Ever heard of the phrase, ‘‘the fool’s gold”? Fool’s gold (no, not the blockbuster movie here!) is another name for pyrite, the most commonly found sulfide mineral. While you may get the gist already, fool’s gold bears a striking resemblance to gold, such that even the fairest of eyes may be unable to distinguish. The irony being that pyrite is virtually worth nothing when compared to real gold.
Now the above narrative is somewhat a metaphor. This fool’s gold analogy is very relatable to the many ‘‘chrysophilists” and silver lovers worldwide, who may have fallen for scams and purchased fake jewelry. Nonetheless, the truth is that, no matter how real a counterfeit jewelry may seem, there are ways to discern it. How do you avoid buying fake gold or silver? At times, jewelry may be alloyed and not necessarily fake; how do you detect this?
People of all genders use jewelry items made of gold or silver; necklaces, earrings, watches, leg chains, bracelets, rings, chokers, e.t.c. Therefore there is a need to learn tips to find reliable jewelry stores from the multitude of options available.
Read and follow every guideline and see how easily you can uncover travesty and beat the dishonest merchants to their game.
Ways to Spot Fake Gold or Silver Pieces
1. Check for Stamps and Hallmarks: When you prepare to go out and make your jewelry purchase, bring a magnifying glass along. This is because, more often than not, gold and silver items will bear marks that clearly state their purity and karat ratings. These markings are usually inconspicuous, hence the need for a magnifying glass. Hallmarks are specific numbers that bear the purity of an item. If you aim to buy pure or slightly alloyed pieces, avoid items marked HGP (Heavy Gold Plate), GF( Gold Filled), or HEG( Heavy Electroplated Gold). However, note that stamps are a relatively new invention, so older genuine jewelry may not bear them.
2.Use a Magnet: When you take your magnifying glass along, do not forget a magnet. Pure gold or silver are non-ferrous metals and will not get attracted to a magnet. Not even sterling silver is magnetic. So if the gold chain or silver ring gets picked up, it is either highly impure or plated. Ensure you use a strong magnet while testing.
3. Check for Rusts: Real gold will not rust; it is as simple as that. However, because Sterling Silver is commonly used in jewelry, it is essential to note that it may be susceptible to rust.
4. Drop the Jewelry Piece into Water: This test is quite simple. Real gold or silver will immediately sink to the bottom of the container. If it floats, it is fake.
5. Use Acids and Chemicals: Some simple experiments can help you determine the authenticity of gold and silver jewelry pieces.
• Nitric acid test – make a slight scratch on a gold item and use a dropper to apply some nitric acid. Pure gold is unreactive to nitric acid; gold-plated jewelry will turn green, while Sterling will produce a milky substance.
• Vinegar test – if the item darkens within a few minutes of dropping it into vinegar, it most certainly isn’t real gold.
• Sulfuric ointment test – apply some of the ointment on the jewelry material; real silver will produce a dark blue coloration. The discoloration is removable.
• Chalk test – rubbing chalk on real silver will cause it to darken a bit; if it doesn’t darken, it may be fake.
It is firmly recommended that you shop your jewelry pieces only from reliable dealers. You can check out reviews or make proper inquiries before making your precious metal purchase. But to clear all doubts, kindly follow the above guidelines.