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How to Spot Real Gold Chains and Fake Ones?

Difference Between Real and Fake Gold Chains

By Aiden SmithPublished 2 years ago 9 min read

If something is valuable, someone out there will try all means to counterfeit it for resale. Whether it is a necklace, ring, bangle, or watch, they will always find a way to counterfeit those to their benefit. This is very common with gold jewelry. It is no secret that the market is flooded with fake jewelry, and that’s all fine and good if you are paying a super low price, knowing very well that what you are buying is not the real deal. However, when you think you are getting a real gold ring, you pay the maximum amount and later see that it is fake. It is very legitimate to want to check for the authenticity of gold jewelry since they are expensive possessions.

It might be difficult to tell the actual value of your favorite jewelry pieces when you buy them. It’s possible that you won’t be ready to discern if the items are counterfeits or genuine. Generally, purchasing real gold chains in a store is more straightforward since you can always ask a jeweler to assist you in determining their purity level. When purchasing jewelry online, however, the actual problem begins.

The truth is that if you didn’t pay the total price for your piece of jewelry, it’s very certainly a fake. But how can you determine whether your jewelry is legit if you don’t know the tricks? It is important to note that most gold jewelry is not 100% pure gold. They are mixed with other metals to make them lasting and harder. Fake gold jewelry comprises other metals like silver, nickel, and copper coated with a thin layer of gold.

To protect yourself from being a victim of deceit, here are a few ways to spot fake jewelry. You can check your jewelry at home or even use some of these methods right there in the store before you hand over your hard-earned money.

Signs of a Fake Gold Jewelry

Several visible factors can tell you if the jewelry is made of gold or not when you buy it. Generally, fake gold jewelry does not have solid gold as they are often plated with gold instead. These fake gold jewelry are mostly made of some other metal and are later coated with a film of gold to make it appear like an authentic gold piece.

These factors help determine if you are going in for a scam before further testing at your home. They are visual cues you could test from the jewelry shop.

Another essential point to know before delving in is that any gold product sold to you as 10-karat is not considered gold. Anything below 10-karats is fake gold.

1. Size versus Price Comparison

The size of your gold jewelry is a determining factor in knowing the authenticity of your jewelry. Many jewel customers are fascinated by what they watch on their TV sets as they see celebrities putting on massive gold pendants or wearing enormous gold chains. It is essential to know that these celebrities most often use these pieces of jewelry for advertisement purposes. A lot of them do not buy that expensive jewelry. So do not be fooled to get any kind of big jewelry just to look like your favorite artist because you will most likely be sold a big fake piece of jewelry that is not gold.

The size of gold jewelry is directly proportional to its price. Therefore if you come across some gold jewelry whose size does not match its cost, you should try another jeweler.

2. Gold Coloring

Authentic gold is undoubtedly unique in its appearance and color. The concept of gold as an over-shiny metal is erroneous. Yellow gold is not too bright and shining. We all love to see our gold jewelry having that extra sparkle, but if it is too bright, you might want to check its trueness because gold would not be too shimmering. Most of the time, what makes jewelry overshine is some metallic paint coating on the jewelry that gives it the feel of gold jewelry.

Check the piece of jewelry to verify if the suspicious paint coating is not wearing off at some point of the jewelry. If that’s the case, then you might want to give your purchase a second thought.

3. Jeweler’s Stamp

Searching for the jeweler’s stamp on the piece of jewelry is the most straightforward of the techniques as it does not require that much expertise. The law requests, jewelry makers put stamps on every piece of jewelry they produce. This stamp is known as the maker’s mark. You will find this mark on the inside of rings or near the brooch for necklaces and bracelets. The stamp on jewelry is minute; however, it contains lots of information about the purity of the jewel. You will find marks like “GP” or “GF,” which stands for Gold plated and Gold filled respectively. These symbols would enable you to make an informed decision before purchasing. You should not overlook and check that.

However, you do not want to make this factor your main decisive factor in deciding if your jewelry is pure gold or not because older versions of jewelry did not have those. So you might want to try other testing methods too.

4. Check the Weight

Like color, checking the weight of gold jewelry can show you information about the authenticity of your piece. Gold is denser than most metals, so a gold bracelet, for instance, should be heavy. If a piece of gold jewelry is lightweight, mainly based on its size, you should raise many questions.

