The selling price of gold is increasing rapidly and people are flocking to buy this precious metal. Some invest in gold stocks while others prefer to purchase gold coins or jewelry. When purchasing these physical items, it is important to verify that they actually contain real gold.
Jewelers who purchase gold pieces for re-sale often conduct a gold test in order to determine the authenticity of the gold contained within the jewelry. The average consumer does not have access to the customized testing equipment used by many jewelers. However, there is a simple test that anyone can conduct in order to tell if a coin or jewelry item contains real gold.
Put on a pair of thick rubber gloves and hold the gold item, then scratch the item in an inconspicuous place using a nail file. Place a drop of nitric acid on the scratch. If the area experiences no reaction, the item is made from real gold. If the area turns green, the item is not real gold. If it turns white, the item is comprised of a layer of gold over silver.
In addition to testing to see if the piece is real gold, the purchaser should consider the weight of the gold contained in the object. This will help determine whether the selling price is fair. The test for weight can also be conducted by the average person and involves minimal time or monetary investment.
In order to test for the correct karat weight after learning that the item is made from real gold, purchase a gold kit before making the investment to buy gold coins or jewelry. These kits contain a slate stone and sample pieces of gold in a variety of karats. Rub the gold item on the slate stone contained in the kit. This will make a streak on the slate. Rub the stone with one of the gold sample pieces from the kit. Then add nitric acid to both streaks on the stone. If the colors of the streaks match, the karat weight of the gold has been found.