Getting real gold isn't as easy as it sounds, so you need to know how to test an item for authenticity.
It is not uncommon for people to imitate gold with bronze, pyrite, or brass. Unless you know how to recognize these metal alloys, you may end up getting jewelry made from them instead of gold.
In this blog, we will walk you through how to tell if your jewelry is made of real authentic gold or not.
What Are Hallmarks?
All real gold jewelry should have a tiny stamp on it that jewelers call a hallmark. This stamp will indicate the percentage of gold in the piece. A tiny 18K stamped on the back of a ring means that the ring is made from 18 karat real gold.
Instead of using the Karat system, some jewelers use the Millesimal fineness system to measure the purity of the gold. A millesimal fineness score of 75% (the same as 18K) would have the number 750 stamped on it. Valid millesimal fineness numbers for gold are 333, 375, 417, 583 or 585, 625, 750, 833, 875, 916, 958, and 999. Other numbers mean that the jewelry is made from some other metal.
Some jewelry, especially antiques, will not have hallmarks. Some unscrupulous jewelers will stamp a piece incorrectly. There are many other ways to test if you are holding real gold.
How To Test Your Gold Jewelry
Here are a few popular ways that you can test your gold jewelry to make sure it is real:
The Skin Test, With and Without Make-Up
If you rub a piece of jewelry across your skin, gold will not turn your skin black, green, or blue. Some other fake gold metals will react with your skin. If you put foundation on your skin and rub the jewelry over it, gold WILL make a black mark where you rub it, while other metals won’t.
The Magnet Test
Gold does not react to magnets. So, if you hold a magnet near the gold, it won’t be attracted to it. However, there are other metals that don’t react with magnets. What this means is that if the jewelry does react, it is definitely not gold, but if it doesn’t react, you can’t be 100% sure that it is gold.
The Float Test
If you drop the jewelry into water and it floats…sorry that is not gold. Gold is dense so it will drop right down to the bottom. Just like the magnet test, though, just sinking in water doesn’t prove that you actually have gold.
The Vinegar Test
Hold the jewelry in your hand and put a few drops of vinegar on it. If nothing happens, it’s gold. If it changes color, it is not.
The Ceramic test
Drag the gold across a ceramic tile or plate. If it leaves a gold trail, you have a gold piece in your hands, if the trail is black, then it’s another metal.
The Luvari Test
Just come in and ask. We’d be happy to test your gold. You can trust the experts at Luvari to provide all the information you need about your gold jewelry.