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How to Test Gold

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Authored by Jody Morse in Jewelry 
Published on 07-04-2009

Gold is a very valuable material. Unfortunately, there are many instances in which other materials are passed off as gold when it is really nothing more than imitation. Certain jewelers may claim that the piece of jewelry is gold or they may lie about the overall percentage of gold used in the jewelry piece. If you have a piece of gold that you are wondering about, then you have probably thought about how to test it for purity. Here are some tips on how to determine whether or not your gold is artificial.

Magnetic Test For Gold

One of the best ways to test gold is to use a magnet. Although there are many materials that will attract a magnet, gold will not. If the magnet clings to the piece of jewelry, then you know that what you have is not pure gold. Silver and platinum also are not magnetic. You can use a refrigerator magnet to perform this gold test. It is a very easy, safe, and affordable option if you are trying to determine the purity of your gold jewelry.

Mark Color Test For Gold

Another one of the best ways to test gold is to see what type of marks it will leave. A tile is the best way to determine the color of the marks. All that you need to do is scrape the piece of gold across the title. Black marks will not be left by pure gold. Keep in mind that another way to tell is simply by looking at the piece of jewelry. If it has more of a vintage appearance, then it is likely that you are looking at sterling silver or another metal other than gold.

Acid Exposure Test For Gold

One of the trickier tests that can be performed to test gold is an acid test. The way that this specific test is performed is by placing a small amount of acid on the piece of jewelry. Gold, silver, and platinum do not corrode when they are exposed to acid. On the other hand, metal does corrode when it is exposed to it. It is one of the best ways to know if the jewelry is made from pure gold but do keep in mind that if it isn’t, the jewelry piece actually may become damaged.

Other Ways to Test for Gold

Consider purchasing a gold test kit. Jewelers may be able to advise you on where to find one. Also keep in mind that there are many jewelry stores which do gold testing for a minimal fee. This is one of the best ways to ensure that the gold test results that you get are the most accurate.

Keep in mind that there are a number of different ways to test gold. Although you can try a lot of home tests, the best way to ensure the overall quality of the gold is to contact a jeweler. They will be able to provide you with a test for a fee or they may be able to give you advice on how to determine whether or not your jewelry is actually gold.

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