October 21, 2022

If you're new to wearing jewelry and are going to begin your collection of gold pieces, you might not know whether a jeweler is genuine or just trying to get a high price for a knockoff. Always, it is wiser to be cautious than sorry, right? So pay attention as we explain what you should look for to distinguish between genuine gold and fool's gold.


Color Check

Checking the color of your gold is more challenging than it seems. If you want to eyeball it, you might need some experience. Additionally, it might not be the most accurate test available, but it can be worth checking to get started.

We all know that alloyed gold can be stained with other colors and have distinct yellow colors. However, a skilled eye could easily distinguish pure yellow gold because of its distinctive color. It should be metallic in appearance and have no corrosion on its surface.

Mark Check

Pure gold would often have markings, whether it is a bullion bar, jewelry, or kitchenware. For markings and hallmarks on jewelry, clasps and the insides of the bands are the usual spots for this. Meanwhile, kitchenware would have markings on the back handles of utensils, sides, or handles of pots and pans. 

Gold is measured in Karat. The higher the gold purity, the higher in price. Below is the list of markings to identify gold’s purity.

  • 8k or 333
  • 9k or 375
  • 10k or 417
  • 14k or 583.3
  • 15k or 625
  • 18k or 750
  • 20k or 834
  • 22k or 916
  • 23k or 958.3
  • 24k or 999

Here is a list of markings to avoid if you want genuine and pure gold. 

  • 1/10 ___k 
  • 1/20___k 
  • RGP (Rolled Gold Plate)
  • GB (Gold Bond)
  • Gold Shell
  • GP (Gold-plated
  • HGP or HE (Heavy Gold-plated
  • GF (Gold Filled
  • GE or GEP (Gold Electroplated
  • HEG (Heavy Gold Electroplated) 

Stain Check

This test needs a bit of time to notice and to be able to know. But some intense rubbing would be able to show changes on either your skin or the gold piece. If it stains your skin or leaves a stain on the gold, it’s simply not genuine gold. For affordable gold jewelry, giveGold Presidents a visit now! 

Weight Check

A gold piece has a defined weight (also depending on its size). It is preferable to let a jeweler check this for you if you suspect that they are either too light or might be too heavy for their size.

Magnet Check

Pure gold is not at all magnetic, just like pure silver. Therefore, there is a likelihood that the gold jewelry you have been told is genuine is not indeed gold if it attracts a magnet. Copper and other commonly added metals will cause it to sink more slowly.

Scratch Check

Another quite risky type of test but is known to be very useful when checking for real gold. Scratching your gold piece to unglazed ceramic and seeing a remnant of a yellowish streak, you’ll know that your item is indeed gold. If there are any brownish or black streaks, it's likely pyrite, which has a similar appearance to gold.

Float Check

A genuine piece of gold is known to be dense and heavy, so the tendency when you drop it gently into the water is that it will quickly sink to the bottom of the container compared to fake gold. 

Thefloat test is also called the density check. To know the density, divide the mass by the volume. This division would provide the average density of your gold piece accurately.

Acid Check

Gold is almost inert. It will not react to any acid element. You can try vinegar or nitric acid if you're at home. But you have to scratch the gold deep enough to ensure that the piece is not just gold-plated. 

You simply need a few drops of vinegar and wait at least 15 minutes to observe the results. The change in color of the gold piece that you have would answer to 

Nitric acid carries some risk because it can melt the other metals in a hoax object and damage it if it is not authentic. The item will turn green or milky white if it is a fake.

Just make sure you don’t forget to wear gloves when you do it, as acid is corrosive and can burn your skin. Also, make sure to be in a well-ventilated place because it is caustic. Jewelers would not encourage this test and advise you todrop the acid

Machine Check

Anyone who owns aSigma Metalytics machine has a quick and easy way to assess their gold. By sending a signal beneath the surface of your sample, it may check for plating and sub-surface inserts.

Jeweler Check

Of course, if you want to be sure of the authenticity of the gold piece, it’s best to see the experts verify it for you. In this way, the jewelry will be handled and tested.

And that’s it, folks. You have learned the secrets the shady jewelers might be hoping you don’t get to know. Happy gold hunting! 

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