Testing Real Gold

Test by Magnet

Many people are assertive about the authenticity of gold jewelry after testing it with a magnet. So what is this magnet test? The magnet test is the first-line test, meaning it is the first out of the many tests you should do when trying to spot real gold. Generally, precious metals like gold do not stick to a magnet, meaning if you hold a piece of gold onto a magnet, it will not stick. Nonetheless, there is a couple of different variations here- there are various strengths of magnets. Let us say you got your typical refrigerator magnet which is usually the black type magnet, and what it does is it sticks to the magnet, and the refrigerator holds up your kids’ projects very well. However, it barely works when you try picking some more heavy material with this type of magnet.

On the other hand, we have the rare-earth magnet, used as a first-run test over the gold. It quickly picks any material you wish to test, unlike the refrigerator magnet. This means you will need a strong magnet for the first line of the test.

Keep in mind that it is just the first line. Just because something is non-magnetic does not mean it is a precious metal. Many people have a misconception about this testing method because they realized that their jewelry does not stick to a magnet. Therefore they assume straightforward that it is all pure gold. Well, that depends on what they are coated with. If they are covered with something non-magnetic, it is not going to stick to the magnet. So the rule is if it sticks to the magnet, it is not precious metals. If it does not stick, then you got to the next step. That is what the magnet test is all about. Make sure you do not think that everything which doesn’t stick is gold, and sure you get a rare-earth magnet, which you can quickly buy for about eight dollars.

2. Floating Test

By now, we know that gold is a very dense material. Therefore, in testing it inside a vase of water, it should sink right through the water. If the gold jewelry floats or does not hover over the bottom of the vase, then you have fake gold jewelry in your possession.

3. Test by Vinegar

Another way to test gold is the vinegar test. Fake or impure gold darkens in vinegar very quickly. So simply pour a little vinegar into a glass and keep the piece of jewelry in it for about five minutes.

4. Test by Acid

There are solutions called gold acid testers, which people can use to test if their gold jewelry is authentic or not. This method is pretty easy; all one needs is gold jewelry, a scratch stone, and the acid itself. The procedure is as follows;

Rub the jewelry on a scratch stone until you see a nice visible deposit on the stone.

Then you take the acid and apply a small amount across the line on the scratch stone.

If the deposit remains intact through the acid, then it is passed. In this case, the jewelry in question is real gold.

If the deposit does not remain intact through the acid, it is less likely to be gold, and you might want to test it again through other methods.

The reason why you might want to test it again is that you might have used a strong acid on low-quality gold — for example, using a 14-karat acid on a five-karat piece of gold jewelry.

Before purchasing or selling gold jewelry, there are a few things to keep in mind

Any jewelry with little or no artistry has a less expensive production cost than those with a pretty significant amount of artwork. However, you can still bargain with the jewelers over the making expenses.

At this point, it is pretty apparent that you check the purity and authenticity of your gold product before purchasing them.

Your jeweler will always tell you that they have a firm buyback policy when you are trying to purchase jewelry from them and that they would grant to the total of the gold’s value. Nonetheless, if you ever wish to sell your jewelry, it would be advisable to do so at the shop you bought it from originally.

It would be beneficial to you to always request a breakdown of the gold and precious stones before purchasing if you are buying a gold piece of jewelry with precious stones in it.

As a gold jewelry client, you are most likely to find fake ones everywhere. Therefore you need to be alert about the various types of gold around. As discussed above, you can easily spot if a gold product is authentic or not by checking on the stamps; however, this method is not the ultimate one, and you should not rely solely on it to make your decision. You should proceed with testing with magnets and acids to increase your chances of making the right decision about gold jewelry. They are easy tests to perform at home.

All in all, the ultimate way to check for the authenticity of a gold piece of jewelry is to test it at a reputable jewelry store if you have the extra means for that. All San Antonio jewelry stores have a proper way to verify if a piece of gold jewelry is authentic or not.

It is okay to want to purchase gold-plated jewelry, especially if this is your intention. Nonetheless, if you are genuine about wanting to get authentic gold jewelry, then you might want to consider these tips above for the value of your bucks.


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