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How do you know if a piece of jewelry is real gold?

In a world where imitations abound and authenticity is a must, it is crucial to be able to distinguish between real gold jewelry and simple counterfeits. In this article, we will guide you through simple and reliable methods that will help you determine if your jewelry is really gold.


Deciphering the Hallmark

One of the first indications of the authenticity of a piece of gold jewelry is the presence of a hallmark. Look for a mark engraved on the jewel, often in the form of numbers or letters, indicating the purity of the gold (in carats) or the percentage of gold in the alloy. Common numbers to identify are 8k, 9k, 10k, 12k, 14k, 18k, 22k, or the digits 417, 585, 750, which all indicate the percentage of pure gold in the mixture.



Tip: If the stamp is hard to read, take a photo with your phone and zoom in for better visibility. If the letters "GP" or "GF" accompany the hallmark, it means that the jewel is plated: "Gold Plated" for GP and "Gold Filled" for GF.



Observe the Color and Patina

Genuine gold has a distinct, warm hue that won't tarnish over time. If rust spots or discolorations appear, this is a sign that your jewelry is not gold. Gold-plated jewelry may lose its luster or display a greenish-yellow tint.



Traces of Plating

Examine wear areas for marks of different color. Plated jewelry may show worn parts that are gray in color, while the rest of the jewelry is yellow. Take a photo with your phone and zoom in for precise analysis.



Weight and Magnetism

Gold jewelry has a higher specific weight than imitations. If a piece of jewelry seems light for its size, it might not be gold. Also, real gold is not magnetic. However, the presence of a thin steel wire in the clasp may be an exception. Keep in mind that the absence of magnetic attraction does not guarantee the authenticity of gold.


Professional Expertise

When in doubt, nothing beats the advice of a professional jeweler or gemologist. Their expertise and specialized tools, such as acid testing, will provide you with accurate and reliable information as to the authenticity of your jewelry.


Knowing if your jewelry is real gold is an invaluable skill for any jewelry enthusiast. With simple and proven methods, such as examination of the hallmark, observation of color and patina, detection of traces of plating, analysis of weight and magnetism, you will be able to unveil the truth shimmering behind your jewelry. If doubts persist, do not hesitate to consult a professional or come see us for an on-site analysis. With this knowledge in hand, you can fully appreciate the splendor of your gold jewelry with confidence.




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