How to Tell if Gold is Real


Sarah Rodgers


August 5, 2020

Gold has been an icon for as long as time. This amazingly desirable metal is the most sought after metal of all. Which is why the price of the gold is rising rapidly, but so is false gold. It is amazing how precise people can replicate counterfeit gold to look real. In fact, it resembles the gold so much that it is often hard to tell them apart. You might have a gold necklace, piece of jewelry, or gold coin lying around, and you're wondering if it's real or not. Lucky for you, even when fake gold looks severely close to real gold, there are still some ways to tell them apart. Here are some ways you can tell if your gold is, in fact, real.

Check for a Hallmark

One of the easiest ways to tell if your jewelry is real is by checking to see if it contains a Hallmark. Most jewelers will stamp their jewelry with the karat of gold it contains. You may want to look for small numbers or signs of imprinting. You may have to look rather close as these stamps are often very small. You can usually find this on the inside of the ring or on the clasp of a bracelet or necklace. Be aware most regions of the world will stamp their jewelry differently than others. If you can locate the stamp, there is a good chance you own real gold. However, this is not always the case. If someone is trying really hard to trick customers into thinking their jewelry is real, they may also try to imprint a stamp on their jewelry. 

Do a Ceramic Test

A ceramic test may damage your gold, but it is often an excellent way to ensure its purity. If you don't want to cause damage to your jewelry, you may want to skip this step. To do this test, you will want to take your jewelry and scrape it across a ceramic plate or tile. If you notice a gold scrape across the plate, you likely have real gold. Metals won't usually have gold coloring when scraped on this type of plate. 

Look for Discoloration

If you suspect that your jewelry is not real gold, try checking for discoloration. Gold doesn't change color or rust like most other metals. If you see any silver, green, or different colors on your jewelry, you can be sure it isn't real gold. You may also notice discoloring around your finger if you wash your hands wearing a ring made of another metal. In this case, as well, the jewelry isn't real gold. 

Try a Magnet Test

While there are a lot of magnetic metals, gold is not one of them. Now I have to be careful when I say that because gold can be classified as magnetic, but it's usually not enough to move more than a small amount. If your jewelry immediately connects with your magnet, you can know for sure it isn't authentic gold. 

Ask an Expert

Still unsure if your gold is real? Ask an expert. There are plenty of them out there. You can usually find an expert at a jewelry shop or pawn shop. This can even save you a lot of worry and frustration. And in the end, you won't have to wonder; you can be sure your jewelry is authentic. 

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