Practice shows that counterfeiting precious metals is by no means uncommon. Fake can be a purchased or accidentally found item.
The existing methods differ in complexity and costs. Let's consider them in more detail.
TOP-14 ways - how to check the authenticity of gold at home without a jeweler's estimate
So, how distinguish between gold from counterfeit? The most accurate way of verification is to go to a jeweler in a workshop or pawnshop. However, there are many time and experience-tested methods that can be resorted to when there is no opportunity to visit a specialist.
Verification of the stigma with the sample, standard samples
At the beginning of the list is a check for the markings. The following gold marks are set for Russia: Z75, 500, 585, 750, 875, 916, 958, 999.
Among the jewelry pieces from Soviet times you can find 58Z sample of the precious metal, which corresponds to 585, the most popular in our country.
All markings of the domestic manufacturer will consist of the cipher of the State Inspectorate, the sign of the assay certificate, the numerical designation of the alloy according to the metric system.
The State Inspectorate's cipher indicates the territory where the product was stamped according to the results of the quality check. The Russian assay certificate mark is an imprint of a woman's head in a kokoshnik. The metric value of the assay indicates how much pure precious metal the alloy contains.
The rim of the branding on gold works looks like a spatula, on silver works it looks like a barrel. When checking the branding, make sure the markings are clearly visible, not smudged or blurred.
If the purchase is made abroad, the content of the precious metal can be stated in the carat system. Then the branding will look like an imprint of the numerical value and the letter "K".
The absence of a marking may mean a fake, a piece from a private collection or that the jewelry was made in a country where the stamping of jewelry is not mandatory.
No smell from real precious metal
Checking gold for authenticity at home almost always involves this method.
Real gold is odorless. Even silver has its own peculiar smell, which cannot be said of the sun metal.
If you smell a strong atypical odor from the jewelry, be sure it is a fake.
Equally intense shine in sun and shade
It is generally accepted that the precious metal will shine identically in the shade as well as in the sun. However, this method of verification will definitely not work with used items, as they are likely to lose out to new ones in brightness.
Moreover, it is difficult to judge objectively the intensity of the glow: one person may think the glow is identical, another will notice the difference.
You can try to compare two items in the sunlight and in the shade - the jewelry under test and real tested gold.
Ringing with the glass
Self-check the gold at home can be "musical" way.
Metal products make their own unique sounds when in contact with a smooth surface. This rule applies to solar metal as well.
If you throw a gold ring into an empty glass, you can hear a clear high sound, comparable to the ringing of crystal.
Difference in color between the joints with a clasp
The clasped joint of the chains and bracelets may contrast with the color of the entire piece. This is not a marriage at all; on the contrary, the difference in color will tell you that the precious metal is real.
When soldering jewelry, jewelers use a different grade of solder to make it easier to melt. This is why there can be a difference in shade.
Darkening of gold when tested with iodine
Pharmacy iodine checks are the best known and one of the most effective ways.
First, the item is cleaned with medical alcohol and wiped dry. Then a stick soaked in iodine should be touched to the surface of the jewelry.
How identify the gold? The answer is: on the real one, iodine will leave a dark trace. If the stain is lighter, you are faced with a surrogate.
It is recommended to clean the iodine stain immediately with medical alcohol, and rinse the jewelry with running water.
Checking the product with vinegar
Let's consider how to check the authenticity of gold using a product that everyone has among everyday items.
You can only dissolve the precious metal in Tzar's vodka - a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acid. Vinegar will not work on the original, which cannot be said for fakes.
As an experiment, dip the jewelry in vinegar for 7 minutes. If the piece fades, it is a fake. Gold, on the contrary, will shine as after an effective cleaning.
No reaction to ammonia
You will need ammonia for testing.
Soak absorbent cotton in a solution of alcohol and wipe the item for several minutes. If the absorbent cotton does not change color, then you have a sunny metal in front of you. If it has acquired a blue hue, then the ornament is made of brass or copper.
Lapis pencil vs. counterfeit
An antiseptic lapis lazuli containing silver nitrates is sold in every pharmaceutical outlet.
The product will need to wet, then draw a line on the product pencil.
How can you tell the difference between gold? Answer: real precious metal will have no pencil marks. Non-precious alloys will darken.
Determine the reaction of gold to a magnet
Verification with a magnet - a fairly simple method, but it has its own nuances.
Solar metal is diamagnetic, a well-known fact. However, aluminum and copper are not attracted either. A powerful neodymium magnet would be required to accurately test this way.
If the product is magnetic, it could mean the following:
- It is a surrogate covered with gilded;
- Alloy contains a lot of impurities;
- The product is made of imitation precious metal.
Exposure to nitric acid
To test with this method, you need to buy nitric acid. It can be ordered on the Internet, the price of 1 liter is about 700 rubles.
How to check the gold?
Drop the reagent from a pipette on the item of interest and look at the changes after 2-3 minutes.
If the drop has acquired a green tone, then the metal is not precious. The milky color of the drop will indicate a precious metal with a high ligatures. If the nitrogen reagent has not changed color, then you are testing the purest solar metal.
Testing of white gold with chrompike reagent (potassium dichromate)
Chrompic is the technical name for potassium dichromate. It is usually used to test silver alloys, but it can also be used to distinguish from counterfeiting and white gold.
The product is sold in professional stores, its cost will be about 300 rubles.
For the experiment you will need: chrompea, white cloth, medical alcohol, a pipette.
First clean the piece with alcohol, then wipe it dry. Pipette a little reagent and drop it on the surface of the jewelry.
The originality of the method lies in the following: if the color of the drop has changed from yellow to brown-red, then you have a silver alloy. The purer the silver assay, the richer the red color will be.
If, however, the chrompea drop has not changed color or has acquired a slight green tint, then it is white gold.
