How to Tell the Difference Between Real and Fake Gold
There is a lot of fake gold in circulation and it is not always obvious if your gold is the real thing or not. Following this simple article could save you a lot of money.The influx of many supposedly gold items in the market today leaves one wondering if the item at hand is really gold or not. In this article, I will list some possible ways to recognize real gold.
The first thing to do when one is buying an item is of course, visual inspection. That is why I am going to talk about visual test first. One should make a quick but thorough inspection of the gold item. The first thing to look at is the Karat value. This usually comes in the form of numbers like 14k, 18k, 22k and 24k. The karat system is used to express the percentage of pure gold in the item. The higher the karat value, the higher the percentage of gold. This means that 24k is pure gold, 18k is about 75% gold, 14k is about 59% gold while 10k is about 42% gold. In some occasions, there may be GP or EP markings beside the Karat system. These markings show that the item is covered or plated with gold. The question then comes up "what quantity of gold is used to cover the other metal inside?". But the manufacturer is not there to answer you. If you want real gold, don't go for plated gold.
I need to bring to your knowledge that there is no specific color for gold. The color that gold presents depends on the different quantities of other metals mixed with it. Gold could be white if mixed with nickel; white if mixed with palladium (usually used for those who are allergic to nickel); green when mixed with silver; and pink to red when mixed with different quantities of copper.
Gold should not be too shiny. It does certainly have an amount of sheen but when it becomes too shiny, run!
The second test for real gold is the price. It is usually good to survey the market and know the current price of gold in the market. If the item at hand has a price that is completely off, it may be a sign.
The third and the commonest test for real gold is its reaction to nitric and hydrochloric acid. Real gold is not affected in the form of reaction with these chemicals. Other metals that appear as gold usually react with these chemicals but gold does not. That is why it is the most authentic test for gold.
This fourth point I am making may not be a test but it will help in ensuring that real gold is bought. Always buy gold at a reputable jeweler. Reputable jewelers know real gold more than the average person. They can also perform the chemical test for their customers. Remember that no one likes carrying hydrochloric or nitric acid about because they can be corrosive. Also at the reputable jeweler's shop, other gold questions that you have can also be easily answered.
When fake gold is worn, a discoloration may occur on the wearer's skin or the gold itself. It is hard to say the exact color of the discoloration since gold comes in different colors. This discoloration is seen as a reaction of the skin and the metal. Also, it is not uncommon to see fake gold rust in humid temperature.
I would not want to do this next option because the jewelry passes through many hands, but another way to detect real gold is to bite it. If real, no mark will be left, but if fake, there will be a mark.