discoloration of the ring, does not need to be black. The more silver, the blacker it would get.  

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Uwe Richard Kackstaetter, Ph.D. (Dr.K)


I can answer questions concerning minerals, mineralogy, gems, metals, and anything that has to do with geology. However, I am NOT a jeweler. Questions about values, settings, gem stone cuts and appraisals are best directed to other experts on this site. I can however aide in the identification of unknown mineral materials. As a public service and part as training for new geoscientists, our university department provides FREE mineral identification for individuals. Please contact me for details or go to for details..


I am a professor of applied geology and mineralogy with many hours of field experience. Furthermore, I enjoy recreational gold prospecting and mineral collecting. As a professor I am engaged in research concerning minerals and their occurrence.

Member of the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) as well as the Association of Environmental Geochemists. Member of the GSA (Geologic Society of America) Member of the AIPG (American Institute of Professional Geologists)

Here is a small sampling: Mineral-rock handbook: Rapid-easy mineral-rock determination : written for anyone interested in minerals and rocks - Proctor, Peterson, and Kackstaetter;Macmillan Pub. Co. (New York and Toronto and New York) Physical Geology Laboratory e-Manual [CD-ROM], Kackstaetter, Earth Science Education LLC Colorado Front Range Self-guided Geology Field Trips, Kackstaetter,

Ph.D. in Applied Geology and Mineralogy. I am actively teaching courses in mineralogy and a variety of field courses with mineral collecting opportunities. Background in precious metal exploration.

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