Gold is the quintessential symbol of status, power, immortality and wealth, often minimal to royalty.

You are watching: How to tell if gold is real with a lighter

Accounts different on as soon as the very first gold mines to be dug and operated. Part say it all started in 3,100 BCE v the ancient Egyptians. Archaeological sites prefer the over-6,000-year-old mines that the Asosa an ar of Ethiopia and also the 5,500-year-old Sakdrisi mine the Georgia placed the systematic exercise of gold mining earlier several thousands of years earlier. Part say that in south Africa there room mines the are also older.

The ancient Egyptians thought gold to be the flesh of the sun god Ra. Yellow is taken into consideration luxurious and precious because it is beautiful and also easy to work. The does no tarnish, rust or dissolve (except through aqua regia, the surname for nitrohydrochloric acid, i m sorry is offered in one of the tests mentioned below). Yellow is hard to extract: barely 50 grams come out of a ton of ore. It is likewise one of the finest electrical conductors, i beg your pardon is why the is provided so greatly inside computers and also other technological equipment.

WAYS come TEST yellow AUTHENTICITY

This short article discusses numerous tests friend can conveniently do at house to help you when you have to know just how to call if gold is real.

The rubber stamp Test: Look for Hallmarks

A item of yellow jewelry is frequently engraved v a hallmark, i beg your pardon is a stamp that identifies its content and/or manufacturer. Hallmarks usually appear in an inconspicuous location like the inside of a ring.

The traditional purity scales are based upon karats and millesimal fineness. The hallmark test, likewise known together the magnifying glass test, is a an excellent place come start when checking if her gold is real.

Hallmarks include:

Valid purity numbers under the Karat device (like 8k, 9k, 10k, 14k, 15k, 18k, 20k, 21k, 22k, 23k, and also 24k)Valid purity number under the Millesimal Fineness device (333, 375, 417, 583 or 585, 625, 750, 833, 875, 916, 958 and 999)False purity number (anything other than the above)Manufacturer (like ESPO for Esposito, etc.)
*

Hallmarks present the gold’s level of purity and also manufacturer to lend better credibility to a piece’s authenticity and to do it easier to identify and verify. Since anybody deserve to engrave any hallmark they choose, this level of trial and error is not 100% foolproof

If the numbers say anything various other than the ones discussed above, then you have fake gold. For example, 800, 925, and 950 execute not describe gold, yet to silver. Why would certainly they be put 925 on gold? since this often method the jewelry is yellow plated through a sterling silver- base.

Another point to look because that is even if it is or not the marks show that the value has actually either to be measured in karats or in millesimal fineness. Any type of other numbers than those above would indicate that the gold is fake.

Not all real gold jewelry has hallmarks—for example, enlarge pieces might have had original markings that have been worn off.

Look for Letter Markings

Any gold the is marked less than 10k (41.7% purity) is taken into consideration fake.

Anyone that is familiar with the different levels of top quality will quickly recognize the adhering to markings:

GPGFGEGEPHGP HEG

You will desire to prevent the over designations if you’re in search of real gold. Lock all indicate gold plating. In the same order, castle mean:

Gold PlatedGold FilledGold ElectroplatedGold Electro PlatedHeavy yellow PlatedHeavy gold Electroplated

These markings suggest that just a tiny percentage of gold was offered to sheathe a item that to be made the end of some other kind of metal in order to give it the illustration of gold.

To give you an idea of exactly how the upper levels of purity ridge up beside one another: 24k yellow is 99.9% pure, while 18k gold is 75% pure. For sure 100% pure gold is unheard of, mainly due to the fact that pure gold is an extremely soft and wouldn’t make for a long lasting piece the jewelry. 

The Skin Test


*

Look for Bluish or Greenish color on her Skin

This test is simple: It requires holding a piece of yellow jewelry in between your hands for a pair of minutes. The perspiration from your hands will either react through the metal and adjust the color of your skin or leave it unaffected. When real yellow is in direct contact with her skin there is no discoloration. If the gold is fake that will cause your skin to turn black, blue, or environment-friendly at the call points.

One exemption to this procedure occurs if girlfriend test yellow on her skin while wearing a fluid foundation. When gold touches the makeup it will rotate your skin black at the clues of contact. Removing every makeup prior to testing makes this test much more reliable.

Alternatively, assembly can also be used to test for gold authenticity. Put on a liquid foundation and add powder end it. As soon as the makeup has actually dried, push the item of jewelry against your skin and then run it easy over your skin wherein you have actually the makeup. If the jewelry leaves a black color track top top the makeup, you probably have real gold.

Gold is exceptionally nonreactive, so genuine gold jewelry will never discolor your skin. Yet using the makeup check is a unique means to likewise check if that real. 

If there space discolorations in gold jewelry it way you have an alloy where there space other metals mixed in.

