If you are looking to buy gold jewelry, you will want to make sure that you are buying the real deal and not a fake.
Too many small jewelry stores and pawn shops try to pass fake gold off as being real. Remember when buying that a high price tag is by no means a guarantee that you are buying real gold, especially if you are buying from a non-branded chain store or boutique. However, the following techniques can help to make sure that you are not a victim of a swindle.
Inspect the Gold
The first thing to do is inspect the gold closely and look for any areas where the plating has rubbed away. If the gold looks thin in places, or if there is any copper or silver coloration showing through from under the gold, you will know that it isn’t solid gold.
Use a Magnet
Another way to see if the item is simply plated in gold is to use a magnet. Gold isn’t magnetic, so if it is attracted to the magnet, you know it is a fake. However, some clever fakers know this trick, and simply use nonmetallic metals underneath their thin gold plating, so this is not a foolproof test.
Drop in Water
Real gold is heavy. Drop the item into a container of water. If it floats, then it isn’t real gold. Again, this is not a foolproof way of determining the authenticity of the gold, but it will rule out the fly-by-night fakers who often use hollow steel shapes beneath their gold plating to fill out the jewelry at a very low cost.
Take it to a Jeweler
The only foolproof way to be sure that the gold you bought is real is to take it to an actual jeweler. They will be able to check the item using their own expertise and chemical testing, and they will let you know if it is real or not. They may charge a small fee for this, but some will do it for free if you are a regular customer or are making a purchase.
Whenever you are buying gold jewelry, make sure that you buy though an actual reputable seller. Buying gold that someone is selling on the street corner or at a market stall is a sure way to become the victim of a con.