Is my Gold Fake or Plated?

How can you tell if your gold is real?

To all the gold buyers out there, it must be known that there are a lot of ways through which the purity of gold can be tested. Gold is a status symbol, especially in South Asian countries; any person wearing or using gold is considered to be one of the “wealthy” people. Even though gold is much more durable and useful than other metals, it is extremely hard to extract. Only about 50 gm of gold is obtained by a ton of its ore (raw form) which makes jewellers sell gold at very high rates.

Coming to the real part, how can you tell if your gold is real or fake? You will find several ways in this article to test if it has been tampered with or not.

1. The Carvings

This test means checking for engraved hallmarks on an obscure place on your jewellery where it doesn’t catch the first glance of a buyer. If a gold piece is made with pure gold, it will have numeric markings on it such as (8k, 9k, 10k, 14k, 15k, 18k, 20k, 21k, 22k, 23k, and 24k) under the carat system and (333, 375, 417, 583 or 585, 625, 750, 833, 875, 916, 958 and 999) under the millennial system. Anything other than these numbers means that the gold is impure and mixed with other metals. Sometimes the base metal is a cheaper metal like silver or iron and it is just plated with gold using electroplating techniques. While checking for the numbers, a gold buyer should also check if the numbers are written in carat or millennial systems since each unit has its numeric values which cannot be meddled with.

The 24k gold is considered to be one of the purest forms of gold and does not have traces of any other metals. The 18ct gold is 75% gold and 25% other metals. If the gold is less than 10k, it is considered to be fake! Make sure to check that no matter what unit has been used to measure it, it does not make any less than 10k.

2. The Colour

If you want to check if your gold is real in the simplest way, just put it on or hold It between your fingers for a couple of minutes. If it turns your fingers to a bluish-green of black colour, it means that the non-metal part of the gold reacted with your skin and changed its colour. Doing this can be a clear indication of your jewellery being fake. This test works best if you don’t have any make-up on but if you do, you can apply foundation on your skin, wait for it to dry up, and then run the jewellery item you want to test across that area. If it leaves a black track, it means you have real gold and that there is nothing to worry about. If not, you should know that the gold you have is fake.

3. The Shape

Real gold is very dense and weighs more than other metals of the same size and shape. The way you can cash this is by comparing a real piece of gold with the same size and shape of an item to be tested. If they both carry equal weight, it means that the metal you have is gold, but if not, it means someone has fooled you!

4. The Magnetic

Gold is not at all magnetic, so if you hold a magnet near the item you want to test. It should not be affected by the magnetic field, otherwise what you have is not real gold.

5. The “Black-board”

Scratch a black ceramic plate with a gold item, if it leaves a golden mark, it is real gold.

Also, real gold is very dense. Dropping it in water will make it sink to the bottom. Other metals, however, do not show these properties.

6. Vinegar and Hydrogen Nitrate

Apply a few drops of vinegar to an obscure place on the jewellery that you want to test and observe. If the supposed gold changes its colour, then it is not real gold and all you have is an alloy.

For the Hydrogen nitrate test, rub a piece of gold on a black stone until it leaves a mark, and then apply the acid on the mark to observe if it fades away or not. This will dissolve all the impurities in the gold. If the mark fades away after applying the acid, it means that the gold was impure and only the other metals were being projected as real gold.

However, if the mark remains, apply aqua regia on it and observe. If the mark disappears, it means the gold was real and got dissolved by the acid.

7. The Experience​

All the home remedies that you perform may give you a general idea about your gold’s purity but they may not be the absolute reliable tests because the need for instant cash makes the gold sellers even more “crafty” while making the gold seem like real gold. For this very reason, it is important to take the jewellery piece to someone who knows how to check the gold’s purity so you can be sure that you haven’t been fooled!

Before you sell your gold, all these tests can surely be used to check whether your gold is plated or not, but if you do not want to go through all this trouble then just bring your piece of jewellery to ‘Cash for Gold’. Our experts in the field will take you step by step and show you if your gold is real or not. Sell gold for cash in London has never been easier, so visit us today at 37 Blandford St, W1U 7HB or call us at 020 3336 1023!

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