How to Test Gold Jewelry

by SouthFloridaJewelryBuyers

Before you sell gold jewelry, learn the best ways to confirm its purity and make sure it's genuine gold.

Before you sell gold jewelry, you may want to test it to make sure it's real or confirm the purity. This is especially true of jewelry that has no markings. There are actually a few ways to reliably verify the gold purity of your jewelry to find out its true value although the magnet test and acid test are the industry standards. Testing your jewelry is very simple and won't harm your gold at all.

Magnet Test

The magnet test is a simple way to verify if an item is platinum, gold, silver or palladium, all precious and valuable metals. These metals are non-ferrous so they are not magnetic. If your jewelry attracts a magnet, it is not real gold. Keep in mind some jewelry clasps on real gold chains have magnetic parts, including internal springs, that may be picked up by the magnet. This doesn't mean the pain portion of the jewelry is fake, however. If you want to sell jewelry and it attracts the magnet, it is not made of a precious metal and will not be worth anything. If the jewelry passes the magnet test you can move on to an acid test.

Gold necklace
Gold necklace

Acid Test to Sell Gold Jewelry

There are two acids tests for gold. You can buy a kit yourself to test jewelry at home, but if you plan to sell gold in Miami try contacting a jewelry store or pawn shop. They'll perform the test for you to verify the gold's purity and then make you an offer. Here's how to perform the test yourself:

  1. Put a paper towel on top of a rag underneath the jewelry to avoid damaging any surface below.
  2. Choose the acid that corresponds to the karat you're testing for. If you want to sell gold jewelry with no marking, start with an 10k acid test and move up. If the jewelry is marked 14k, start there. If the jewelry doesn't respond to the acid test it confirms it's at least the karat tested for.
  3. Add a single drop of acid to the jewelry. Fake jewelry will usually make green fizzing bubbles or the plating will come off or discolor. Gold jewelry that turns a darker color may be a lower karat than you're testing for.
  4. Use clean water to wash away the acid as you go so you can easily see the reaction of the gold.
  5. When you get to the highest possible karat acid test with no reaction from the jewelry, you've identified the gold purity.
  6. If necessary, use a small file to make a tiny scratch in the jewelry for testing.
  7. You can also test gold purity by first scraping the item on a testing stone and using acid on the stone. Scratch far enough down that you get past any plating or coating the jewelry may have.

Why Test Before You Sell Jewelry?

Testing your jewelry before you contact gold buyers in Miami is a good way to verify the purity and understand how much you can expect to get. The process is fairly simple, although many people prefer to take their gold to a jewelry or gold buyer for testing. Either way, the purity effects the value of your gold, so make sure you understand this relationship before you accept an offer.

How Gold is Tested

Updated: 08/23/2012, SouthFloridaJewelryBuyers
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
SouthFloridaJewelryBuyers on 09/10/2012

Hi, Mira! Nitric acid is used to test for gold that's 14k or under. Aqua-Regia is used to test for gold that's 14k or higher. Aqua-Regia is a solution of 3 parts hydrochloric acid to 1 part nitric acid.

Mira on 09/08/2012

This is useful info, but what kind of acid will I be using?

You might also like

10k Gold vs 14k Gold

The difference between 10k and 14k gold and white gold

All About Italian Gold Jewelry Designs and Artistry

Italy is one of the leading countries in fashion and gold jewelry designs. It...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...