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I have a gold plated Buescher stencil but the keys could be nickel plated. HOw can I tell the difference?

I am asking because the plating on the keys has worn through to the brass in many areas. I suppose I could try plating silver andd/or nickel to find out WHICH plating I have but

...curious minds need to know

thx
Frz
 

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i would say that keys are in general nickel plated or otherwise solid nickel-silver read here
but perhaps in the case of a gold plated horn it might have been silver plate (which implies a brass base which is exposed if the plating wears out)....is there any tarnish? Nickel wouldn't tarnish but silver would....If they are nickel coated or silver coated you could have them pretty easily replated.:)
 

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milandro said:
Nickel wouldn't tarnish but silver would....
Nickel does taqrnish. In some environmnets it tarnishes very quickly. The couklour is not black like it is with silver, but more often a dull, off-white look, and it can be quite rough. Generally it is more difficult to remove than silver plating.

Nickel is also more likely to set up galvanic corrosion in conjunction with the base metal, resuting in quite deep pits in the base metal.

Nickel is more like chrome. You can learn to recognise nickel plating by comparing it with known plated samples... Most clarinet/sax/guitar case hinges and catches, and many music stands, and often the keys on student saxes are nickel plated, but they are never silver plated.

Nickel is not the look that you would likely wear around your neck as chain or pendant, but silver is.

Untarnished nickel is a lot more slippery, especially if fingers are a little sweaty.
 

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What was I thinking, yes Gordon, you are of course right! I have a nickel plate Julius Keilverth Toneking New King which is tarnished and pitted but this is the nickel plate reaction to external agent becuse of the brass underneath. I thought that if something would be solid nikel-silver (I understand there are such saxophones) wouldn't tarnish, but perhaps I am wrong.
 

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After "silver" coins were made from silver, and before they were made from plated steel, most of them were made from a nickel silver alloy. When they were freshly minted they shone like silver, but fairly quickly tarnished to that old coin colour, which was quite a stable finish, but still somewhat susceptible to various agents which cause copper corrosion.

Unplated nickel silver, more properly called cupro-nickel because it contains no silver, is quite common on older clarinets and oboes. Even certain bore oils, cork grease, and perspiration can also give it a greasy blue/green corrosion, but on the whole, it behaves like those coins, looking dull until polished again. Some players like it because of its non-slippery quality once tarnished. Cupro-nickel is tougher than brass, so it is sometimes used for longer sax keys.
 

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yes....I get it..... I understod that the keys of my Martin RMC " committee" are made of nickel-silver.....they do not look dull though. We had in many European countries, before of the Euro, some nickel coins , they were pretty shiny though.
 

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I suppose it is possible that some coins may have been an alloy of mostly nickel, rather than the approx 3/4 or 4/5 copper that cupronickel alloys usually are. They would likely stay shinier for longer.
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
I suppose it is possible that some coins may have been an alloy of mostly nickel, rather than the approx 3/4 or 4/5 copper that cupronickel alloys usually are. They would likely stay shinier for longer.
part of the European coins are still made of the same (or something similar) materials they were made before, notably the 1 Euro Coin and the 2 Euro coin are made of a two-tone combination of a white metal (nickel ?) with a brass-like metal. They are pretty shiny, we have had them in use for 7 years now and I've never seen a tarnished one. Previously in all European countries there were nickel coins. I've seen very occasionally coins which were tarnished but we are talking of things that were subject to any kind of abuse and were in circulation for decades. I still have plenty from many countries and they look almost as shiny as the day that they were made.:?
 

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On the left, a nickel plated steel coin. (2006)
In the middle, a cupro-nickel coin, still almost as shiny as when new. (2002)
On the right, a cupro-nickel coin (1971), typical of the look of old unpolished, unplated clarinet keys.
 

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ok Gordon, you win! :D ;)
I don't have the time to go through my small collection of coins and take some decent pictures but here you can find an Italian site with images and composition of some pre-euro Dutch coins and post euro ones.
sorry the pictures are not great to see the coin shine, I know, but trust me they do.

The pre Euro " white" ones have been made in the same composition for ages and I have very old ones indeed (with exception of the war years when they were made in very light metal) which are still shiny.
It is also interesting that Italian coins were made of Acmonital , nickel steel metal, those shone as much as the dutch ones made of nickel
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
After "silver" coins were made from silver, and before they were made from plated steel, most of them were made from a nickel silver alloy. When they were freshly minted they shone like silver, but fairly quickly tarnished to that old coin colour, which was quite a stable finish, but still somewhat susceptible to various agents which cause copper corrosion.

Unplated nickel silver, more properly called cupro-nickel because it contains no silver, is quite common on older clarinets and oboes. Even certain bore oils, cork grease, and perspiration can also give it a greasy blue/green corrosion, but on the whole, it behaves like those coins, looking dull until polished again. Some players like it because of its non-slippery quality once tarnished. Cupro-nickel is tougher than brass, so it is sometimes used for longer sax keys.
The US "Nickel" coin could be (early seventies) picked up with a magnet -
 

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It seems that the "silver-look" coin could be from a wide variety of alloys and platings, depending on the country and the year.
 

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If nickel is magnetic, how come some stainless steel alloys aren't?

Even with a strong ceramic magnet, some stainless steel screws I use are having none of it - so the accidentally dropped ones will stay lost.
 

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