How To Tell If Something Is Real Brass Or Not?


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David Gill Profile
David Gill answered
There are some small tests you can do where you may be able to identify whether an item is authentic brass or not. Brass is a non ferrous metal. This means that it is not magnetic so a magnet will not stick to it. Conversely if the magnet is attracted to the metal then the item is most definitely not brass. You could also scratch the surface of the 'brass' and check what the color is; if the color revealed is a silvery color then it is likely a white metal with a brass plate coating.

  • Hang on, what if it IS brass, won't I ruin it by scratching it?
Brass with a little polishing will revert to its original vibrant golden yellow color, and white metal can easily be re-plated if necessary so there would be no need to worry about long term, irreparable damage.

  • How much would that cost me?
A 8oz bottle of Brasso or other brand metal polish will usually set you back less than $5 while a plating kit can cost the best part of $200 including a gallon of solution. However, a little shopping around could see the price reduced significantly.

  • Ouch! Would it be cheaper to get it done professionally?
It may well be, although prices are difficult to assess given the wide array of shapes and sizes that can be electroplated. Below are a couple of websites that can give an estimate on the cost

Brass Metal Plating
Spectrum Metal Finishing  
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Brass does not cause sparks,also it is not magnetic,if you scratch it it is generally yellow in color

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