How to Tell if Gold is Real

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How to Tell if Gold is Real

Gold jewelry is very elegant and stylish, but there are times when you’re not sure whether or not you have the real thing. Fake gold, or fool’s gold, can fade away over time; the once sparkling treasure you cherished is now worn out and ugly. Don’t be fooled by fakes; there are several ways to tell if gold is real or not.

What You’ll Need:

  • Water and jug
  • Small file
  • Nitric acid
  • Magnet
  • Unglazed ceramic

Find The Hallmark

The hallmark is the easiest way to determine whether your gold is fake or real. The hallmark is the stamp that states the jewelry’s karat weight, such as 14k or 10k. If your gold is a very large piece (such as a gold bar), try and see if there’s a hallmark carved anywhere. Be reminded that this isn’t always very reliable, though. Sometimes, even fake gold can have hallmark stamped in them, and real gold doesn’t have it.

The Water Test

Gold is a lot heavier, compared to other metals. There are only a few types of metal that are heavier than it. Drop the gold in a jug filled with water. If it sinks to the bottom, it’s a sign that it’s real gold. Even the smallest gold jewelry will sink. If it floats, then it’s a fake.

Scratch The Jewelry

If you don’t mind scratching your jewelry a bit, then this procedure would be great. Find a spot on your gold that isn’t very noticeable, then scratch it lightly with a small file. Afterwards, apply a drop of nitric acid on the scratch. If nothing happens, it’s real gold, but if it becomes green it’s just gold-plated or a base metal. If you see a milky substance, what you have is gold-plated sterling silver.

Use A Magnet

Unlike other metals, gold isn’t magnetic. If your jewelry sticks or pulls toward a magnet, it’s not real. There are some jewelry that are made from non-magnetic metals, so this isn’t the most reliable tactic.

Try The Ceramic Method

If you have an unglazed ceramic material at home, you can test if your gold is real or not. Get a small piece, then rub it against the gold. If the gold is real, there will be a golden streak. If it’s fake, the streak is black.

Use Cosmetics

gold barsMakeup has been known as a great indicator of whether a gold is real or not. Here’s what to do.

  1. Wash your hands, then dry them thoroughly.
  2. Get the liquid foundation, applying a nickel- sized amount on your hand’s back. Let it set up a bit for a couple of seconds.
  3. Apply the face powder or finishing powder on the liquid foundation.
  4. Get your gold item, then rub it over the makeup in a back and forth motion.
  5. See what happens to the makeup. If you see a black streak, then it’s real.

Ask A Jewelry Dealer

If you’re not convinced with the methods above, then this the best solution. Professional jewelry dealers have testing kits that let you know whether the piece is real or not. Testing would require a small fee, but you’ll be guaranteed that you’ll get the correct results. Just make sure the dealer is trustworthy.

One last tip: don’t buy jewelry from unreliable sources. As long as you only buy from reputable jewelry shops, you’ll be assured your gold is always of top quality and real. If the gold is proved to be real, the next step probably is to learn how to sell gold jewelry.

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Comments

  1. R said,

    on September 24th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Make-up test is not reliable, every kind metal tested will produce black streak. Even a safety pin.