12 Different Ways To Know Gold Is Real

How To Know Gold Is Real

Being a jewelry professional, you must be interested to learn how to know gold is real to avoid fake purchases! Gold is one of the most valuable items on the planet Earth! It is considered a sign of wealth and luxury that everyone wants. But there are plenty of fake gold items that can be tricky to spot. In today’s post, I will be sharing a little information about how to know gold is real or not. You can easily figure out if a piece of fake gold by using these simple tricks. Keep on reading to find out how to know gold is real in more detail.

How To Know Gold Is Real?

Using the following methods, you can easily learn how to know gold is real.

  1. Stamp Test
  2. Letter Marking
  3. Skin Test
  4. Weight And Size Test
  5. Floating Test
  6. Scratch Test
  7. Vinegar Test
  8. Magnet Test
  9. Nitric Acid Test
  10. Sound Test
  11. Bite Test
  12. Lighter Test

The quickest way to learn how to know gold is real or fake is to look for an engraved hallmark and marking. You’ll find plenty of fake, low-quality gold jewelry out there. These 12 methods will help you to confirm whether your gold is real or fake! 

Without wasting much time, let us learn more about how to identify if it is real gold at home.

12 Different Ways To Test Real Gold

In this section, I will explain how to know gold is real by using different testing methods.

  1. Stamp Test

Every piece of gold jewelry is engraved with a jeweler/ manufacturer’s hallmark. This test can be considered if you want to figure out how to know if a gold chain is real. A stamp or hallmark is usually printed on jewelry hooks or the inner bands of rings. It also mentions the gold’s level of purity such as 24K or 22K. If your gold item doesn’t pass this stamp test, the gold is fake.

  1. Letter Markings

We can consider the letter markings test if you are curious about how to tell if something is gold or gold-plated. Real gold items don’t have letter markings like GP, GF, GE, GEP, HGP, or HEG. These letters indicate that the gold item is made using another metal such as copper or silver. If any of these markings are engraved on your gold items, it is considered fake.

Let’s try the next text to learn how to know gold is real.

  1. Skin Test

When a piece of jewelry when worn for an extended period of time leaves a blue, green, or purple tint on your skin. This indicates the jewelry is made up of cheap and fake metal. But real gold won’t leave any discoloration on your skin. Check if your gold item when comes in contact with your makeup makes your skin black at the points of contact.

Otherwise, to know how to know gold is real you can also gently rub the gold jewelry against your skin and look if it discolors your skin.

  1. Weight And Size Test

Gold weighs more than other metals about 19.3 grams per cubic centimeter. This is a great way to solve the mystery of how to tell if unmarked gold is real. If your gold weighs less than its actual size, then it is made using other metals (like brass or steel).

You can keep on reading further to find out how to know gold is real or fake at home.

  1. Floating Test

You can also reveal whether your gold is real or fake without damaging it by performing a float test. Simply fill a clear glass or bowl with water and drop your gold item into the water. Examine if it sinks or floats on the top. It is likely real gold if it sinks as gold is denser than water!

  1. Scratch Test

Another effective way to learn how to know if a chain is a real gold is by doing a ceramic scratch test. For this method, get an unglazed ceramic plate or tile and scrape a piece of gold across the surface. Real gold will leave behind a gold-colored marking and fake gold will leave a black marking.

  1. Vinegar Test

Now, you must be wondering how to tell if gold is real using vinegar. Undiluted vinegar is highly acidic, so it can be used to distinguish between real and fake gold! Simply place the gold piece on a flat surface and pour a few drops of vinegar on it. After 15 minutes, real gold won’t change its color but fake gold will.

Keep on reading further to learn how to tell if something is real gold with a magnet.

  1. Magnet Test

Pure gold won’t be attracted to magnets. Let’s do a magnet test if you’re thinking about how to know if a ring is real gold. Simply move a powerful neodymium magnet over the gold and observe how it reacts. If your gold item is not attracted to the magnet, your gold is real! But if you see it is attracted to the magnet, then your item is either impure or fake.

