With so many companies popping up that want to buy gold for quick cash, many people may start to wonder if they have real gold pieces at home or if it is simply gold-plated. Luckily for you, there are many at-home experiments that one can perform in order to tell.
The Weight Stamp. One of the most basic "experiments" is to simply inspect the piece very carefully. Oftentimes, pieces of real gold will be stamped with the weight of the jewelry or how many karats it contains. This will be expressed by a number closely followed by a "K." It is important to understand that pure gold is 24K. Anything less is a certain amount of gold mixed with other metals. Pieces with a low amount of karats may be worth less, but you still may get something. If your gold is not stamped, do not despair—this is not done on every piece of gold.
Magnetism. Another simple test to perform on your gold piece is to hold a strong magnet near it. If your gold is at all affected by the magnet, it is not likely solid gold. It may still have some gold in it but not a high percentage. Gold is not magnetic. Other metals, on the other hand, are highly magnetic and will have a strong reaction to a magnet.
Nitric Acid. Nitric acid may be purchased off of companies like Amazon or eBay, and it is quite easy to use. It should be noted that this test may cause damage to your gold piece, so if you are going to try and resell it for something other than being melted down, you will want to skip this test. This is performed by scratching your gold piece with a file of some sort (do not scratch it too much, as a small bit will work fine) and then dropping a small amount of nitric acid onto the scratch. Nitric acid will cause a reaction in most metals where it will bubble up or cause the nitric acid to change colors. Real gold will have no reaction, however.
Sink or Swim. One of the final basic tests that can help you determine if you have a real gold piece or not is to put it into a small bucket of water. Real gold is very dense and heavy and will sink instantly. If your "gold" piece floats at all, you can be sure it is not real gold.
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18 March 2019
After wearing the same jewelry pieces day after day for years, I realized that a few of my favorite items had developed a significant level of grime. I didn't want to look sloppy, so I started to look into ways to tidy them up. I talked to a friend of mine who knows how to clean everything, and she had some really amazing ideas for cleaning tiny chains and little prongs. This blog is all about the art of cleaning fine jewelry, and even tidying up older costume jewelry pieces. You never know, you might be able to make those older baubles sparkle.