How to Tell if Something Is Real Gold: A Basic Guide

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When investing in precious metals, it’s essential to know if something is real gold. This will help you secure your investment and prevent you from wasting money on something that is plated gold.

Are you wondering how to tell if something is real gold? If so, there are several ways to go about finding out. You can complete these tests either at home on existing gold pieces or when out shopping for gold bullion.

Whether you purchase a precious metals wand or use simple household ingredients, be sure to test the gold you intend to purchase before moving forward with any transactions.

If you’re looking to learn how to test gold, then look no further for a complete guide to tell if something is real gold.

Real Gold vs. Gold-Plated

Before you test to see if something is real gold, you should understand the difference between solid gold and gold-plated. This will help you identify the real from the fake and make future gold-buying situations easier.

Solid gold is consistent in its entirety. Take, for instance, a gold coin. If it’s solid gold, the inside of the coin will be the same as its exterior.

The opposite is true for gold-plated. While the outside of gold-plated jewelry is gold, the inside is another type of metal worth less than real gold.

How to Tell if Something Is Real Gold

Now that you understand the difference between real gold and gold-plated, you’ll need to spot the difference. One way of doing so is with vinegar.

If you pour several drops of vinegar onto solid gold, the color will remain intact. However, if the item in question is gold-plated, the color will change slightly once it comes in contact with vinegar.

Another way to test for real gold is by weighing it. Since bullion coins come in specific sizes and weights, you should be able to compare the piece you have to industry norms. Since gold is incredibly dense, it’s hard to forge fake gold the same size and weight as real gold.

You may not want to rely on vinegar and scales, making a magnet test ideal. Gold has zero magnetic properties, so if you hold a magnet to it, it won’t stick. Be sure to keep this in mind when looking to buy gold.

One more way of testing to see if you have real gold is by using a piece of ceramic. When gold scratches ceramic it leaves a gold line. Dark or black marks are indicators of fake gold or gold-plated items.

You can also check your gold to see if it makes a long, drawn-out “ping” noise when struck. Real gold will make this sound, while gold-plated items will emit duller noises.

Some people opt to use precious metals wands that use electromagnetic waves to check for authenticity.

Protect Your Investment

Investing in gold is always a smart choice. However, you need to be diligent when protecting your investment. Now that you know how to tell if something is real gold, be sure to understand the difference between the two as you test to see which is real.

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