how can you tell if gold is real or fake
Gold is the typical symbol of status, strength, immortality, and prosperity, often limited to royalty. Gold is one of the most beneficial, sought-after commodities in the world. Because of its value, modest jewelry can be made to look more expensive if it seems to contain gold, even if that gold is fake, then the question comes to mind how can you tell if gold is real or fake?
If you want to know whether the gold you have or you are purchasing is real or fake, you can perform a few tests- mostly with items you already have, like water, fire, acid, vinegar, and magnets.
- How to test if gold is real with water:
Smoothly drop your item into the water. Real gold is a heavy metal and will not float, so if your gold item floats you know it is not real gold. Also, if you notice rust or corroding on the item after being in the water, this is also a signal that it is not real gold since gold doesn’t rust or corrode.
- How to test if gold is real with vinegar:
Place your jewelry on a table or hold it in your hand, pour some white vinegar on the metal instantly (you can also use dropper) if the metal of the jewelry changes its color, it is not real gold and if it keeps shining then you have real gold.
- How to test if gold is real with lighter:
In this test, try to burn your gold. If it’s pure gold, it will get brighter as you put in the flame but it won’t actually grab fire and burn. If your gold starts to smoke or gets darker, you probably have fake gold.
- How to test if gold is real with Acid:
An acid test can disclose the karat of solid gold jewelry, and it can also show whether jewelry is real gold or fake. With an acid test, a small sample of the jewelry is removed and exposed to acid to induce a color change. The resulting colors specify which type of metal the jewelry is made of.
- How to check if gold is real by testing it with your skin:
This test is simple. It includes holding a piece of gold jewelry between your hands for some minutes. The sweat from your hands will either react with the metal and change the color of your skin or leave it unaffected. When real gold is in straight contact with your skin there is no stain. If the gold is fake, it will cause your skin to become black, blue, or green at the contact points.
- How to check if gold is real by Liquid Foundation Test:
This way to test gold at home is not as authentic as some, but it’s a good way to know if gold is real or fake. Put liquid foundation and powder to your forehead. Massage your gold jewelry over the area. If a black streak is left behind, it is probably not a piece of real gold.
- How to check if gold is real by magnet test:
Another simple test to know if your gold is real or fake is to check it with a magnet. Real gold, in any form, should not attach to a magnet. If you are able to pick it up or move the metal, then you know your gold has at least one other metal within it. But remember, not all metal is magnetic, and not all gold items are expected to be considered real gold. Jewelry items might have clamps or jump rings that are not pure gold and will react to magnet.
- “Ping/Sound” test to check gold is real or fake:
Another way to know if your gold is real or fake is the “Ping” test. If you are trying to regulate whether a coin is real gold, try measuring the sound it makes by adjusting it on the end of your finger and tapping it with another coin. Real gold should make a long, high-pitched ringing sound, while other metals will make a smaller, tedious sound.
- Ceramic test:
There is another way to test your item that is ceramic test but this test can possibly damage your item. Therefore, it’s best to do only do it with items that don’t have inventive vale. In this test, you will need a piece of unglazed ceramic. Rub your item over the ceramic in order to make a spot of color. If you see a gold spot than its likely pure gold. If you see a black spot then it's probably fake gold.
- Test with your Eye:
An easy test to see if your item is gold or gold plated is eye test, if your gold jewelry has been worn many times then it’s possible that you could see some blemish on the surface. So, if the gold coating has worn off then you could see the base surface, which could be an inexpensive metal such as zinc, silver, copper etc.
- Pin test:
To know if your gold is real or fake is a Pin test. The pin test is good for fleck gold. Pick an area on your item that is not likely to be noticed. With a needle or pin, scratch at the surface and see if any specs of gold come off. If specs come off then your item is fake.
- Shower test:
To identify that your item is real or not is shower test. This is an excellent test for gold jewelry. All you need to do is wear your gold chain, bracelet or ring in the shower. If it fades, corrodes, or rusts then it’s not real gold.
- Magnifying test:
Another way to identify your gold is Magnifying test. Take a magnifying glass and your gold to get started with the magnifying test. Here, you want to look very attentively at the surface of your gold. Look for any type of discoloration or vapid. Real gold keeps its color and shine. The elements do not affect it, but they may affect other alloys. Any sign of discoloration is a key sign that the gold is fake. Excessive shine is another as well as a spotting. Spots are a sign of wear, especially with gold plating.
