How To Tell If Gold Is Real
Since your old scrap gold is worth quite a bit on today’s gold-hungry market it is very important to know how to tell real gold. Many people have gold lying around that they are not sure about because they do not know how to tell is something is real gold or some other metal. Fake gold can also be called gold plated, heavy gold electroplate, and gold-filled, among other things. There’s definitely a big difference between the two. The latter is basically worthless while real gold has never been worth more. So how can you tell if gold is real? The tips that follow will show you how to tell if it's real gold or fake gold.
Test Real Gold
Look for the Hallmark
Nearly all real gold is stamped with a hallmark that notes the karat weight of the jewelry, like 10K or 14K. This stamp is usually found on the clasp of a necklace or bracelet, or on the inner band of a ring. Since the purity of American-made gold jewelry is measured in karats, there will be a stamp on these pieces with a number followed by the letter "K". The number simply indicates, in parts per 24, how much of the metal is actually gold. For example, a mark of "14K" means that it is 14 karat gold and that 14/24 (just over half) of the metal is gold. By the same token, 24K would be 100% pure gold.
The European system is a little more straightforward. European gold is marked with the gold content expressed as a decimal: ".585" would be 58.5% pure (incidentally, this is the same as 14 karat gold) and ".999" or "1.000" would be pure gold and thus the same as 24 karat. Nonetheless, if an item of jewelry does not have this stamp - it is not necessarily proof positive that the item is made from fake gold. This is particularly true of older items of jewelry.