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Thread: How to tell the difference between brass...

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    How to tell the difference between brass...

    ...and gold without buying a gun?



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    chances are if you have it, found it, someone gave it to you, its not gold lol

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    Are you talking like a brass lamp vs a gold lamp? ...or brass vs gold contacts?

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    The difference in red brass and yellow brass is pretty easy to distinguish. Red brass does have a higher concentration (around 60%) of copper as Mick suggested which is why it is more valuable than yellow. It is used in a lot of construction and mechanical aspects, in things such as sprinklers(think about those really old hose nozzles that look like copper), bushings, and valves. Yellow brass is used alot for decoration(although I have seen a lot of dresser drawer handles with red brass) and is exactly what it's name attests to: yellow. You can find this as door hinges, decorative hardware(door handles, drawer/cabinet handles, faucets), keys, and a lot of instruments are made from yellow brass like trumpet, trombone, sax(there are instruments that are made of red brass, but they are much rarer). Another great distinguishable trait of yellow brass is it MUCH shinier and brighter than red brass. If you are still unsure you can use a file to sand a spot on the object. If the shavings are orange in color then it is red brass, if they are a pale yellow.... then it's yellow! The difference in price per lb is usually around 50 cents, the higher being paid for red brass.

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    Thanks for the tip.....yeah, I know the difference betweenred & copper, and red & yellow. Spotting the gold is my real question. The particular piece of yellow I am pondering is a piece out of a Panasonic shelf stereo...is probably a 10th to 1/8 of an ounce. I assumed it was brass, but it just don't look or feel quite right, so I set it aside. It is the litte "screw" that moves the cd laser eye back & forth.

    I've been scrapping a long time, but have no real experience with gold. I'd hate to toss a tenth oz. into the brass barrell.

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    Oh, and it wasn't free. It cost me about $200 about 10-12 years ago

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    Gold is heavier than brass by nearly 2x. Also yellow brass is duller and pale compared to gold. There are several tests you that I found that you can try. Open an old car battery, wrap a small piece of cotton or rag over a long wood or plastic stick, take out some "battery acid" and touch it. If there's a change in color it is brass. Also nitric acid will dissolve nearly every metal alloy except gold. And finally you can do a density test if you have a precision scale:


    1.weigh object in air
    2.weigh object submerged in distilled water
    3.Calculate density

    (mass in air)X(density of liquid)
    -------------------------------------
    (mass in air)-(mass submerged in liquid)

    4.Compare values: pure gold=18.88, gold 18K (light yellow)=15.4, gold 14 K (yellow)=13.6, brass(yellow)=8.40-8.55, water=1.00(20 C temp.)


    They also say that if you rub the object between your fingers and if it produces a very distinct odor, it is brass..... Not sure if that would work. Brass does have a metallic odor, just test your keys and find out. Also you could taste test it(after you wash it of course!). Put it on the middle of your tongue and breathe in through your open mouth, if it tastes funny it is not gold. Hope these help and let us know how it goes!

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    great info thnx


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