Gold has been one of the most sought-after commodities for centuries. This high-value metal is used to create the most exquisite pieces of jewelry that get passed down from generation to generation. The beauty of gold is that it never loses its value. It’s a great investment that is known to offer some of the best returns over the years. If you are facing financial difficulties and you own a piece of gold jewelry, you can easily pawn or sell it to get quick cash. However, if you are not sure whether or not the piece you own is real gold (maybe it was gifted or you inherited it), there are simple checks that can help you get the answer.
The easiest way to figure out is to take it to your nearest jewelry store or pawnshop and have it tested. They will tell you exactly what the purity and weight of the gold is. However, if you don’t want to make that trip and want to be sure before you take your jewelry to the pawnshop, here are some checks you can perform:
Look for hallmark
The best and simplest way to tell if the gold you possess is real is to look for a hallmark. It is a small stamp that indicates the gold’s karat weight. Pure gold is 24 karat. 24-karat gold contains no other metals. Lower karatages contain less gold. For example, 18-karat gold contains 75 percent gold and 25 percent other metals, such as silver or gold. Ten-karat gold is the lowest karat gold available in the US and is composed of 41.7% gold, among other metals. If there is no hallmark, it could mean that the jewelry does not contain real gold, or it is possible that, with time, the hallmark has worn away. It is also possible that the piece of jewelry is really old and is from a time when hallmarking was not a regular practice.
When you expose the gold to fire, it will not catch fire and burn. It will get brighter. If the jewelry piece becomes dark or starts to smoke, it is not gold. It is better not to use a regular lighter and instead use a butane lighter because butane lighter will produce an intense flame that you can easily control. Remember, you will have to heat it for at least a minute to see the effects. So, make sure you hold it using a pair of long pair of tongs. Be extremely cautious while working with metals and heat because you can suffer serious burns if you are not careful enough.
Using a magnet/ceramic plate
When you hold a strong magnet next to a piece of gold, the magnet will not stick to gold because gold is not a magnetic material. However, if there are certain base metals used in the gold alloy, then the piece can stick to the magnet. So, this is not a definitive test.
You can also try rubbing your gold piece against a ceramic plate. If you see a yellow streak on the plate, the gold is real. If it is some other metal, it will leave a dark streak.
Remember, none of these tests is foolproof. So, the best thing to do is to take the piece directly to the pawnshop and let them check its purity and weight. They have the equipment and expertise to test and weigh gold.
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