How to check gold at home for authenticity


Gold has long been used to make jewelry, dishes, and decorative items. Some people prefer to keep money in it.

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With the expansion of the market, the number of fakes increases, bijouterie and scammers who want to get rich by selling them. 

The purchase of expensive metal should be treated carefully and carefully. As a result, the consumer asks how to determine true gold.

How to distinguish gold from a fake

Where and how to buy branded items at a discount - ANSWER


Definition present precious material must be carried out in combination. 

  • visual inspection. A sample or its weight in carats must be applied to the products. Marking easily view through a magnifying glass or taking a photo on a smartphone in macro mode.
  • Barcode verification. There are online programs where it is easy to explain how to check the authenticity of the goods. Product tags contain a barcode that can be scanned in the application or entered using a special website. 

Let's take a look at a few ways to distinguish fake from the original. 

Read also: vodka Neft – entered the Top 3 products with the most original packaging

12 ways

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If the purchase is not made in a specialized store, then the risk of acquiring a fake or low-quality product increases. We list the possible solutions for how to distinguish gold from other metal.

Most Effective gold verification methods:

  1. Appeal to specialists. This is especially true when buying "from hand". In this case, immediately with the seller you need to go to the pawnshop, where the expert can recognize authenticity. 
  2. Checking the sample applied to the product. On all gold products, its presence is mandatory. It may be absent if the product is old, made by a private craftsman or the item is fake. 
  3. Smell. Gold is neutral. By a sharp and unusual smell, you can discover fake. 
  4. Attention to joints. On them you can notice the difference with the links themselves. High grade material melts more easily, so it is used for joints. This difference helps define gold. 
  5. Bite. Gold is a soft metal. After a bite, a trace will remain on it. This method has become indicative of athletes. In this way pcheck for a long time coins. Fine jewelry work may lose its shape. 

Who invented them and why are they so popular? From ordinary jewelry to original pandora bracelets

If the gold is of a high standard, then the seller may not agree to such an action. In public places, it is not recommended to bite things for hygienic reasons. 

Gold does not oxidize. Therefore, the following methods are based on reaction with oxidizing agents. Check them out gold can at home. Each of them is discussed in detail below in the article. 

  1. Reaction with vinegar or its essence
  2. Nitric acid test. 
  3. Method using rye bread.

Physical experiments:

  1. Archimedes method. The calculations to carry out are detailed below. 
  2. Magnet check. This is especially true when traveling and on vacation. You can buy a regular magnet and check the product. Real metal is not magnetic. 

Particular attention should be paid to shopping in non-specialized stores. 

Read also: how to distinguish the original Tissot watches


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Pure gold is a soft metal. Impurities are necessary to give it hardness. 

gold samples

The concept of a sample is used to denote the amount of impurities per 1000 grams of alloy. The sample size is the amount of pure gold. The 750 test indicates that 1 kilogram of the ingot contains 750 grams of pure gold.

Read also: how to check the authenticity of a coin

There are certain places for the impression of the sample. The data are presented in the table. 

Product type Place of application of the sample
Earrings On the clasp
Ring On the back side 
Products with an English lock Key shackle
Stud Earrings Leg or clasp 
Bracelet Clasp
Clock  The inside of the lid

On jewelry most often there is a test. Exceptions are private works or antique items that are inherited.

Read also: original sapphire glass - how to distinguish from a fake?

3 types of samples

Characteristics of gold

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Like everyone else metals, gold has a number of characteristics: density, hardness, thermal and electrical conductivity, refractoriness, ductility, color. 

Gold is practically chemically inactive, which determines its durability. It is plastic, so the products can have a complex shape.


Determination of counterfeit gold by sound

If gold is thrown on a flat, hard surface or into a glass goblet, then it sounds loud and clear. The method is not suitable for bracelets and chains, but ringlet quite verifiable. 

Bite (strength test)

The higher the sample, the softer the gold. High strength does not indicate low quality, but indicates the addition of metals, as a result of which the product acquires wear resistance. 

Read also: Rolex watch how to distinguish a fake from the original


Colors of gold

Natural color is bright yellow. But pure metal is very soft, so other metals that change color are added to the alloy to make it harder. For this reason, color does not always help the non-professional buyer to understand how to tell gold from possible fakes. 

