Have you ever wondered whether your favorite piece of golden jewelry or a beloved heirloom is actually made from real gold? It’s easy to assume it’s authentic, but that might not always be the case. Thankfully, testing the legitimacy of gold jewelry isn’t as complex as you might think.
Is it real, or is it imitation?
There are several tried-and-true methods you can use to determine if your gold is real. If you discover that your gold jewelry isn’t real, you may want to keep it for sentimental purposes. If you’re not particularly attached, it may still have some financial worth if you’re thinking of visiting a pawn broker.
It’s easy to get frustrated if you discover your jewelry features counterfeit gold. But, if it has sentimental value and you plan on keeping it, it might not really matter! Imitation gold pieces can have striking and attractive designs that make for excellent heirloom jewelry.
How to test for real gold
Using a couple of common tricks, it’s not too difficult to discern if your jewelry is made from real or imitation gold:
- The float test: If your jewelry floats when dropped into a sink full of water, it’s not made from real gold. Real gold is among the heaviest metals, meaning it will always sink straight to the bottom when dropped in.
- Strong magnets: Real gold isn’t magnetic. This means you can use a strong magnet (available at a hardware store) to test for real gold. If the magnet attracts the jewelry, it’s made from imitation gold.
- Hallmark stamp: Most pieces of real gold jewelry bear a hallmark stamp, outlining the manufacturer and purity of gold used to make it. It’s important to note, however, that older pieces of jewelry won’t bear this stamp, and particularly clever counterfeiters are capable of mimicking it.
There are several other indicators that will help you determine whether the gold is real or not. For instance, real gold will never leave black or green residue on your skin. Additionally, real gold never rusts, nor does it react to acid.
Figure out its worth
If you’re having trouble identifying what material your jewelry is made of, or if you’d like to have the quality of gold analyzed, bring it in to your local jewelry expert—like Mister Money Bags! We’ll tell you if you’ve got the real thing or a clever imitation. We also sell and purchase gold jewelry. Come see what your heirloom might be worth!