If you have some gold to sell, you may first need to verify that your gold is actually worth something. While regular gold investors may already own equipment for testing, the average person will probably need to try other options. You may be wondering how to test if your gold is real without the use of fancy equipment. Luckily, you can test your gold for authenticity right at home with things you probably already have laying around!
Home Tests to See if Your Gold is Real
We always recommend getting your gold tested by a professional. However, if you want to make sure the trip to the gold buyer will be worth it, you can do these preliminary tests to check for authenticity. Use these tests with caution. Some of these may cause damage to your items if you aren’t careful.
Gold Hallmarks and Letter Marks
The easiest way to test your gold for authenticity is to check for markings and stamps on the gold. Authentic pieces are usually stamped with letters, numbers, or other markings that give basic information about the gold piece. There is usually a hallmark that will indicate what kind of gold you have. You can find these by looking for 10k for 10 karat, 14k for 14 karat, etc. There may also be letters that indicate if your gold is filled plated, or electroplate. GF means gold filled, GP means gold plated, and GEP means gold electroplate. However, even if your gold plating is real, it doesn’t always mean that there is enough gold to be considered true gold.
Test if Your Gold is Real With Vinegar
You can test to see if your gold is real by putting a little bit of vinegar onto it. Put your piece of gold on a flat surface or hold it in your hand. Carefully pour some vinegar onto the gold, or use a dropper to put a few drops onto it. If the gold changes color, then it is not pure gold. However, if the gold remains the same, or stays shining, then the gold is real. You can also put some vinegar into a glass and let the gold soak in the glass for 5-8 minutes. If the gold changes color (even slightly) after rinsing it, then it is not real gold.
The Makeup Test
You can test to find out if gold is real or not with just a little bit of liquid foundation. Although this method isn’t 100% reliable, it’s an easy way to test in a pinch. Take a small amount of liquid foundation and blend it into your hand. Set with powder, and after it’s dried down, rub your gold on the area. If the area turns black, it’s more than likely real gold. However, if you rub gold on clean, dry skin that’s free from lotions, makeup, and oils, there should be no residue left from the gold after rubbing. If a black or greenish mark appears on clean skin, it may not be real. Test your gold on both clean, dry skin and skin with the liquid foundation to see if there is any difference.
Real Gold Won’t Stick to a Magnet
Another very simple test you can do is to use a strong magnet against your gold. Real gold is not magnetic, and therefore, should not stick.
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Always talk to your CPA or Financial Advisor before making investments.