How To Tell If It's Real Gold

When you buy or wear a piece of jewelry, it’s important to know if something is real or fake. Many manufacturers now make pieces that look so authentic, it’s easy to trick the naked eye. Unless you are very well trained or you have at your disposal a testing kit, it may be difficult to determine if gold is real or fake.

If you want to know if you are using real gold, there are various ways to go about it. Here’s how to tell if it’s real gold.

  • Don’t go by appearance. You need to keep in mind that it’s easy to fool other people into thinking your fake is a real thing. This is especially true when it comes to gold. Not even experts or jewelers can immediately assess if something is real or fake unless the gold is put through a chemical test to check for any chemical reactions or changes. Just because you think it looks good or well made, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is authentic gold. Even fake items can have karat markings on it.
  • Scratch a discreet portion on the surface of the gold. One quick way you can check for the authenticity of the gold piece is to scratch it. Turn the piece over and be sure to test in a small and very discreet area. With your nail or a small file, try to push and make a mark on the item. If you cannot scratch the surface, it is most likely real gold. If it is fake, you’ll leave behind some markings.
  • Observe the reaction of your skin. Some people have very sensitive skin that reacts when it comes in contact with fake gold or lower quality metals. If your skin starts to feel itchy or you develop a rash after wearing the piece, chances are, it is fake or merely plated.
  • See if it sinks. Get a clear container and see if what happens when you throw in the gold. If it is real gold, it should sink straight down to the bottom, as gold is a naturally heavy metal. If you see the piece floating on the surface of the water or it takes an unusually long time to sink, chances are, it is a fake.
  • Take the item to a reputable jeweler who can assess the gold for you. Jewelers have access to chemicals such as nitric acid that can be sued to test if it item is real or fake. Ask if there’s a fee to get something tested. In many cases, there is. A good jeweler may also have an electronic gold tester on the premises that can be used to test the gold. When you get a piece tested, you may want to get the results in writing, especially if you are trying to get it insured or sell it to someone else.

Be careful in where you buy your jewelry. If you want to avoid buying a fake, it’s best to purchase from an established and reputable jewelry store, rather than buying from people off the street.


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