Artisan Carat

Real Gold Jewelry and Testing

Regardless of our age, we all want to stand out in whatever outfit we put on. Cute, simple yet bold, right ladies? Not only with clothing do we want to stand out in, but we also with our fine jewelry selection.

Women from all walks of life have always sought to have real gold jewelry in their closets either for their economic value or for their sentimental value.

Sadly, in a world of fakes, knock offs, and imitations, it is becoming almost an impossible task to find women jewelry made from real gold.  

This article is to help educate women who own gold jewelry, and identify if what they have is authentic.

Look out for the markings or a hallmark stamp on your fine jewelry. The simple numbers 417, 535, 585, and 750 that are commonly inscribed on fine jewelry are insignificant or unknown of meaning, for many. These numbers refer to the purity level of the jewelry, and it is from 1-999 in Europe. In the U.S., our system ranks from 0-24kt, so the numbers 10k, 14k, 18k, and 22k are the foreseen hallmark. Many people believe that the European system of rating is far easier to read than that of the U.S. as a rating of 535 indicates that your item consists of 53.5 percent of gold. An important note to remember is that in a world of counterfeits, just by looking for the specific numberings on the gold jewelry is not enough to figure out if you might be holding on to a piece of fake jewelry. 

Look out for discolorations:

Authentic fine gold has its distinctive features, which are different from that of fake gold. Genuine gold has no blemishes, unlike the counterfeits. If a piece of jewelry is gold plated, it will reveal itself by having discolorations in areas such as edges and crevices. This feature is for those who have gold jewelry in their possession already. It is almost impossible to identify fake gold or gold plated jewelry when it is still new. Continuous use will reveal the authenticity of the jewelry after a while. A brownish color in gold indicates that the material is copper and not gold. Today most real gold jewelry is finished with rhodium, a precious alloy part of the platinum family, protecting from tarnishing.

Density test:

A density test is a significant way to experiment with the authenticity of your gold. As a dense metal, gold is heavy than water. Depending on the size of the gold, a suitable container should be filled with lukewarm water. Because of the density of real gold, when it is dropped within the box of lukewarm water, it sinks to the bottom instantly. If it floats, it's fake, if it shows discoloration, it is super fake.

The magnet test:

No matter how great looking or how precious jewelry is, if it hasn't passed the magnet test, you might just be holding an imitation. Imitation jewelry is often attracted to magnets because they have more concentration of metals in them than gold. There are several setbacks/drawbacks to this. In some cases, counterfeit gold can be combined with non- magnetic items like stainless steel; in most cases, it won't be attracted to a magnet. So this test has to be a complementary test, (maybe a nitric acid test can be conducted after this.)

The nitric acid test: 

The most common check today is the nitric acid test. Certain kits and solutions are available online to purchase. To begin the experiment, scratch the surface of the gold item with a blade or a touchstone, sprinkle a few drops of the nitric acid to the scratched surface, and then watch the reaction of the nitric acid. Real gold doesn't react at all. (Please be very careful when doing this test since acid is dangerous).

If you own gold jewelry, you deserve to know if such is actual gold or not. Authentic gold jewelry, will rarely react to acid, or be attracted to magnet or float. Consider for all your real gold jewelry where authenticity is guaranteed. Take note.