How to check gold for authenticity (and is it worth doing it yourself)

 OkFemmes found out from an expert how to distinguish real jewelry from fake.


How to check gold for authenticity (and is it worth doing it yourself)

Gold has been known to people for a long time. For example, the ancient Incas called this metal "sweat of the sun" and mined it in huge quantities. True, he did not know the value. For which they paid. Conquistadors destroyed the army of Emperor Atahualpa for the sake of precious ingots.


According to various estimates, from 30 BC to 2019, about 195 thousand tons of the precious metal were mined. Possession of it has always been considered a sign of prosperity and wealth. At the same time, “unscrupulous market participants” have long learned to counterfeit this precious metal by various methods.


Which color is correct

On the shelves of jewelry stores and boutiques, there are jewelry made of metal in white, yellow and pink. It has a characteristic yellow color, its Latin name aurum translates as "yellow".

Remember that it is very soft, so the items are not made of pure metal, but of a jewelry alloy. Additional components are added to it, which give color, affect the properties (the hardness of the material increases, the melting point decreases, and the elasticity increases).

It is difficult to determine authenticity by its appearance. Remember that there are also gold coatings that are applied to jewelry, giving it the desired shine and beauty. Unscrupulous manufacturers can pass them off as the original.

How to check gold at home

At home, without special knowledge and tools , it will be difficult to check jewelry , whether it is gold or not. On the Internet, you can find a lot of recommendations on how to identify gold. However, some methods can damage the product.

Expert advice: do not check yourself and spend time reading materials that distribute universal advice on "how to determine gold at home." You can easily ruin your favorite jewelry.

With iodine 

One of the most common guidelines is how to test gold using iodine. Such a "chemical" method is fraught with the fact that stains may remain on the thing, which will then be difficult to remove. Many jewelry contains stones that also require careful handling. 

For the same reason, the methods of testing offered on the Internet using vinegar are highly undesirable. 
Techniques for testing gold on a tooth can lead to a visit to the dentist.

The most reliable way is go to the laboratory and give the floor to specialists... Such services are also offered by some gemological centers (depending on the complexity, the metal can be determined in 30 minutes).  

Another way out is to go to the nearest pawnshop, where employees can give an answer on metal and say what kind of metal it has.

How to determine the fineness of gold

Organoleptic method

The senses are involved. The product is examined with the naked eye, as well as with a magnifying glass, the color is assessed, and the odor is checked (fake products made of base metals often have their own characteristic odor). It is also determined whether the decoration is heavy, since the metal has a high density, and therefore will be weighty.


Research using assay reagents

The so-called drip method. Its essence lies in the fact that a drop of reagent is applied to the cleaned surface of the product. After 15-20 seconds, it is removed with special paper. By the reaction of the alloy, the sample is determined.


Determination on the touchstone

It is a black block of fine-grained flint shale. On it, according to the lines applied with metal, the sample is determined.


  1. At the beginning, the surface of the stone is prepared, then strips are applied to it with the product, which are called "rub".
  2. Next to them, similar strips with standard samples are made with reference needles.
  3. Reagents are applied to the resulting "drawings", after 15-20 seconds they are removed.
  4. After the reaction, a comparison is made to determine the correspondence.

Instrumental method

Special detectors are used, this also requires special knowledge. Plus such diagnostics (as well as other professional methods) - it cannot damage jewelry.

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