Book Menu

Nickel Silver

Most 19th and 20th century nickel silver objects will be found either as the unchanged copper-nickel-zinc alloy or with a thin film of electrodeposited silver on the surface. A simple spot test may be used to distinguish these materials (Appendix 9).

One very easy way to recognise the presence of nickel, either as nickel plating or its presence in an alloy, is to look for the bright lemon-green corrosion products which characterise nickel (II) compounds. The colour is a much more lemon-yellow-green than the characteristic blue-green of copper.

In Australia only coins minted before the introduction of decimal coinage (1966) contain any significant amounts of silver. To remove tarnish from coins containing silver, follow the procedures specifically outlined for silver.

For coinage and other nickel silver objects, treat corrosion products according to the methods outlined below for copper and its alloys (brass and bronze).

To treat electroplated nickel silver, follow the guidelines for silver objects.