How to Tell if Gold Is Real
Gold is a precious metal that has unique properties that can be identified with careful examination. 5-Minute Crafts has put together a list of tests that will help you identify genuine gold, so you’re not buying the wrong metal.
1. Magnet test
Real gold is not magnetic, but several other metals are. Use a strong magnet (it needs to be stronger than a fridge one) and place it near the piece you want to test. If your piece is attracted to the magnet, is it fake.
2. Vinegar test
First, fill a dropper with white vinegar. Then hold your gold in one hand or put it on a flat secure surface with a paper towel underneath. Third, put a few drops of white vinegar onto the gold. If it changes color, it’s fake. If it keeps its golden color and doesn’t change, it is pure gold.
3. Ceramic test
Drag your piece across an unglazed ceramic plate. Make sure to apply light pressure. If you see a gold mark on the ceramic, the gold is real. If you see a black mark, then it’s fake.
4. Float test
Simply drop your gold into a glass of water. If it’s real gold, it will sink because real gold is heavy. Fake gold will float and also rust over time. Real gold will not rust.
5. Skin test
This test takes more time than the others and is specifically helpful for jewelry, since you’ll have to put the jewelry on. Just simply use the item and see if it changes the color of your skin to a bluish or greenish tint, if it does, it’s not real gold.
6. Acid test
Make a small scratch on your gold and, using a dropper, place a small drop of nitric acid onto that spot. If the spot turns green, it’s not real gold. If it looks milky, then it’s gold-over-sterling silver. Lastly, if the spot remains unaffected, it is real gold.