Whilst you would like to think that someone wouldn’t try to dupe you into purchase a fake gold chain, the sad reality is that this happens more often than you think. This is why knowing how to spot fake gold jewellery can be highly useful for ensuring that you aren’t scammed. In this article, we have outlined 5 simple methods that you can use to determine whether the chain you’re interested in purchasing is genuine or not.
- Stamp Test
One way to spot a fake is to look for a Gold Jewellery Stamp. This is a small stamp that is placed in an unseen place on the chain (usually near the clasp) that marks the karat or purity of the piece. This should also be accompanied by the manufacturer’s stamp. It should be noted that some older pieces of jewellery will not have such a stamp and that forgers are sometimes able to replicate it.
- Acid Test
Make a small scratch on the gold chain and place a small drop of liquid nitric acid over it. If the area turns green, it’s not real. If the area looks milky, the item is gold plated (the metal underneath will be sterling silver). And if the area is unaffected, you can rest assured that it is genuine. This test can be difficult to perform, as nitric acid is not always easy to get your hands on.
- Magnet Test
Gold is not magnetic, so if your chain is attracted to a stronger than average magnet (which you can usually find at your local hardware store) it’s fake. Keep in mind that the clasp on some pieces may not be real but that the chain and charms will be. This means that the clasp might be attracted to the magnet, but if the rest of the piece isn’t you can rest assured that it is actually real.
- Float & Rust Test
Drop the gold chain into a glass of water – if it’s real, it will sink to the bottom; if it’s fake, it will float. The density of pure gold is 19.32 gm/cm^3 whilst 14k gold has a density between 12.9 and 14.6 gm/cm^3. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that real gold will not rust, so if you want to leave the item in the water for a few days you can see what happens. Be sure to jiggle the glass on occasion.
- Skin Test
Finally, if you notice any sort of discolouration on your skin whilst wearing a chain, it is not real. Signs of black and green discolouration are a major indicator of fake gold. This is true even though the gold we typically have is mixed with other alloys – 14k, for example, is made up of 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals. This means that it’s only 58% pure, which is amazing!
We hope that you find the above methods useful in spotting the difference between a real and a fake gold chain. At the end of the day, you can avoid being duped by purchasing only from reputable Melbourne Jewellers – don’t purchase anything from street stalls or online. For some people, this is unavoidable so knowing how to spot a fake can be beneficial. Our final piece of advice is to go with your gut instincts – if you have a bad feeling, look elsewhere.