The most correct and safe testing method:
The most correct and safe method in testing gold is using electronic or XRF Thermo testing machines. Both professional judges and gold possessors can use this verified method to tell you the exact configuration of your gold piece. Gold is denser than most other metals. If you have a piece that looks too large for its size, then you likely have fake gold. Gold is quite soft for a metal, so plated gold often wipes away over time. The best places to check are around the boundaries of jewelry and coins. These marks often rub up against your skin and clothing all over the day. If you see a different metal at the bottom of the gold, you know your item is plated and not considered real gold.
Pure Gold reactions with sweat & Oil:
Pure gold does not react with sweat and oil from your skin, so if you see black or green spots, they are from other metals. Silver leaves behind black spots and copper leaves behind green spots.
Check Hallmark on Gold:
The best way to tell if the gold you are buying is real or fake is to look for a hallmark. This is a small stamp indicating the gold’s karat weight. Different locations use different measurements. In the U.S., the hallmark number is a fraction of 24. This means a hallmark of 12k, or 12 karats, means that half the jewelry is gold. Pure gold is 24k. In Europe you should see a number between .000, with 1.000 being 100% pure gold. If the hallmark is abstract, this could mean the jewelry does not contain real gold. However, there are other feasible explanations. It is possible the hallmark has strained away over time, which can happen if the item is in continual contact with skin. Also, if the jewelry is old, it might be real gold but the item was made before hallmarking became a compatible practice.
Gold reaction on heat:
Real gold does not burn or get dark under heat. It simply melts; this is why it can be molded and shaped into different forms without overlooking its luster and beautiful yellow-gold color. On the other hand, other metals like silver, brass, and copper will change color and get darker when revealed to flame. If your item only has gold plating, then the gold coating will melt and you will see the black metal at the bottom.
History of Gold:
Gold has been an essential part of Ancient Egyptian culture dating back to 3000 BC. It was a scarce material that was first extracted from rivers, then excavated from mines. It’s been invented all over the world – from remote places like ancient Australia to extensive areas such as South Africa. Gold is succulent and has been used as a garnishing element for food and beverages from ancient times.
Gold is a favored choice for people when they look for continuous investment. This is because for its scarcity, which is low enough to make it beneficial in today’s society but not too low that it becomes useless.
A 24k gold article is pure as it has 99.9% gold element in it’s constitution. On the other hand, a 14k item contains only 58.3% gold and the rest is a metal alloy displaying two or more metal items (which could be nickel, copper, zinc and silver). Remember that a jewelry piece or coin can be authentic without looking like gold. For instance, white gold is 75% pure gold and 25% alloy of nickel and zinc. It emulates platinum but is similar to 18k gold. On the contrary, counterfeit gold articles are not gold at all. They are made of totally different materials and only have a thin gold coating on the exterior.
Since gold is scarce and the cost of obtaining it is high, there have been a lot of fake gold items that are progressively being introduced to the market and passed off as real to meet the demand for gold. Bleach can also be used to identify if gold is real or not. The use of bleach to test for gold has met with many opposed opinions. While some would cheer you to use bleach, others cannot highlight enough that you should keep your gold away from bleach. It is possible to use bleach to test the originality of gold. Real and pure gold is insusceptible. It does not corrode, rust or get oxidized. Fake gold on the contrary will discolor when introduced to bleach and get derelict. As we have already discussed real gold does not react nor it is affected by bleach. With that said, if the gold turns black when put in bleach then it means that the gold is fake.
What is Gold Plating:
Gold plating is often done with 24k gold because it is soft and easily pliable. 24k has a deeper gold color than minor karats. Solid gold 24k gold chains will have a larger price tag. If it appears to have a 24k gold color with a ridiculously low-price tag, it is probably not solid gold. Lack of coloring is also a sign. In gold plated jewelry, the plating may begin to wear away in places leading to a conflicting coloration throughout the chain.
In identifying fake gold, an important starting point is to gain knowledge about the different types of gold jewelries. To the unskilled eye, all gold products are the same and differ only in the color due to finishing devoted. Fake gold appears when the constitution of the gold product is different from the expected constitution. No product can be made from totally pure gold as it is pliable and will not be strong enough to manage the expected shape. Gold products are often a combination of pure gold and numerous other elements.
Real gold also has certain special properties that set it apart from other metals. It is a good conductor of electricity. It does not tarnish, and can easily outlast silver and copper. It is non-magnetic. It is highly pliable and adaptable and can be drawn into the slimmest of wire. Today, gold is highly valued and observed as an extravagant metal. But with such reputation and value of a gold item, there is a lot of falsification. You may be glad to know that accurately creating gold jewelry or any other item is very difficult, and now if anyone asks you how can you tell if gold is real or fake you can easily tell the difference between real and fake gold if you know where to look.