30 % silver gives a greenish tint, about 60 % - the alloy becomes white. 

Copper gives a red tint. With zinc, palladium or platinum, the alloy turns white. 

With the addition of nickel, it becomes light yellow. 


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Checking gold for authenticity with ceramics

You can use ceramic dishes or uncoated tiles. The object to be tested must be forcefully drawn over the ceramic surface. The black trace of decoration talks about what's in front of us fake, not a piece of gold. The latter is characterized by a golden trace. 

This method can damage the gold product due to its softness. This is especially true for high samples. 

There is no 100% guarantee with the ceramic method if the base metal is gilded. Therefore, it is better to check several options.

Read also: determine natural pearls in 5 minutes


Method for testing gold with vinegar

For authentication pour vinegar it in a transparent container in an amount sufficient to cover the product.

Place the test item in the liquid and observe the reaction.

The fake will darken, like the solution itself. There will be no change to the original. 


High quality branded clothing - go

Method with iodine

This easy way recommended for gold 585 and below. After it, most likely, you will have to polish the product. 

For the experiment you will need:

  • cotton swab;
  • iodine;
  • sharp object (pin, needle, knife). 

Checking is best done on the inside of the product. 

Read also: Sultanite natural – what does it look like? Checking for authenticity

Action algorithm:

  • Make a minor scratch or scrape of the top layer. 
  • Dip a cotton swab in a small amount of iodine. 
  • Wipe the prepared area. 

Fake reaction: rapid evaporation or color change of iodine to white. 

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When interacting with real gold iodine does not change its color and does not evaporate for a long time. damaged place will become dark.

After the experiment, you need to clean the area with ammonia from the remnants of the reagent to avoid darkening of the metal. 


Real gold is not magnetic

Gold is not magnetic. The reverse reaction indicates that the product is based on iron, nickel, steel or other metals and their alloys. The product may be gilded, or not included in the composition of gold at all. 

Nitric acid

Nitric acid

A reliable method will distinguish gold from counterfeiting at home. Carefully carried out in disposable gloves according to the following steps:

  1. Put the product on a clean metal surface. 
  2. Take nitric acid into a pipette and apply 1 drop to the metal. 

A clean product will not change its state. On alloy gold with impurities, the acid will become milky. On the other metal - green. 

Black bread

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Checking gold for originality with black bread

A reliable way to detect a fake:

  1. Mix the crumb of black bread with water to a consistency suitable for fixing on gold little thing. 
  2. Leave until the bread is completely dry. 
  3. Break the crust. 

The inner side of the crumb is evaluated, its the shade will give out the metal. Dark indicates a fake, as the metal has oxidized.

Read also: Pandora charm bracelet. Tips for building unique looks

pharmacy pencil

Lapis pencil and checking gold for a fake

You can buy it in almost any pharmacy lapis pencildesigned to stop bleeding from small wounds. The principle of operation is based on the reaction of silver nitrate with metals. 

Conducting an experiment:

  • Wet the item. 
  • Draw a line on its surface with a pencil. 

The trace remains only on fake or low grade gold. 


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Needle - as one of the methods for checking fake gold

Scratches from a needle or pin show up more clearly on high samples. The lower it is, the more invisible the trace will be. In this case, the noble metal will differ that does not change color. The fake will fade. 

The sun

Checking real gold by the sun

Gold items shine equally in the shade and in direct sunlight. For clarity, you can compare a dubious product with an already verified one.

Archimedes method

Checking gold by the method of Archimedes

The principle is based on the fact that a buoyant force acts on an object immersed in water. It is equated to the mass of water in the volume of the product.

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You will need:

  • scales;
  • container with water. 

To test:

  1. Weigh the piece of jewelry and record the data (m1). 
  2. Place a container of water on the scale and reset the data. 
  3. On a thread, completely immerse the product in water so that it does not touch the bottom and walls. 
  4. Write down the new data - the weight of gold in water (m2). 
  5. Do the calculations. 

Example. Weight of the product not immersed in water: m1=2.3 grams. The weight of this product life in water is m2=0.173 grams. We divide m1/m2=2.3/0.173=13.295

The sample is determined according to the table:









Based on the calculations in the example, 585 gold is presented. 13.295 is in the range of 12.50-14.00.

