ThePipingMart Blog Metals How to Determine Brass – A Complete Guide

How to Determine Brass – A Complete Guide

How to Determine Brass

Knowing how to identify brass is essential for any DIYer, antique collector, or metal enthusiast. Brass is an alloy made of copper and zinc and it has a distinctive yellow color. It is a popular material used in home furnishings, automotive components, and jewelry. So, what are some ways to tell if something is brass? Read on to learn the answer.

Look at the Color

The most obvious way to tell if something is brass is by looking at its color. As mentioned above, brass has a characteristic yellow hue that can vary slightly depending on the amount of copper and zinc present in the alloy. If you’re unsure if something is brass or not, compare it with other known pieces of brass in similar lighting conditions and see how they compare.

Perform a Magnet Test

Another way to determine if something is made of brass is by performing a magnet test. Since brass does not contain any magnetic properties, it won’t be attracted to magnets like steel or iron would be. Place a magnet near your item and observe whether or not it sticks. If it does not stick then chances are you have found yourself some genuine brass!

Check for Patina

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself an antique piece that looks like it could be made from brass then there are two things you can look for which will help confirm your suspicions; patina and wear marks. Patina forms on the surface over time as oxygen interacts with the metal alloy; this typically takes many years but can also happen quickly due to exposure such as salt water or harsh chemicals. Wear marks are caused by repeated contact with surfaces such as wood or fabric; these marks usually appear around areas where tools were used like handles or hinges which have been opened/closed hundreds of times over the years.


Knowing how to identify brass can save both time and money when searching for materials for your next project or purchase. With just a few simple steps such as looking at its color, performing a magnet test, and checking for patina and wear marks, you should be able to confidently determine whether something is made from brass or not! The best part? This process only takes a few minutes so you can quickly get back to enjoying your new discovery!

Related Post