Checking with black bread crumbs
Try to break the crumb of black bread, mix it with water and pour it over the product. The bread should be left out of the fridge until it is stale. After that, you need to break it.
If black traces of jewelry are visible inside the mass, it means that oxidation has occurred. This reaction is observed in counterfeit gold.
If there is no trace, then you are testing precious metal or gilding.
By the way, there is another experiment with bread. The product should be placed in the bread and left there until it starts to get moldy. Then you need to break the bread and carefully examine the product - on the genuine The precious metal will not show any traces of fermentation or mold.
Test on ceramic tile or porcelain
You will need a ceramic or porcelain surface without relief for the dough.
The product should be swept across the surface, pressing lightly. If a visible dark line is left on the porcelain or ceramic, the precious metal is not real. Sunny metal will leave a bright line.
Jeweler's eye and gold check at the pawnshop: the whole arsenal of tools
How to check gold for authenticity with an absolute guarantee of a correct result? Professionals have a large arsenal of tools to unmistakably identify fake alloys.
- Visual inspection.
The jeweler, using a magnifying glass or microscope, carefully examines the sample of jewelry.
Professional dealers learned long ago to imitate markings and can mislead the average buyer, but not the jeweler with experience. It is practically impossible to forge the markings at home as well as they would have been made at the manufacturer's factory.
- Contact method for small jewelry.
The appraiser uses a special assay stone to check this method. An assay stone is a small dark bar with a fine-grained surface. Soft metals leave noticeable traces on such a surface.
This technique applies to small items up to 5 grams.
The jeweler leads the assay stone with the product, selecting the most inconspicuous area on the jewelry. A similar strip of real precious metal is drawn next to it.
Now both prints left on the stone must come into contact with nitric acid. The appraiser compares the reactions that took place. If the bands have become monochromatic, they are precious metals of the same purity.
By the way, you can buy an assay stone for personal use, its price is about 1000 rubles.
- Contact method for weighty products.
This method is used to test jewelry from 6 grams, as very often they are made gilded.
Gold plating on such jobs is a couple of microns thick, so the jeweler makes a tiny notch up to 2 millimeters deep in an inconspicuous area. In the resulting notch, nitric acid essence is dripped.
If the drop turns brown, it is a low grade metal. Then testing continues with other reagents to find out the actual content of the precious metal.
If the coloring of the drop is absent, it should be understood as a "response" to the actual solar metal.
- Hydrostatic method of weighing.
How do you know the gold's grade? It is not uncommon for appraisers to resort to a special weighing technique.
This method is used to determine density thanks to Archimedes' law. Weighing allows the purity of the alloy to be determined quickly and without damage to the product.
Product weighed atThe weight is recorded (value 1). Then a beaker of water is placed on the empty scales, and the scales are zeroed. A string is tied to the item and carefully immersed in water so that it is completely in the water, but not in contact with the walls and the bottom of the cup.
The result displayed on the scales is recorded again (value 2). The first value obtained is divided by the second value, and the result is checked against a special table.
|Value1 value2 value||Sample||Metal|
The hydrostatic method is not suitable for gold watches, hollow or stone-encrusted jewelry.
A spectrometer is a fairly expensive device that allows you to understand exactly what an alloy consists of.
The method of testing with this device is the most preferable, since it does not require mechanical action on the products.
The jeweler places the jewelry inside the spectrometer, which analyzes the content of the materials by their special radiation.
The bottom line is the percentage composition of all alloy metals.
The answer to the question "how to determine the grade of gold at home professionally? The price of such kits is from 1500 rubles.
I checked the ring, whether it was gold or not. How do I get rid of the iodine stain now?
After that, the ring will need to be rinsed with running water and wiped dry.
Won't the vinegar corrode the gold when you test it?
Therefore, testing gold with vinegar will not give any reaction.
What does it mean if a gold ring is slightly attracted to a magnet?
In such situations, it is worth evaluating the force of attraction. If the ring is strongly magnetic, it makes sense to check it with a series of home tests.
High-quality gold transmits magnetic waves.
Is it possible to test gold to the tooth? How reliable is the method?
The precious metal used to mint coins is very soft. Since the coins consisted mostly of it, people would bite down on the money and examine the surface for teeth marks for fear of counterfeiting.
Now it is definitely not necessary to check the jewelry "by the tooth". There are many other more reliable methods. In addition, it is very easy to make a mistake using only teeth.
Lead, for example, is even softer than solar metal. If you bite it, it will definitely leave a mark.
I was given handmade gold earrings for my birthday, how can I check their authenticity and their assay?
You can try to find out the sample on your own with an acid kit, but the value obtained will only be an approximate value. In addition, such a purchase is not reasonable for a single use.
Where is the hallmark on a gold watch? How can it be distinguished from other metals?
The test can be done with iodine. Drop it on an inconspicuous spot and judge the reaction - the spot should be dark.
If you have access to nitric acid, try a similar test. If the acid drop turns green, the watch is gold-plated only.
How to find out at home whether a gold chain or not?
Try wiping the chain with absorbent cotton soaked in ammonia. If the absorbent cotton turns blue after 30 seconds, you are looking at copper or brass.
Smell the product. A gold chain should be odorless.
How to check the authenticity of a gold coin at home?
Drop a drop of nitric acid on the coin. Genuine precious metal will not change the color of the substance.
Run a lapis pencil over the coin, wetting it beforehand. The lapis should not leave a trace.
How to determine whether gold or not, fake or not?
You can try rubbing the piece with your fingers for a long time. After contact with genuine gold, there should be no smell.
How do you spot fake gold if you're at home?
Another option is to cover the metal with bread crumbs moistened with plain water, leave it for a couple of days. After hardening, break the bread pulp - there should be no black traces of oxidation inside.