The Size and also Weight Test

This test works well on coins and also bars. Girlfriend can

Compare a item of gold you want to test v one the is currently known to be realUse a collection of calipers and a jeweler’s range or use a Fisch Tester

Gold is denser than many other metals. If you have actually a item that watch too huge for its load or feels too light for its size, climate you probably have actually fake gold.

Bullion coins room actual coins do from priceless metals, consisting of gold, silver, palladium, or platinum. They serve as collectibles, investments, or as a hedge versus inflation.

The Magnet Test

Hold a solid magnet beside a item of gold and watch because that a reaction. Yellow is not magnetic, therefore there should not be any attraction come magnets. If over there is, you most likely don’t have actually real gold.

However, some of the base metals that deserve to be mixed with yellow are additionally non-magnetic so you can gain a false read. The test isn’t foolproof therefore it’s a great idea to perform this in conjunction v another more accurate trial and error method. 

The to rise Test

Just drop the piece right into a container that water. Gold is dense. If it no float at every or hover over the bottom that the container, you could possibly have actually real gold.

The Ceramic scratch Test


*

Take one unglazed ceramic plate or piece of tile and also scrape a item of gold throughout its surface. Genuine gold will leave a gold note or trail. Other steels will leaving a black color trail.

The Water test (a.k.a. The thickness Test)

This is excellent by calculation. You need

A range (to weigh the jewelry)A container the water andA method to measure the level in millimeters (to measure up the water levels before and also after the jewelry goes into the water)

Now execute the calculation: subtract the “before” measurement indigenous the “after” measurement. Then divide the weight of the jewelry by the distinction in the water levels.

This provides you the density.

The standard thickness of genuine gold is 19.3 grams per milliliter (also written 19.3g/mL). No a many other steels come an extremely close to it. If her calculation offers this number or something an extremely close to it, friend probably have actually real gold.

When you use thickness to distinguish gold"s authenticity, you additionally need to store in mind that there have the right to be distinctions in density in between different varieties of gold.

For example, the purer the gold, the heavier it will certainly be--and white gold is heavier 보다 yellow. Therefore, the density of gold between 14k and 22k will certainly be almost everywhere between roughly 12.9 and also 17.7 because that yellow gold and also anywhere between around 14 and also 17.8g/mL for white gold.

The mountain Tests


*

Vinegar Test

This test just requires that a few drops of vinegar be applied to the metal, hope in an inconspicuous place.

If the steel is genuine gold there will be no change. If the metal is fake yellow it will readjust color.

The Nitric mountain Test

Gold is a noble metal which means its resistant to corrosion, oxidation and also acid. To carry out this test, rub your gold on a black stone to leave a visible mark. Then apply nitric mountain to the mark.

The acid will certainly dissolve any kind of base metals that aren"t real gold.

If the mark remains, apply nitrohydrochloric acid, also called aqua regia (75% nitric acid and also 25% hydrochloric acid) come the mark. This mixture dissolves yellow so, if the note disappears, the gold is real. 

The device Tests

Electronic Tester (i.e Sigma Metalytics Machine)

The Sigma Metalytics Precious metal Verifier is calibrated because that accuracy top top a minute scale, allowing it to distinguish between metals in much less than one second. While this tools is great for measure up bullion and coins, Sigma Metalytics recommends the Kee yellow Tester for testing jewelry.

This machine sends electromagnetic waves right into the item, passing v surface products like pack or plating to check out the resistance that the basic metal. That meter display is set to show a specific range that resistance the is or is not regular with the resistance that each steel the machine has been calibrated come detect.

XRF Spectrometer

This machine works by sending out X-rays through the gold and also exciting the atoms into a higher energy state.

When the excited atoms go back to normal they give off radiation. The an equipment monitors and analyzes this, utilizing the radiation analysis to identify the material. This method is fast and accurate. That is an exact and far outperforms other techniques while doing no damage to the items being tested.

In fact, nobody of these methods reasons chemical or mechanical damage, therefore they will not jeopardize the worth or integrity of your piece.

The Fail-Safe Test


*

If you really want to recognize for sure just how much yellow is really in your gold, the most tried-and-true an approach of finding the end is to take it come a dependable jeweler and have it tested there.

Jewelers have actually a large array of methods obtainable to the general public for authentication of gold content. The course, nothing beats experience. Yet those who are trying to happen lesser metals off as real gold having come to be increasingly innovative in your “craft,” so even the jeweler will probably resort to device verification to do sure.

Most home tests can give you one idea of even if it is or no your yellow is real. When they space all great at reflecting probability, none space 100% conclusive.

The best method to know for certain if your gold is actual is to have actually an experienced and reputable jeweler advice it because that you.

See more: An Eye For An Eye And The World Goes Blind ? An Eye For An Eye Makes The Whole World Blind

Please feel complimentary to re-publishing this write-up with anyone you understand who could advantage from the information and caveats it contains.