How to check if your gold is real – easy authenticity tests

Given the rising value of real gold, many of us will be rifling through our jewellery to look for old pieces to sell. However, items of fake gold can quash any hopes of making any money from old jewellery and scrap pieces. Specifically, fake gold includes any items that are gold plated, coated with a heavy gold electroplate or coated with anything designed to resemble the precious metal.

Here we list three easy tests that you can do at home to help you tell whether your gold is real.

Hallmark check

Gold HallmarkSimply, the first thing anyone should do to tell whether a piece of gold is real is to look for its hallmark. Specifically, European gold is hallmarked with its gold content expressed as a decimal number. Examples of which are .585, which is used to denote 14 karat gold, and 0.9, for 24 karat gold. However, if an item of jewellery is not hallmarked with its gold purity, then it is not necessarily an indication that it is fake. Notably many older pieces of antique gold do not possess a hallmark, and can be further verified using the tests below.

Heaviness test

The gold heaviness test is a simple one which merely requires you to drop your jewellery into a jug of water. Simply, due to the heaviness of the metal, any real gold will sink straight to the bottom. If the piece floats then it likely fool’s gold or merely gold-plated.

Magnet test

A further home experiment is the magnet test, which is an easy means to help determine whether gold is real or fake. Simply, if your gold is attracted to a magnet then it is definitely not real. Given that gold is non-magnetisable, the magnet is likely attracting the other metals beneath any plating.

Consult an expert

However, if you are still unsure whether your gold is real then the best way to come to a conclusion about its authenticity is to take it for an evaluation at an approved retailer. For instance, the high street branches of some of the gold specialists listed on our website, such as Chard and TheĀ Gold Bullion Company.