To tell if something is brass, clean a section of the metal, check its color and test whether a magnet sticks to the object. Brass has a distinct, bright gold color, and because it isn't ferromagnetic, it doesn't attract magnets.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc that typically contains 67 percent copper and 33 percent zinc, although different types of brass contain different ratios of metals. Red brass has a higher copper content and yellow brass has a higher zinc content. The alloy is more malleable than pure copper or zinc, which makes it easier to cast and machine. The bacteriostatic properties of brass make it a popular choice for fixtures in bathrooms and health facilities.