DIY Tests to Check Gold at Home
Gold ranks among the most expensive metals ever discovered. However, gold has a major issue: it is ridiculously simple to forge.
Many people have had their life savings stolen by dishonest gold merchants who sold them counterfeit gold bars or coins. It is easy to pass off copper or brass jewellery as gold, but if you also wear gold rings, necklaces, or other accessories, the thief has an open invitation to steal your valuables.
There are a few ways to verify the authenticity of gold, which can be helpful if you are considering making a gold purchase or already possess some gold but are unsure of its authenticity.
While no single test can definitively determine whether or not your gold is real, you can get a good sense by conducting many.
This blog will explain how to do a simple gold test in your house. You may choose from more than seven different methods when it comes to at-home gold testing.
1. Vinegar Testing
Vinegar is a quick and easy test to see if your gold is genuine. This technique has a wide range of applications, and unless it's pure gold jewellery, it will not cause any damage to it. You'll only need the piece of jewellery in question and some white vinegar. You can tell if a piece of jewellery is pure gold by placing it on a table or in your palm and pouring white vinegar straight onto the metal. If the metal of the jewellery changes colour, it is not pure gold.
A different option is to fill a glass or cup with white vinegar and soak your gold there for 5 to 8 minutes before rinsing it with water. If the metal's colour has altered even a little, the gold is no longer pure; if the shine persists, the metal is still precious.
2. Lighter Testing
Attempt to burn your gold; it's the first and least difficult task. When held up to a flame, genuine gold will become even brighter without catching fire. Gold that smokes or darkens over time is a telltale sign that it is not real gold but a cheaper fake.
Genuine gold will not melt or change colour when exposed to high temperatures. It melts quickly, allowing it to be moulded into many forms while retaining its gorgeous yellow-gold hue and lustrous sheen. Other metals, such as copper, iron, and brass, will change colour and darken when exposed to flame. If your object is merely gold-plated, then heating it will cause the gold-plating to melt, revealing the darker metal underlying.
For this task, you must use a butane lighter, not a standard one, as you can't rely on a regular disposable lighter to provide the kind of steady, high-intensity flame you require. Fill up your butane lighter before trying the test.
It would be best to preheat your gold for at least a minute. The flame must get hot enough to melt the metal. However, a larger piece of gold, such as a gold bar, may require more time in the furnace.
Use combustible materials when working with the gold. Use tongs or pliers to handle the gold since it will become hot.
3. Makeup Testing
You may also use a liquid foundation for a gold home test. Even though it isn't as accurate as more scientific methods, it will tell you if the gold in your possession is real or phoney. To use a liquid foundation, pour some into your fingers, rub it into your skin, and then wait for it to dry. When the base coat is dry, take the gold and rub it on the freshly textured surface.
4. Float Testing
Carefully place the gold piece into a bowl or cup of water. Genuine gold will settle to the base of the cup. If it is not real, it will rise to the top of the cup or remain motionless in the middle. Because of its high density, gold will quickly settle to the bottom of any water container.
However, because it is typically constructed of lighter metals, false gold will sink more slowly or not at all. Some imitations use metals that are as thick as gold and hence sink when submerged in water. By combining this test with others, you can receive a more specific answer as to whether or not your gold item is real.
5. Magnet Testing
It would help if you kept a magnet next to your gold coin. Your gold is probably false if the magnet clings to it. Gold will not attach to a magnet since it is not magnetic. Because of this, the test is a simple and fast approach to determining the authenticity of your gold jewellery.
However, this test isn't 100% accurate because some of the base metals used to make gold alloys aren't magnetic. This test requires a powerful magnet; hence try to use a neodymium magnet. If you don't, the results can be off.
6. Acid Testing
This method of testing for gold's purity is more complex and should only be attempted by those who are confident in their abilities with chemistry. For this experiment, you'll need both nitric and nitrohydrochloric acid. Base metals other than gold in your piece will be dissolved by nitric acid, whereas gold itself will be dissolved by nitrohydrochloric acid.
Find something very dark, like a piece of black stone, to do the test. You can use it to mark your gold jewellery if you rub it against it. Put some nitric acid on the spot. It will dissolve everything but gold. Thus it should be able to eradicate the mark.
To remove the stain permanently, try dabbing on some nitrohydrochloric acid. If the mark fades after being exposed to this acid instead of nitric acid, your jewellery's gold content is likely to blame.
1. How can I test gold at home?
The float test is the easiest way to check the purity of gold without leaving the house. Take a measuring cup or glass of water and the gold you want to examine and set them both aside. Seeing as how the glass is already full, you can discard it. Gold floating in water are likely counterfeit, while gold that sinks to the bottom of a glass is authentic. Because of its extreme density, genuine gold falls to the bottom of the ocean.
2. How do I know if gold is real?
Due to its delicate nature, gold scratches easily and leaves a golden or yellowish stripe when rubbed with a hard material like porcelain. On the other hand, since darker metals are used to make fake gold, it will have a black stripe.
3. How can you tell if gold is gold-plated or real gold?
Jewellery that is solid gold can have its carat determined by an acid test, but it can also be determined if the jewellery is solid gold or gold-plated. A piece of jewellery is taken out for an acid test, exposing it to acid to cause a colour change. The resultant hues reveal the sort of metal used in the jewellery.