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Clever Tips on How to Tell if Gold is Real

Aparna Jadhav Oct 12, 2018
Even if you have bought gold many times in life, there is a 90% chance of purchasing the wrong kind. Take a look at how to tell if gold is real from the tips mentioned here.
Gold is a chemical element which has an atomic number of 79 and is symbolized as Au in the periodic table. It is found in many areas around the world in the crude form, which is then bought by the richer and developed countries in the world.
It occurs as nuggets or grains in the rocks and alluvial deposits, and the economy of the entire globe depends on it. Such is the power of this soft, shiny, and dense gold element, which is known to be the most malleable and ductile metal on earth.
Gold has been valued as a precious metal throughout history and its value still prevails, as it is used as a basis for monetary policies.
Because of this priced value of gold, it was found in 2004 that more than half of 22 jewelry stores around U.S.A. sold fake gold and passed it off as real. Though this gold is less than 10 karats, the dealers make it look real and sell it as fool's gold. To avoid this, it is always better to understand how to tell if the gold you are purchasing is real.

How to Tell if It's Real Gold

If you are at a store to buy gold, there is a big chance of the seller trying to sell fake gold to you. The whole idea of selling fake gold jewelry is that they get the price for the real gold and also get to keep it. You have to be smart enough to find the difference between real gold and the fake polished version to avoid losing your money.
  • Gold is heavy when it is held in the hand, thus, if the jewelry which you are purchasing doesn't feel heavy, be wary of it.
  • There has to be a hallmark on real gold. It is very tiny and found most often on the clasp, hence you will need an eyeglass to see it clearly. The most commonly found hallmarks are: 8ct, 11ct, 14ct, 18ct, 19ct, and 22ct.
  • Sometimes, there can be international hallmarks which are used, like 375 instead of 9ct, 585 instead of 14ct, and 750 instead of 18ct. This is how solid gold is actually proportioned. 9ct is one third solid gold, 14ct is just over half, while 18ct is three quarters solid gold.
  • 24ct pure gold is too soft to exist in gold jewelry, so it is mixed with other metals which help in retaining its shape and give it its color.
  • You can check if it shows magnetic properties by holding it close to a magnet. If the metal gets attracted to the magnet, then it is not real gold, as it is non-magnetic.
  • If you can, test the gold with a ceramic plate. Rub the gold item against it and see if it leaves a golden mark on the plate. If the mark is of any other color, the metal is not real gold.
  • Fake gold can have many areas of discoloration, while real gold will have the same color all throughout. Thus, if you see patches or faded areas on the item, you are probably being duped.
  • Another way to identify real gold is to test the density of the item you are going to purchase. This is a slightly complicated process, but works many times.
  • You can also take a nitric acid test if you want to be really sure about a piece of gold jewelry. Nitric acid can dissolve silver and other base metals, but gold is insoluble in it. You can ask the jeweler to perform this test.
With these tips on identifying real gold, you must have found some useful information about buying this metal. When you are purchasing something so valuable, you have the complete right to test it and find out if it is real.