gold jewellry

Here Are 5 Tests to Determine If Your Gold Is Real

Gold is one of the most precious metals in the world, often associated with prestige, luxury, and power. Throughout history, men have braved treacherous seas and fought many wars for them. To this day, it remains priceless.

Now, you might think you’ve struck gold and are now looking to sell your jewellery. Fortunately, your gold trinkets are worth quite a lot in today’s gold-hungry market. However, you have to ensure that what you have is 100% genuine before you sell your gold.

Test Your Gold

Under the untrained eye, real gold and fake gold are almost identical. If you don’t have a jewellery authentication service near you, you can follow these five methods to determine if your gold is real or not.

The Hallmark

Real gold is usually stamped with a hallmark that notes its karat weight. This mark is typically found on the clasp of a necklace or bracelet or the ring’s inner band. 

European-made gold jewellery is marked with a decimal that indicates how pure it is. For example, “.999” would mean pure gold, and “.454” would mean that it is only 45.4% pure.

On the other hand, American-made jewellery is stamped with a number followed by the letter "K". This indicates how much of the metal is gold. "14K" means that only half of the metal is gold, while 24K would be pure gold.

Nitric Acid 

If you have scrap gold, it can be impossible to look for a hallmark. In this case, you can try the nitric acid method to confirm its authenticity. Do not try this, however, if you plan to keep the piece’s aesthetic value.

First, choose a spot that isn’t noticeable if possible. Then, use a small nail file to make a light, tiny scratch on the gold. Apply a small drop of nitric acid on the scratch. If nothing happens, the piece is made from real gold. If you see the light greenish coloured reaction, you may be dealing with other common metal alloys. 

Remember that nitric acid is a harmful chemical, so always take the necessary safety precautions. Be slow and careful and avoid letting your eagerness get to you.


If you want an easy way to test your gold, you can try this method. It may not be as reliable as the other tests, but it is still an excellent way to determine if what you have is real or fake gold.

Find any liquid foundation and powder that you have at home and coat your forehead or the back of your hand. Next, rub the gold against it and check if a black streak is left behind. If so, then the gold is genuine.


You can find out the authenticity of your gold with just a magnet. If your jewellery is attracted to the magnet, it does not contain a substantial amount of gold. 


If none of these items is available to you and you can’t take your gold item to a reputable jewellery dealer, use water. Fill a jug or a large container with water and drop your jewellery inside. If any piece floats, what you have is most likely inauthentic.


Before you sell your secondhand jewellery, remember that your potential buyers will know right away if your item is authentic. Selling gold without checking its authenticity will put your reputation on the line, so it’s better always to test your jewellery beforehand. It will also save you the embarrassment and hassle of having your pieces appraised only to find out they were fakes.

If you’re looking to sell your grandfather’s gold watch or your mother’s gemstone ring in London, but you don’t know where to find a reputable buyer, consider selling it to London Gold Centre. With over 25,000 satisfied customers, we are one of the top Hatton Garden jewellers that offer the market’s highest prices. Visit our website to book an appointment!

1 thought on “Here Are 5 Tests to Determine If Your Gold Is Real”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.