How To Test For Real Gold


Gold is a precious metal that has been collected and used as an investment vehicle throughout the centuries. Unfortunately, some people will create fake gold and try to fool you into thinking that it’s real. You can avoid getting duped by an unscrupulous deceiver by conducting these tests on your gold to determine if it’s genuine:

Nitrate Acid Test

One way of checking to see if your gold is real is by using an acid test. To conduct this test, place your gold in a container that’s made from stainless steel. Obtain some nitric acid and place a drop on your gold. If you see a green color appear, this indicates that the piece you are examining is goldplated and has another base metal. If you receive a reaction that creates a gold color, this signifies that your test piece is made from brass that contains a gold plating. You will receive a milky color if the piece you are testing is goldplated sterling silver. Only a test that shows no reaction is genuine gold.

Magnetic Test

Gold is a metal that is not magnetic. To conduct a magnet test to determine if your gold is real, obtain a neodymium magnet that has strong magnetic power. If you have fake gold, it will be attracted to the magnet. Be sure to distinguish between metal clasps and any chains that may be attached to the piece you are examining. These items will be attracted to a magnet and should be ruled out when applying this test.

Hallmark Test

One of the easiest ways to determine if gold is real is by checking for a hallmark stamp. This will also indicate the amount of purity. Gold purity is measured by using karats. If a Hallmark stamp such as “14K” is found, it signifies that the metal used is 14 karat gold. In this case, another metal was combined with gold. Only 24 karat gold has a 100 percent purity. Be aware that some specimens of older jewelry will not have this stamp.

Density Test

Gold is a metal that has a higher density than many other elements. A density test can help determine if you have a real piece of gold. Obtain a vial that has millimeter markings on the side and fill it with water. Place your specimen of gold in the vial to displace the water and record how far the water is displaced. Pure gold has a result that’s close to 19 g/mL. However, not all gold is pure. Use the formulas below to test your gold in these cases:

22K – 17.8 g/mL
18K white – Between 14.7 and 16.9 g/mL
18K yellow – Between 15.2 and 15.9 g/mL
14K White – Between 12.6 and 14.6 g/mL
14K yellow – Between 12.9 and 13.6 g/mL

Skin Test

Fake gold will discolor your skin. To conduct a skin test, use some liquid foundation on your forehead. If you rub that area with gold that’s not genuine, it will leave a black or green discoloration. This will also work on the skin of a person who is low in iron.

Gold can be quite valuable. By taking the time to check its authenticity, you’ll have peace of mind and know if it’s actually real.