Top 4 best ways - how to weigh gold at home without scales: how to determine the grams of jewelry

The need to know the weight of gold arises infrequently: before handing over the jewelry to a pawnshop, for repairs, to complete a collection, during mining or simply for the sake of interest. For this purpose, there are special electronic devices, with the help of which precious metals are checked and evaluated by a professional, but for one-time use the purchase is not profitable.

Description of the noble metal. How you can determine its purity

Gold - group 11 element with atomic number 79 of the Mendeleev table. This metal was the first to be discovered by man because of its unusual attractive color. It has been used to make jewelry since ancient Egypt, India and China. The solar metal is mentioned in ancient myths, the Bible and sacred writings. This material is very plastic, from 1g you can stretch a wire up to 2 km long.

Now precious metal It is used in the creation of tableware, clothing, furniture, jewelry, furnishings, it is a product for investment, accumulation. Pure gold without impurities does not exist in nature.

After extraction it is purified, but 0.01 % of other components still remains.

Gold, native

To assess the purity of the composition, the world systems of measurement were introduced: metric, carat. The first expresses the ratio of grams of pure metal per kilogram of product. Carat system reflects the number of parts of gold per 24 parts of the alloy. The ratio of the world systems:

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Why white gold turns yellow on your finger: Composition components, causes of yellowing, and ways to prevent it

Dependence of the weight of the gold piece on the proof. Calculation of the percentage

Objects of the same volume may have different weights, because it also depends on the density. Each gold standard has a certain density, respectively its specific gravity. Table with the density of different samples:

SampleDensity in cm3 per gram
Precious metal nuggets
Gold Nuggets

The assay is stamped next to the GOST, the observance of which is controlled by the Assay Office. The numbers indicate gold content: 750 Sample contains 75% of the base metal, and 585 - 58.5%. Jewelers do not disclose the percentage of ligatures.

Gold 750 proof
750 gold chain

Top 4 ways to weigh gold at home without a scale

There is several ways. The most accurate is to see a specialist. However, there are ways to weigh gold at home without special instruments:

Compare with decorating the same sample with a glass of water

Inside the glass filled to the brim put an item whose weight is known. The water displaced from the glass is its volume. Do the same with the other object whose weight we need to know. Knowing the volume of the two pieces of jewelry, you can compare their weight, but there will be errors.

Let us repeat a law from physics. Errors of the method

This method requires trial knowledgey or density. You need to put a glass filled to the brim with water inside the pot and immerse the valuable thing. Water equal to its volume will pour out. Measuring the volume is easy with an insulin syringe. Using a simple formula, we get the desired value.

The method has a margin of error, because the density can not always be known precisely, and the water can not be collected all. 

"Scales" of Asian traders

This was the principle of Soviet store scales: two plates and weights. Instead of weights it is convenient to use coins, the mass of which can be found on the Internet. You need a hard stick, string, two identical small containers and coins.

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Asian gold scales
Scales for gold

At an equal distance from the middle of the stick, containers are tied, a string is tied in the center, by which the construction is held. By transferring different coins, you can find out the weight of the product.

Homemade scales with a pad, ruler and water

Glue the pad to the table, put a ruler on top according to the principle of a child's swing. Attach plastic cups to the ends of the ruler so that the ruler is parallel to the table. Ornaments are placed in one cup, and water is poured into the other. By knowing the weight of the water, you can determine the weight of the piece.

Homemade Lever Scale
Homemade scales

How to determine and calculate the amount of gold

You can calculate the amount by the proof, which means how many parts of gold are in 1,000 parts of a piece: 750 proof consists of 750 parts of the base metal and 250 ligatures. Pure metal is soft and malleable, so impurities are not a bad thing. They make the product stronger, more varied in color. To determine the presence of noble metal, it is possible to resort to verified by methods:

  • Bring a magnet to the product: real gold will not attract well, metal - fine.
  • A drop of vinegar: a real high-profile product should not react.
  • Rubbing on ceramic unfired tiles: cheaper metal will leave dark marks on the tiles.
  • Rub the item with a damp lapis pencil: the fake will turn black, while the gold will retain its original appearance.
Gold bars
Gold bars

Calculating the amount of gold in your jewelry at home without knowing the grade is quite problematic. However, it is possible to do so if chlorine gold or a set of acids is available.

You need to apply the reagent to the jewelry and watch the process:

  • After 2 seconds, the product has not darkened - the assay is at least 583;
  • darkened in 5-10 minutes - the sample is less than 583;
  • the product is immediately stained - there is no gold or very little.

Video: how to accurately weigh gold yourself

Subject: Q&A

How do I determine the weight of a gold ring if I don't have a scale?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
There are various ways to determine this, one of which is to go to a jeweler. However, there are four ways to help determine the weight of jewelry on your own: compare it to another piece of the same hallmark, use a glass of water, use the experience of Asian traders, or a homemade device made of a spacer and a ruler.

Will the weight of gold on a kitchen scale be accurate?

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
Professional jewelers use electronic scales with a small margin of error. Home kitchen scales cannot boast such accuracy, although they are more accurate than floor scales.


I wanted to find out how expensive a ring my boyfriend gave me. I took your advice and was pleasantly surprised. I weighed it with a ruler. I remembered my physics lessons, very interesting. I didn't even know that you can tell a fake so easily.

Maria T., Moscow
Nikita German, Dmitrov

When I needed money to buy myself a new iPhone, I decided to pawn my jewelry. I decided to be on the safe side, to know the weight. I was afraid that they would cheat and pay less. Buying special scales is not profitable, and these tips came in handy. I checked it with different tools for accuracy and then I went to sell it. You can't fool me!) I bought a phone.

Great tips, some of which my father taught me as a child. He's an archaeologist and knows all about precious metals.

Nikita R., Norilsk

Jeweler's comment

Molokanov N.M.
Molokanov N.M.
Jeweler, experience in jewelry manufacturing 26 years.
Methods of weighing at home are not easy for the man in the street, it is difficult to check the weight to the exact gram, and special instruments will be able to do it. Only expertise and an experienced jeweler can show impurities and originality. But for home use, such methods are ideal.
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