How to determine the purity of gold

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IN at home It is convenient to use an electronic detector. You can buy it in a jewelry workshop at a low price. It is used to accurately determine samples from 333 to 750. The values are shown in carats (from 6 to 18).

The chemical method is carried out using reagents. 

For 600 and smaller samples, chloride gold is used. For higher - acid. 

The sample is determined by color the resulting stain. The brighter it is, the lower the sample. For example, a light brown color characterizes 585 samples, green - 375. This method is more often used by specialists. 

What is the difference between gold and gilding

Gilding - coated metal 

gold. Different countries have specific requirements for the manufacture of gilded items.

You can often find on the market bijouteriecoated with gold, which is based on silver or an alloy of metals. 

concept medical gold appeared thanks to the tricks of marketing. The alloy can be covered with a thin layer of gold, and sometimes can be made without it. Medical the alloy is hypoallergenic and durable. Additional coating only decorates products. 

How to distinguish gold from other metals

Gold does not interact with acids. It does not darken over time. The first thing to pay attention to:

  • Try. 
  • Shine and smell. Gold glitters in the shade as well as in the sun, has no smell. 
  • Accuracy of work. Products should be smooth, without chips and scratches. 

If there is a lack of confidence in the quality, it is necessary to demand guarantees from the seller and contact the experts.

Read also: Opalite or moonstone, determined in 5 minutes

How not to become a victim of scammers

To avoid acquiring a fake, follow the rules:

  • Choose reliable stores. Avoid pawnshops, small shops, markets.
  • Demand quality certificates, do not trust the seller, who convinces that in some countries a sample is not taken. This is not possible when crossing the border. 
  • Sellers have an alloy of titanium and gold. This combination does not contain gold. 
  • Sample 583. It comes from Soviet times, is no longer produced. Therefore, you can trust such products and their quality. 
  • Price. Not always expensive is different high quality. The cost depends on the country of manufacture, weight, size of the product, the complexity of the jewelry work. 
  • The most popular assays are 585, 750. You cannot trust the samples in the Turkish market. They are often out of touch with reality. 
  • A poorly printed sample print, chips, scratches and roughness are an indicator of poor quality or fake. 

There are situations when the seller gives only the clasp for evaluation. They put a test on it, but the earring can be fake. You can confidently tell a dubious seller that you will check the product with vinegar. If he does not agree, then the product is a fake. 


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When buying jewelry, you do not need to chase the highest standard. It's not practical. Such products quickly lose their shape and wear out. If the purpose of the purchase is to store money, then it is better to give preference to ingots and coins. 

Purchases from individuals or tourist destinations in foreign countries must be treated with caution and methods of verifying the authenticity of gold.

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Andrey Kozhevnikov

Blog author. 7 years of experience as a Merchandiser. Specialist in the definition of quality products. Distinguished more than 5,000 fake goods. My motto: there is no limit to perfection!

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Add a comment

  1. Boris

    Recently, the demand for gold has increased, and the supply of anything has increased accordingly, armed with knowledge and we will resist.

  2. Vusal

    We have a bracelet for women. We bought a long time ago in a store in our city. Now this store is gone, probably moved to another place. I doubt the authenticity of this bracelet. Now I don’t know what to do, I read this article, thank you very much. I will check these ways. If anything, how should I do it, where to turn, if there are difficulties during the checks, how can you help me?

  3. Anna

    very interesting bilo

  4. Lina Sycheva

    The good thing is that no matter what time it is, gold will always be in price, because it has always been a valuable resource that you can rely on, which you can always sell in which case, if you need money, gold can always be quickly sold. and if it is also the original ... then in general you can even not work

  5. Maksim

    Thanks, very informative stuff. Knowledge is power, now, unfortunately, even in trusted stores you can run into a fake. Of all the things listed in the article, I only knew about iodine.

  6. Ludmila

    Very good article, detailed, understandable. Excellent.

  7. Алекс

    Оу, спасибо вам большое за четкую и подробную статью. Кое-какие запасы из полученного девушкой по наследству надо проверить. У меня есть небольшие подозрения, что там не все чистое золото далеко!