How to tell if gold is real:

Easy ways to ensure you have the real jewelry

Jewelry is the ultimate sign of rank, power, immortality, and wealth, and it is generally only available to royalty.

Gold was thought to be the flesh of the sun god Ra by the ancient Egyptians. Because it is attractive and easy to work with, gold is regarded as rich and valuable. It doesn’t tarnish, rust, or disintegrate like other metals (except by aqua regia, the name for nitrohydrochloric acid, which is used in one of the tests mentioned below). Gold is difficult to extract: a tonne of ore yields only 50 grams of gold. It’s also one of the best electrical conductors, which is why it’s found in so many computers and other electronic devices.

Ways to test real jewelry authenticity

This article discusses several tests you can easily do at home to help you when you need to know ways to ensure you have the real gold.

The stamp test: look for hallmarks

A hallmark, which is a stamp that identifies the content and/or manufacturer of a piece of gold jewelry, is frequently etched on it. Hallmarks are generally hidden in plain sights, such as on the inside of a 14k gold signet ring.

The karat and millesimal fineness scales are the most used purity scales. When determining whether or not your gold is genuine, the hallmark test, commonly known as the magnifying glass test, is a good place to start.

The following are some of the hallmarks:

Under the Karat system, there are valid purity numbers (like 8k, 9k, 10k, 14k, 15k, 18k, 20k, 21k, 22k, 23k, and 24k)

Under the Millesimal Fineness system, valid purity numbers exist (333, 375, 417, 583 or 585, 625, 750, 833, 875, 916, 958 and 999)

False purity numbers (anything other than the above)

Manufacturer (like ESPO for Esposito, etc.)

To offer greater credibility to a piece’s provenance and make it easier to recognize and verify, hallmarks reflect the gold’s purity and maker. Because anyone can engrave any hallmark they choose, this degree of testing isn’t perfect.

If the numbers don’t match the ones listed above, you’re dealing with phony gold. The numbers 800, 925, and 950, for example, do not refer to gold but to silver. Why are they stamped with 925 on gold? Because this frequently indicates that the item is gold plated over sterling silver.

Another thing to check for is whether the marks indicate whether the value was assessed in karats or milligrams of purity. Any other numbers than those above would indicate that the gold is fake.

Not all real gold handmade emerald jewelry has hallmarks—for example, older pieces may have had original markings that have been worn off.

Look for letter markings

Any gold that is marked less than 10k (41.7% purity) is considered fake.

Anyone who is familiar with the different levels of quality will quickly recognize the following markings:

GP

GF

GE

GEP

HGP

HEG

You will want to avoid the above designations if you’re looking for real gold. They all indicate gold plating. In the same order, they mean:

Gold Plated

Gold Filled

Gold Electroplated

Gold Electro Plated

Heavy Gold Plated

Heavy Gold Electroplated

These markings suggest that a little percentage of gold was used to coat a piece made of another metal to give it the look of gold.

To give you an idea of how the higher levels of purity compared to one another, consider the following: Gold in the 24k range is 99.9% pure, while gold in the 18k range is just 75% pure. 100% pure gold is unheard of, owing to the fact that pure gold is exceedingly soft and would not produce a long-lasting item of jewelry.

The skin test

Look for a bluish or greenish tint on your skin

This is a straightforward test: Holding a piece of gold jewelry between your palms for a few minutes is required. Your perspiration will either react with the metal or change the color of your skin, or it will remain unchanged. There is no discoloration when real gold comes into direct contact with your skin. If the gold is false, the contact sites on your skin will turn black, blue, or green.

If you test gold on your skin while wearing a liquid foundation, there is an exception to this rule. When gold comes into contact with makeup, it turns your skin black where the two meet. This test is more reliable if all makeup is removed before testing.

Makeup can also be used to verify the authenticity of gold. Apply a liquid foundation and then dust with powder. After the makeup has dried, press the piece of jewelry against your skin and delicately rub it over the areas where the makeup has been applied. If the jewelry leaves a black mark on your face, it’s most likely real gold.

Real gold jewelry will never stain your skin because gold is incredibly nonreactive. However, employing the cosmetics test to confirm if it’s real is a novel technique to do it.

If your gold jewelry has discolorations, it’s because it’s made of an alloy with other metals mixed in.