A Guide on How to Tell if Gold Jewelry Is Real

Did you know that 90% of the world’s gold has been mined since the California Gold Rush? If you have gold jewelry, there is a good chance your piece came from this gold rush.

However, it’s not always easy to tell if the gold jewelry you own is genuine. Keep reading to learn how to tell if gold jewelry is real.

Find the Hallmark

Almost all real gold jewelry is stamped with a hallmark stating the karat weight of the piece. You can find the stamp on a clasp of a bracelet or necklace. For rings, you’ll find the hallmark on the inner band.

Since American-made jewelry is measured in karats, you’ll find a number on the jewelry followed by the letter “K.” The number indicates, in parts per 24, how much of the piece is gold.

For example, “14K” means that it is partially gold, 14/24. 24K hallmarks indicate that the jewelry is 100% gold.

If an item of jewelry doesn’t have a hallmark, it doesn’t always mean that the jewelry isn’t real gold. The stamp is just the first thing to check. If you don’t find it, there are other ways on how to tell if gold jewelry is real.

Nitric Acid Test

Testing gold is common with a nitric acid test. This should be used for scrap gold pieces you don’t plan to keep or sell.

Make a small scratch on the jewelry piece using a tool like a nail file. Try to choose a spot that isn’t going to be noticeable. Apply a small drop of nitric acid to the scratch with a dropper.

If there is no reaction, the piece is likely made from genuine gold. If you notice a greenish color, you might have a piece of jewelry made from a different metal. The piece could also be gold plated.

Jewelry that is gold over sterling will leave a milky-looking substance.

Before dealing with nitric acid, it’s important to protect yourself by wearing gloves and goggles, and being in a room with proper ventilation.

Professional Appraisal

The best way to tell if gold is real or fake is by taking your jewelry to a shop to get it professionally appraised. A reputable jewelry dealer has professional testing kits that can tell if gold is genuine.

Depending on the store you go to, they might charge a small fee for these services.

This is a surefire way to tell if gold is fake or not. For example, a magnet test won’t be able to indicate if your item is real gold if it wasn’t made with a substantial amount of gold.

If your jewelry is not attracted to the magnet, it might be made with real gold.

How to Tell if Gold Jewelry Is Real

Learning how to tell if gold jewelry is real is simple. Search for the hallmark, try a nitric acid test, or test out your jewelry with a magnet.

However, the best way to determine if your jewelry is real gold is by opting for a professional appraisal.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or visit us at our store during business hours.