  1. Nitric Acid Test

We all are aware that gold is resistant to corrosion, oxidation, and acid. Nitric acid won’t react with gold but it can melt fake gold items. For this, simply rub your gold item on a black stone to leave a visible mark. Pour a few drops of nitric acid on the mark. A real gold mark will remain whereas any base metal that isn’t gold will dissolve.

You can keep on reading further to know more about how to know gold is real.

  1. Sound Test

Generally, gold makes a high-pitched, deep sound that rings on for a long time. Simply strike the gold piece with a metal object and listen to its sound. If it creates a duller and shorter sound, it is considered fake. You can’t completely rely on this test as the sound of 24K and 18K gold are not the same.

  1. Bite Test

You must have noticed Olympic players biting their gold medals. The authenticity of gold can be also checked by biting it. Gold is a very soft metal and can be bitten easily by teeth. Also, the texture of gold is much smoother than other metals. If you easily identify the teeth marks on the gold, it’s pure!

  1. Lighter Test

Let’s now discuss how to check if gold is real with a lighter. Real gold when exposed to the flame will get brighter as it gets hotter. It won’t get darkened after heating for a while. On the other side, fake gold items will darken or change color when exposed to fire.

This was all about how to know gold is real now there are a few additional tests you can consider if you are still not convinced about previous tests.

  • Electronic Test: During this, a Sigma Metalytics machine is used to get the desired results. This machine is only accurate for coins and bullions. You can use any other gold testing machine for a piece of jewelry.
  • X-Ray Test: You can examine a piece of gold using an XRF Spectrometer to get the most accurate answer. Gold’s radiation is different from other metals, so you can easily identify fake and real items.
  • Jeweler Test: You can also appoint a jeweler to test real or fake gold jewelry. These people have access to equipment and different chemical that can determine if the purity of gold is right.


How Can You Tell If Gold Is Real Without Ruining It?


All you have to do is place your gold piece into the water! If it’s genuine gold, then it will immediately sink to the bottom of the cup. Pure gold is heavy due to its high density (19.32 g/ ml). If your gold item floats or hovers above the cup’s bottom, then it’s fake or plated gold.

How Can I Test My Gold?

Take a cup or glass, fill it up with water, now bring the gold that you want to test. Drop it into this filled glass. If the gold floats, it is surely not real but if the gold sinks to the end of the glass then it is pure gold. The real gold will sink due to being a heavy metal.

Can Real Gold Burn?

Pure gold is virtually indestructible. It will not corrode, rust or tarnish, and fire cannot destroy it. This is why all of the gold extracted from the earth is still melted, re-melted and used over and over again.

Can Gold Be Real Without A Stamp?

Does Real Gold Have to Be Stamped? In the U.S., there is a law that mandates that gold jewelry sold by a vendor must be stamped with a marking that indicates the item’s karat number. The law also states that the real purity of the piece can deviate by up to 0.5 karats from the karat stamp.

How Can You Tell If Gold Is Pure At Home?

It is one of the easiest ways of checking gold purity at home. If you put the gold jewellery in a bucket of water and it sinks, then it is made of pure gold. Pure gold is dense and therefore does not float while other metals would float or hover over water.

Can Fake Gold Pass Vinegar Test?

If your gold piece turns black or green when the vinegar is on it, or if it starts to smoke or fizzle at all when the vinegar touches it, it is most likely not real gold. If your gold piece does not change colors and does not fizzle or react to the vinegar in any way, it is probably real.

Which Gold Is Hallmark?

Hallmark gold is nothing but the certified gold. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) stamp a certificate of purity and fineness of gold which is called as hallmarking. Hallmarking on the gold shows that the gold used for making jewellery adheres to the international standards of purity.

Is 22k Gold Magnetic?

In their pure, natural forms, gold, silver, aluminum, copper, brass, and lead are not magnetic. This is because they are all weak metals. Adding iron or steel to these metals can make them stronger and magnetic.


In the above post, I’ve explained how to know if something is real gold or not at home in detail. The most tried and true method of finding real gold is doing a skin or acid test. Real gold won’t change its color when come in contact with your skin or acid. Fake gold will leave a green or purple tint on your skin. When nitric acid or vinegar is poured on gold, real gold won’t dissolve or change its color. I hope you got a clear idea of whether or not your gold is real by learning how to know gold is real.