Are you wondering if the gold you’ve been keeping is real or not? Here are five ways to tell if it is:
Do the magnifying glass test
A magnifying glass test is the first thing that you should do to determine if your gold is real or not. Using a magnifying glass, you should be on the look-out for visual clues that will tell you the authenticity of a gold product.
For one, you need to watch out for any signs of discoloration. Remember that gold is inert, which means that its composition will not be affected by any environmental factor. So if you spot even the slightest discoloration marks on your gold, it could be a sign that it’s either gold plated or completely fake.
You should also be on the lookout for too much color and shininess. Although gold is commonly associated with shine and bright color, real gold is actually not very shiny and has a soft yellow tone. So if you see too much shine or color in your gold piece, it could be a red flag that it’s fake.
Do the acid test
Real gold jewelry should be made of solid gold alloy and should have enough gold content to pass commercial standards. One of the easiest ways to tell if your gold is real or not is to do an acid test using a gold testing kit. You can either have your jeweler do this or you can buy a kit and do it at home.
Nitric acid is used for this test and it’s usually done by scratching the piece of gold against a testing slab so it could leave a scratch mark on it. Different concentrations of nitric acid are then applied to that mark to see whether it will be dissolved or not.
The purity of the gold alloy will be determined by the amount of nitric acid that causes the scratch mark to be dissolved. Just make sure that you scratched deep enough to avoid getting a false positive for pure gold. You need to reach beyond the top layer of the gold to make sure that it’s not just gold filled or gold plated.
Search for the gold hallmark
Gold is one of the earth’s most precious metals, so it’s only fitting that all gold jewelry pieces have hallmarks that tell you exactly what the value of your investment is. It is a rule for jewelers to notate the authenticity and karatage of the gold to make it easier to determine its value, purity and price.
Karatage will tell you how much pure gold was used in the piece. 24K gold is the highest standard for jewelry because it’s made from 99.9% pure gold.
In the United States, gold jewelry pieces that contain less than 10K gold are not fit for commercial standards. You could also see a “999” marking on some jewelry pieces, which is basically its purity hallmark. Avoid stamps that say GP or gold plated, G.E.P. or gold electroplating, HGP or heavy gold plate, .925 or Sterling silver and 1/20-1/20 gold or gold-filled.
You have to remember, however, that these hallmarks are not conclusive of a gold’s authenticity because some fake pieces of jewelry now have their own markings. If you suspect that your gold is fake but it has these hallmarks, it’s best to conduct additional tests to prove your suspicions.
Do the magnet test
Pure gold is not magnetic, so another good way to determine if your gold is real or not is to test it using a magnet. Simply hold the magnet up against your gold and if it sticks, then it could be fake.
This test should not be conclusive, however, because some jewelers choose other types of metals to use for gold-plated jewelry so it doesn’t stick to a magnet. If your gold has struck to a magnet, you can either conduct more tests at home or take the piece to a jeweler.
Do the makeup test
Yes, you can also use your makeup to determine the authenticity of your gold. You can do this by simply applying a liquid foundation on your forehead and rubbing the gold on it to see if black streaks will start to appear. If they do, your gold is likely authentic.
Do the float test
Pure gold has a density of at least 19.32 g/ml, which means that it is quite heavy. Now if you want to know that your gold is real, you simply need to get a bowl of water and place the jewelry on it.
If it sinks to the bottom of the bowl, your gold is considered genuine because it’s quite heavy. But if the gold floats or just don’t sink at all, then it’s definitely fake. This is because fake gold has a lower density that allows it to float.
There are a lot of ways to tell if gold is real or not. But if you really want to hear from the experts, you can always take your gold jewelry to a jeweler for appraisal.