If you have ever wondered how to know if the jewel you have in your drawer is truly gold, inherited from a relative, or how many carats it has, you should continue reading, because we are here to help you. Gold has been used since Prehistory for the manufacture of jewelry and coins. It is characterized by being a very malleable metal and on many occasions, alloys are made with other metals to give it hardness.
There are several ways to know if a jewel is real gold, but if you don’t have time, you can always go to your nearest establishment, where we will be happy to assist you and answer all your questions. If you want to do it at home, just follow these steps. How to tell if it’s gold Visual examination As simple as looking for a brand that determines the purity of carats of the jewel. It is also important to note if it has any discoloration if the piece is worn somewhere and another shade is seen means that the jewel has only a gold plating.
The bite test
Yes, one way to know if a jewel is gold is by biting it! but gently. In theory, the deeper the bite mark, the more purity the gold will have. However, this test is not entirely reliable as it could be a lead piece with a gold plating. Lead is even softer than gold and we could be wrong.
To perform this check, a powerful magnet must be used. Gold is not a magnetic metal so it should not be attracted to the magnet. So if your jewel sticks to the magnet, bad news! it is not gold.
This check requires a little more precision. Gold is one of the densest metals, 19.32 grams per cubic centimeter, that is, gold weighs approximately 19 times more than an equal volume of water. The steps are the following:
Using a precision scale, weigh the gold piece and record the weight in grams.
Fill a test tube or measuring container with water, better if the measurements are in millimeters.
Put the jewel in the water and see how much the water has risen when putting the piece.
Perform the calculation: density = mass / volume displaced. If the result is close to 19 you will have before your eyes a 24-carat gold jewel.
It is also true that we can be faced with jewels with a lower number of carats, and the density will be different, so we recommend that if you have any questions, consult the specialists.
The ceramic test
For this, you need an unglazed ceramic plate. If when rubbing the piece on the plate some golden lines come out, the jewel is gold. However, if the stripes are black, the gold is not real.
Another complicated method since it is necessary to use nitric acid, highly corrosive and that can cause serious burns. In any case, to carry out this test, the piece must be placed on a stainless steel surface and a few drops of nitric acid must be added.
If the jewel turns green, it only has a gold plating or it is made of another metal. If it acquires a whitish tone, it is that the jewel is made of sterling silver with a gold plating. And if no reaction is observed, the piece is gold.
We hope that all these tips have helped you to know if it is gold is a jewel that you have saved.