How to tell if gold is real

In need of quick cash? One of the most common items pawned for quick cash is gold. It can be difficult to distinguish real solid gold pieces from gold plated or fashion jewelry by sight alone, though.

So what is the best way to determine if your gold is real and can be pawned for money? The hands down best way is to take your gold jewelry to a certified jeweler or licensed pawn shop that buys gold, and have it tested. Keep in mind that anything that tests less than 10 karats is not considered real gold.

How to test if gold is real

If you are curious right now about whether or not your gold is real, here are 4 of the most common home tests you can try to test if your gold is real. Beware not all gold tests are fool proof.

4 Ways to Test if your Gold is Real

  • Take a bite out of it. We’ve all heard you can check if gold is real by biting down on it. If it is real gold, your teeth will leave bite marks.
    • While the above is true, it is important to consider that even gold-plated items will show indents from bite marks.
    • This gold test method is not recommended as it can cause damage to your teeth.
  • Take a peek. Gold pieces often have engravings or markings verifying the karat of the gold.
    • Unfortunately, counterfeiters are smart and can easily engrave a fake piece to make it look as if it’s real gold.
    • Engravings may fade after years of wear and no longer be visible.
  • Discoloration is a major sign of a counterfeit piece. If there are any areas where the color of the gold is wearing off and you can see other metal peeking through, it is gold plated at best. Discoloration typically occurs on the edges of jewelry pieces where there is constant friction.
  • Get a magnet! For this gold test to work, you are going to need a magnet stronger than your typical refrigerator magnet. If the gold piece sticks to the magnet, it is not real. Gold is NOT magnetic.
    • Unfortunately, this is also not a fool-proof gold test as counterfeit gold pieces can be made with non-magnetic metal as well.

In short, leave the gold testing to the pros. If you want to be certain your gold piece is 100% gold, find a local certified jeweler or stop in our store.