Gold has certainly stood the test of time, not just in terms of popularity and also as an investment. The price of gold has been going up steadily over the years and anybody who has been putting their money in gold would have seen how that investment has appreciated.
If you are planning on investing in gold, you must know how to tell the difference between real gold and fake gold. But first, you must understand the concept of ‘real gold’.
What is Real Gold?
When a jeweler says that a particular item is made of real gold, most people presume that ‘real gold’ is the same as ‘pure gold’. This is not entirely right. Pure gold, which is 24 Karat gold, is too soft to be used in creating jewelry. Jewelry made of pure gold is not capable of holding its shape and will bend and get misshapen within a short period of time.
To make items of jewelry, 24K gold is mixed with other metals to make it harder and less likely to bend and lose its shape. The proportion to gold to other metals is what determines whether the gold is real or not. When a jeweler says that an item of jewelry is made of pure gold, it means the proportion of gold is above a certain threshold.
These few tests will help you tell if the gold you are planning to buy is real"
Pour Nitric Acid on the Gold
Gold is the only metal that does not react with nitric acid. All other metals will react with this acid and either turn green or a milky at the place where the metal comes in contact with the acid.
To test for real gold, make a tiny scratch or mark in the top layer so that the nitric acid can go through. This is because many items are gold-plated so the nitric acid will only confirm whether the topmost layer is gold or not. It will not tell you anything about the lower layers.
Drop a very small amount of nitric acid on the scratched portion and wait for any reaction. If there is any reaction that confirms that the piece is made of fake gold. If there is no reaction at all, it is an indication of real gold.
See if the Gold Floats
Drop the item you want to test into a glass or bowl of water. If it floats at the top or keeps drifting above the bottom of the container without going all the way down, it means it is fake gold. Real gold is very dense and will sink to the bottom of the container quickly
Test the Piece With Magnets
Magnets do not attract real gold but they do attract several other metals. If the item you are testing gets attracted to the test magnet, it is definitely not real gold. However, this is not a definitive test. If the item does not get attracted, it does not necessarily mean that the item is real gold as there are several other metals that also do not get attracted to magnets.
When doing this test, you must use a strong magnet such as the types found in hardware stores. Fridge magnets and other weak magnets will not be effective for this particular test.