Professional and DIY Gold Testing A Comprehensive Guide

Expert investors and jewellers can easily verify gold's authenticity. This is because gold possesses characteristics that no other metal does. That said, knowledge is power, whether you're dealing with gold bullion or jewellery. Learn about at-home gold testing methods here!

Gold testing


This article highlights the most well-known techniques for determining whether or not gold is authentic. There are various methods for assessing the purity of gold, from simple at-home tests to sophisticated, high-tech digital devices. However, it would be best if you always took advantage of a quick and free estimate from a reputable service provider.

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Advanced Gold Testing Techniques

XRF-Thermo Testing Machines

Fortunately, modern technology has made it much more straightforward than ever before to verify the authenticity of a gold item. A gold testing machine fits this description.

An electrical tester or an XRF spectrometer are the two most common devices used to determine the purity of gold in jewellery. Machines like these record and analyse the X-ray or electromagnetic wave interactions with your gold item.

The computer will use this data to determine in a flash if your item is authentic. The XRF spectrometer is the quickest and most precise of these instruments.

Melting and Sampling Spectrum Detection

This exam involves some extra work and expense, but it is well worth it. Differential Scanning Calorimetry, a thermo-analytical method, is utilised for melting and sample spectrum detection. A Differential Scanning Calorimeter is used to measure the thermal expansion of a sample of a gold and a standard sample of gold.

The sample and the standard gold are heated to the same high temperatures. A comparison of the sample and reference heat-up requirements is documented. The heat difference between the two pieces of gold allows experts to determine how close a replica is to the real thing. This method is beneficial for identifying fake gold, which will have quite different thermal characteristics from genuine gold.

Sigma Metalytics Machine

Try an electrical test if you still have doubts about the veracity of these other methods for determining the authenticity of gold. Accurate findings can be obtained in a matter of seconds using a Sigma Metalytics system.

The gadget measures the object's resistance to electromagnetic waves to identify its metal content. This device can distinguish between gold plating and base metal, copper or nickel.

The machine is reliable only for coins and bullion. Use any commercially available gold testing machines to determine the actual value of a piece of jewellery.

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Smelting Identifier

This simple test is another surefire way to spot phoney gold products. The term "smelting" describes the process of melting down an ore or alloy of different metals to extract the desired metal or base components. Like the Superbmelt gold melting equipment, a machine is used in smelting because it generates such intense heat that it may melt the ore or alloy. A little sample of the gold is smelted to determine whether or not it is genuine. Once the gold has been melted out, we will know if the smelting process was successful. Melting a false gold-coated object reveals only base metals like copper and zinc underneath.

DIY Gold Testing Techniques

Find The Hallmark

You can determine the percentage of gold in a piece of jewellery by inspecting the clasp or the inner band.

Gold testing


Hallmark is the universal symbol of quality control for precious metals. Even still, anyone may engrave those markings, so it's not entirely secure. However, jewellery with letter marks is usually just gold-plated fakery. For the Carat system, the symbols are:

  • 24k (999)
  • 23k (958.3)
  • 22k (916)
  • 20k (834)
  • 18k (750)
  • 15k (625)
  • 14k (583.3)
  • 10k (417)
  • 9k (375)
  • 8k (333)

Based on the markings, we can deduce that 24k gold contains 99.9 percent gold, while 8k gold has only 33.3 percent.

Scratch Test

The ceramic scratch test is one of the most reliable ways to determine whether or not your jewellery is made of gold. You'll need to get your hands on an unglazed ceramic plate or tile and use a piece of gold to scrape across the surface.

While other metals will leave a black mark, real gold will leave a gold one. It's essential to be cautious and scrape away just enough tile to see the gold marking, or you risk ruining your expensive jewellery.

Bite Test

Biting gold to verify its authenticity is a common but unreliable practice. Of course, you've seen Olympic athletes gnawing on their medals. Gold's softness makes it an ideal target, and the resulting teeth marks add authenticity to the piece.

Teeth marks will be more prominent the more authentic the item is. Gold is easier to chew and recognises than silver and nickel because of its softer feel.

Skin Test

Simply put, here's the test: A piece of gold jewellery is held in the hands like this for a few minutes. Depending on the metal, your perspiration will either react with it to change your skin colour or won't. On the contrary, real gold will not change colour when worn next to your skin. The contact on your skin will turn black, blue, or green if the gold is false.

A skin test for gold while using a liquid foundation is an exception to this rule. Makeup that comes into contact with gold will cause the skin to turn black. This test is more trustworthy if the subject has removed all traces of makeup beforehand.

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The Most Reliable Way

There is still some potential for mistakes when using these home testing procedures to determine whether your gold is real. Several imitation metals can fool these methods and look like the real thing. Taking it to a professional jeweller is your best and most dependable option for verifying the gold's authenticity.

Gold testing


Trustworthy jewellers and jewellery shops typically have access to more sophisticated testing equipment than the average consumer. Because of this and their extensive background working with and studying gold, they can quickly identify fakes.

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1. Can Vinegar Tell If Gold Is Genuine?

It's vital to double-check things with other tests, but you shouldn't put too much stock in this one. If you try to forge gold, you'll see that it quickly becomes black or green from the other metals it contains. Some forgeries may produce smoke or noises when struck against any metal.

2. Are gold alloys fake?

The term "gold alloy" refers to any alloy that contains gold. For instance, you can make a gold alloy by combining gold and sterling silver. Similar results can be achieved by combining pure gold with other metals such as palladium, titanium, brass, iron, and copper.

Some gold alloys are worth considerably more than the value of the metals used to create them, while others are not very much. That's why checking the gold's caratage, or purity, is essential.

3. Does pure gold react with sunlight?

If you're worried about gold reacting to the sun, don't. That is to say; genuine gold jewellery will retain its lustre and colour forever. Any discolouration or loss of sheen on your piece is a telltale sign that it is fake.