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How Can You Actually Spot Fake Gold?

Shopping Tips Tips & Tricks

Gold is one such metal which illuminate one’s personality.  Especially in our country India, ladies wear gold ornaments in various ceremonies as a part of our tradition. But many times while buying gold, people get cheated with fake ones. How can you actually spot fake gold? Thus here I shall try to elucidate few points in the paragraph below to check the legitimacy of gold.

In any kind of jewelry either it is gold or diamond one must always check the hallmark, but this too doesn’t guarantee the authenticity completely so one has to use other ways for inspection as well. Now size is something which people get attracted to. Everybody needs big chains, bracelets, rings etc. But one thing everyone should keep in mind, if the size is bigger its cost will also be more. Suppose for example a real gold chain of about 22 inch 14 carat gold weighing around 26 grams will cost about Rs 70,000/-. Hence if anyone finds a big chain, it’s very important to know the actual cost of the product because if its price is not as per the gold standards, it is then definitely a fake product. So while buying any gold product might be a chain, ring, pendant or bracelet one can identify its genuineness just by checking the size of the product and its price.

Weight is actually everything when someone is willing to buy gold. Whenever someone goes to buy a gold chain payment is always made per gram. So one can quite easily feel the difference by holding the chain because real gold will always weigh more than the fake one of same karat mentioned on the product. Real gold is a way more dense than the fake one. Hence this is another important way to spot real gold.

Moreover fake gold always has a kind of brownish tinge on it whereas the real one gives a yellowish shine. So, one needs to observe it very minutely. This is one of the most important things one should look for while spotting fake jewelry.

Hence the below illustrated are few of the tests which can help to Spot Fake Gold. Before performing these tests one should keep in mind few points as stated under.

Due to the precise calculations, the density test needs to be performed in a graduated vial measuring in milliliters or else it would indicate wrong readings resulting in a wrong test. This test is not the most precise way to test the genuineness of gold.For Nitric acid test precautions should be taken as nitric acid is highly corrosive. Gold itself is safe as it is not soluble in nitric acid but the items which are not gold may be damaged in this process.

Now moving forth one can also perform few tests to identify the authenticity of your gold jewelry.

Try to bite down your gold with moderate pressure. This is because real gold shows indents from one’s teeth; deeper markings indicate pure gold. But it is not a quite recommended test as one can damage their teeth.

Bite Gold Test

Bite Gold Test

The magnet test is another way to Spot Fake Gold. Hold a magnet close to your gold item it won’t be attracted if it is real. This is so because gold is not a magnetic metal, if it pulls towards, or sticks to the magnet then it is fake. But at times some non magnetic metals are also used in counterfeit pieces as well so just because it doesn’t real to the magnet doesn’t prove its authenticity. Other tests also have to be performed on it.

As already mentioned in the earlier paragraph that real gold is a way more dense than the fake one, this can be hence tested practically by using a density test. This can be exactly verified by performing a density test. Fill a vial with water. It is better if the vial has millimeter markings on its side. Now, one can dip the gold item on it and check the level of water before and after immersion and then calculate the difference in milliliters. Here the famous density formula can be used i.e. Density = mass/volume displacement. So for example if the weight of the item is about 38 grams then the mass displacement should be of 2 milliliters because only then it will be 19 grams, which is close to gold density. Thus the metal is either gold or something very close to it.

magnet with golden coins

magnet with golden coins

Ceramic Plate test is thus another method to Spot Fake Gold. Get an unglazed ceramic plate to use and then drag the gold item across the surface. A black streak means the gold is not real whereas a gold streak indicates that the item is made of real gold and is genuine.

Now place the piece of gold item in a stainless steel container to perform the Nitric Acid Test. Put few drops of nitric acid on the gold item and observe it consistently for any resulting reaction to the acid. A green reaction indicates that the item is either a base metal or gold plated whereas a gold reaction means that the item is gold- plated brass.

Iodine test is yet another method to Spot Fake Gold. Put few drops of iodine on the gold item. Gold reacts with iodine and becomes dark. The dark spots on the gold item can be cleared with the help of toothpaste.


Tashminah Farzin
I am entrepreneur, writer & HR professional.❤️ Passionate about technology know-how and flair for writing on electronics, travel & much more..

1 Comment

  1. Thank you very much for sharing the chemistry of testing real gold and fake gold.


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