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Are You Wearing Real Gold? Ways On How To Tell

7th April 2021

Are You Wearing Real Gold? Ways On How To Tell

Gold jewelry has been around for years — the timeless and classic pieces never cease to appear amazing as a fashion statement and business venture. Although, the trademark it made in the market has led to the existence of counterfeit gold. If you have gold rings, gold chains, or any assumed gold jewelry, you need to know its legitimacy. Not only you could know that they are real but they will also help protect your belongings, investments, and their value. 

In this article, we will cover the properties of gold, its distinctive characteristics, and ways on how to determine if it is real gold that you are wearing! These tests are easy and the materials needed can be found at home. With gold as a subject, knowledge is power. 

Knowing your gold 

Brush up on your Chemistry lessons to know your gold! Gold is a chemical element with Au as its symbol. It is the densest among metals and is a good conductor of heat and electricity. It is also soft and most malleable element. Did you know that it could be beaten into extremely thin sheets of gold? 

Because of its usual yellow color, it grew popular to the pleasing eyes of many. The gold workmanship started in ancient Egyptian and survived up to this day with innovative crafted jewelry like real Cuban links and other varieties. Another distinct characteristic of gold is its non-tarnish feature. Unlike silver or copper, it is resistant to oxidation. 

But as mentioned, gold is relatively sectile. Sectile means it is a soft metal so oftentimes, it needs to be associated with another form to combat its weakness like silver or nickel. Therefore, to measure its value, jewelers and investors refer to the Karat System and Gold Purity Chart. 

The Karat System and Gold Purity Chart 

The Karat System and Gold Purity Chart is the measurement used to identify the fineness or purity of gold. A gold karat is equivalent to 1/24 or 4.1667 percent. Therefore, when you hear 24K, it means that it is pure gold. But if it is only 18K, then, it contains 18 parts of pure gold and the rest is other materials. 

Below is a table containing the gold percentage and its Karat equivalent. You can refer to this table to further assess your jewelry: 

% of Gold Content Karat System
33.3 8K
37.5 9K
41.7 10K
58.3 14K
62.5 15K
75.0 18K
83.3 20K
87.5 21K
91.6 22K
95.8 23K
99.9  24K

Ways on how to tell if it is real gold (Easy DIY tests!) 

Since we already run through gold and its properties, you are now well-equipped to find out about its purity! Below are some ways on how to tell if it is real gold with ingredients and materials that can easily be found inside your homes. 

The magnifying glass test  

The magnifying glass test is one of the easiest and quickest ways to determine if what you have is real gold. You will only need your gold jewelry and a magnifying glass. Through the magnifying glass, you will have a precise look at the jewelry’s condition. You may consider this guide when observing: 

  • If there are marks of discoloration, this could indicate that what you have is fake gold. It could further support the inauthenticity if other metals, aside from gold, has discoloration too. 
  • Gold is known to be yellow in color. But it is not as shiny as it looks like. If your gold jewelry is shiny or inhibits other tones, then it is not pure gold. 
  • The most important factor would be finding the purity hallmark. It can be in the form of millesimal fineness or the Karat system. It is typically engraved inside the brand though these engravings can sometimes be illegitimate too. 

The float test 

Another simple test to further test the quality of your gold is through the float test. All you need is a cup of water and a gold item. Place your gold inside the cup of water. To determine its realness, pure gold will immediately sink to the bottom since gold is heavy weighing approximately 19.32 grams. If it floats, then most definitely it is fake or plated gold. But the float test is not 100 percent reliable since some jewelry can contain other materials that are heavy, hence, it will sink. 

The scratch test 

For this test, the process is simple but you will need a ceramic plate and a jeweler’s stone. Simply scratch your gold item to the ceramic plate gently enough for it to leave a mark. The mark will leave out a color after producing a streak. If the color is yellow or golden, then congratulations! You have real gold. 

There are a lot more different ways to check if you have real gold in your hands. This article illustrated some of the best yet easiest ways to ensure the legitimacy of your gold. For further testing, you could try other solutions or better, run to your nearest jeweler to have it checked. 

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