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How To Tell When Gold Is Real

Real or Fake? How do you tell?

The question is a significant one because you pay a lot of money for gold, so you want to make sure you are not buying a dud. But, there are a lot of suppliers out there that are good at making fakes look like the real thing. As a result, working out what is bogus and what is genuine has become increasingly difficult over the past couple of years. However, do not worry because there are still a few simple steps you can take that will sort out the rough from the smooth.

To make sure you don’t buy any leprechaun gold the next time you go shopping, here are a few of them.


Most countries, depending on where you buy your gold from, have legislation which means they cannot sell a certain amount of gold as gold. For example, in the US, retailers cannot sell anything under ten carats as gold. Consequently, gold jewellery does have certain markings that measure the gold content. If a piece of gold jewellery has a gold percentage of 91.7, for example, the correlating marking should be 917.





Although it might not seem the case, fake gold is often much heavier than real gold. That is because pure gold is soft, so it doesn’t go well with jewellery. As a result, most jewellers mix it with other compounds and alloys, and that will increase the weight. So, if the weight is incredibly heavy, it is probably because it has been mixed with another compound. Weight is a hard one to get your head around because most real metals are heavy than the fake ones. Gold, however, is the anomaly that proves the rule.

At Home Tests

Because gold is a metal, you can use science to help you discover what is real and what is false. There are quite a few tests you can use, but the Nitric acid test is the easiest. Although, you do have to be comfortable using acid, so beware of the dangers beforehand. If you do have previous experience, all you need to do is make a tiny marking in the gold. Add the acid, and if there is any reaction you know the jewellery is gold-plated. If there is no reaction, it is pure gold.

Use Reputable Vendors

The most obvious thing you can do is buy gold coins and anything gold related from a reputable source. Even though you cannot be one hundred percent sure, you can be pretty certain they would not sell you an illegitimate piece of gold. For starters, they are professionals, so they know the difference between real and fake. Plus, they have a reputation to uphold, so they cannot afford to sell cheap knock-offs at high prices.

Regardless of what you do, there will always be a thought in the back of your head that something is not right. Where gold is concerned, all you can do is minimise the damage.


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