German Silver From Coins. Melting Nickel Silver and Casting Bars

The reason of this article and video is to show how to get high quality copper alloy which looks like silver for your projects. This alloy was created in 19th century specially to replace silver or at least to make metal which looks like silver and has similar characteristics. That's why German metallurgist using Chinese alloy created this alloy which was called German Silver or Nickel Silver.

Supplies:

Step 1: Where to Get Nickel Silver...

Nikel Silver was popular metal for producing coins. Now more and more countries are using cheaper metals and alloys but you still can use some old coins. In my case, I used old USSR coins which are made of 58% copper, 30% zinc and 12% nickel. To buy 1kg of these coins I've spent about 5 USD. In my opinion that's not expensive.

Step 2: Let's Fire It Up

Starting up a furnace

Step 3: Reaching the Temperature

We need to reach 1200 °C (2192 °F).

Step 4: Casting

When we reached temperature it's time for casting.

Step 5: Was the Temperature Reached?

I'm not sure if the temperature 1200 °C was reached. It looks like the temperature was a little bit lower.

Step 6: Brushing Ingots

After brushing, sanding and machining we see that metal looks like silver. Hardness test shows that this metal is soft and can be used probably only for decorative purposes. I'm definitely going to use it in my future projects.

Good luck in melting and casting! :)

Share

    Recommendations

    • IoT Challenge

      IoT Challenge
    • Party Challenge

      Party Challenge
    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest

    7 Discussions

    0
    None
    Alex in NZ

    3 months ago

    Nice work. Thank you for sharing it :-)
    From Eastern Europe, I've only seen DDR and Czechoslovakia "silver" coins and I think they were a much lighter (and even softer). Maybe aluminium? I did not know that the USSR coins were from Cu-Ni-Zn.

    5 replies
    0
    None
    DuralMAlex in NZ

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you for reading and commenting :) That's good that they used at least such composition :) In USSR everything was the lowest possible quality. They stopped using silver in coins in 1930. From 1931 till 1960 they used better quality coins than I melted. They contained 80% of copper and 20% of Nickel. Comparing to other country that's terrible. For instance Canadian coins contained up to 80% of real silver till 1968. After that these coins were made of pure nickel till 1999. I was shocked to read about that. Really cool! P.S. I think I have coins from DDR and Czechoslovakia in my collection as well. You're right, probably aluminum!

    0
    None
    Alex in NZDuralM

    Reply 3 months ago

    Yeah, the UK moved off silver in about 1948 I think, and scaled down from "sterling" before then.
    Re: the aluminium coins in Czechoslovakia: I seem to recall that the smallest coins were so thin and light that they could be supported by the head (froth) on beer. Hence the then joke of "our beer supports our currency."

    0
    None
    DuralMAlex in NZ

    Reply 3 months ago

    :) That's funny. Of course to understand this expression a person needs to now the whole story which you explained to me :) Well, Czech beer is good. Do you have some connection to Eastern Europe Alex? As I understand NZ in your nickname is New Zealand...

    0
    None
    Alex in NZDuralM

    Reply 3 months ago

    Yeah, I'm down here in Noo Zull, enjoying a blazing summer sunset :-). No connection to Eastern Europe bar a couple of short visits, but bits of it (including the beer) are lovely.

    0
    None
    DuralMAlex in NZ

    Reply 3 months ago

    Well, a copuple of shot visits plus your interest in European coins and beer... I consider that as a strong connection to Europe :):):)

    0
    None
    ronanry

    3 months ago

    Please,every readers, before doing this, ask a specialist if your money worth something !
    Maybe some historical piece of art may be lose this way (and everybody know how much historical and art rhyme with money)