How To Tell the Difference Between Fake and Real Gold Chains

jewelry, gold chains
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These easy tips can help you spot fake gold!

Throughout history, jewelry has been sold in many forms and remains a part of civilization. Types of jewelry, such as gold chains, are so widespread that manufacturers now make their jewelry using commonplace materials. People will mistake these cheaper products for expensive jewelry, but there are ways to find the flaws and differences.

Check for Markings

The quality of gold, expressed in karats, represents the amount of purity within a piece of jewelry. The number of gold karats in a gold chain will determine whether a chain is real or fake. Make sure you check for stamps or markings when viewing a gold chain.

These markings will tell you how many karats are in the chain, and jewelers must include these stamps by law, even on jewelry from brands you haven’t heard of before. If you do not see these stamps or markings, the chain is most likely fake.

Perform Tests

Jewelers perform specific tests to tell the difference between fake and real chains. Some of these tests are doable from home, but they’re safer in the hands of a professional.

The Acid Test

This is a reliable way of testing the content of gold in a chain. You can even perform this test using a home testing kit. Use a testing stone to scratch a mark onto a chain piece, then place some nitric acid on the metal and observe the chemical reaction. If the mark dissolves, the chain is not real gold; if it remains, it is real.

The Magnet Test

The magnet test is a standard test that anyone may perform, but it is not always the most accurate. Gold is magnetic, so placing a magnet near the gold will attract the chain, proving that it is real gold. However, not all gold chains are entirely gold; some are gold-plated or filled chains. Thus, the magnet may not always react to the gold due to the other materials.

The Iodine Test

Iodine is a chemical that corrodes substances such as metal. Genuine gold chains are durable and harder to burn with chemicals. Adding a few drops of iodine will cause discoloration in the gold's color; if it is real gold, the iodine will fade away.

Look for Discoloration

A common way to tell the difference between fake and real chains is by looking at the chain’s color and shine. Solid gold will maintain the same color and glimmer for years before any discoloration. But fake chains will show discoloration after some use, given the lackluster material.

Now that you know what a real or fake chain looks like, you can go into the world to buy your own with confidence. With your skills to ascertain an item’s authenticity, you will show the world that you know how to accessorize.

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