Simple Tests To authenticate the Purity of Gold


Gold investors and collectors know that gold has properties that make it unique and they can identify these properties easily because of the experience they have. If you have never sold gold before you need to know what it is that gold dealers Brisbane look for when determining the value of your gold. You can conduct all of these tests by yourself at home so that you are sure of what you are selling is real gold or fake such as plated gold. 

Gold jewellery hallmarks

Jewellery manufacturers will stamp hallmarks on the pieces of gold jewellery they make. You can usually find this stamp on or near the clasp of bracelets and necklaces. The hallmark stamp is often inside surface of most rings. Gold buyers will use a jeweller’s loupe to see the discrete marking on gold jewellery. The impression or stamp shows the karat or purity of the gold piece and it will range from 9k to 24k. 

Sometimes, these impression fade with time and other times, they just aren’t there especially on old pieces of jewellery. In such cases, other methods of verifying the purity of gold are used. 

The Nitric Acid Test

The purity of gold can be tested by using nitric acid which reacts with other metals but not with gold. A small mark can be made on the surface o the gold piece. Then a small amount of nitric acid is dropped onto the scratch. If the mark turns green, then the piece of jewellery isn’t gold. Since gold does not react with Nitric acid, the result of the test should be a clear drop with no change in colour. 

The Vinegar Test

You can also conduct your own test at home using white vinegar. Take a glass of white vinegar and drop your piece of gold in it and leave it in there for at least 15 minutes. Remove the piece, rinse with water and wipe the ring off. Real gold will shine whist other metals will react with the vinegar and change colour. 

The Magnet Test

Gold is not magnetic. If you use a magnet on a piece of jewellery, it should not stick if it’s real gold. Sometimes, jewellery and coins can convincingly look like they are made of real gold when they are only coated or plated with gold. A strong magnet will be able to reveal that they are not, in fact, made of pure gold. 

The Float Test

Gold has a higher density than water but most metals don’t. So if you put a piece of gold in a glass of water, it should sink immediately. If it floats then it isn’t gold. 

The Skin Test

A lot of fake gold contains nickel which causes an allergic reaction on the skin. It is not a myth that fake gold causes discolouration of the skin. To test your own gold, just hold the pie in your hand until you perspire. The perspiration will react with whatever metal you have in your hand. If it’s not gold, the piece of metal will leave a black or greenish residue on your hand. Gold, on the other hand, will not react with your perspiration. 

Gold dealers Brisbane can determine how much gold is in any piece of jewellery using other sophisticated methods such as an XRF machine.

Leave a reply