How to Identify Real Gold

Gold has been prized since the ancient times, so it should come as no surprise to learn that there are criminals out there who create fake gold in the pursuit of profit. Bear in mind that fake gold should be distinguished from plated gold, which is created when either chemical or electrochemical means are used to cover a second metal in the precious metal.

That said, even though plated gold has legitimate uses in electronics, ornamentation, and a number of other fields, there are those that misuse it for unscrupulous purposes.

How to Distinguish Real Gold From Fake Gold and Plated Gold

There are a number of tests that can be used to distinguish real gold from fake gold and plated gold, but it is important to note that none of these tests are fool-proof. This is because both fake gold and plated gold are made using a number of materials and methods, meaning that a test meant to catch one kind of material might fail to catch a second.

For example, the reason that people bite on purported gold is because gold is soft enough to show the indents of the teeth. In fact, the purer the gold, the deeper the indents. However, this test cannot be used to catch either lead or gold-plated lead because lead is even softer than the precious metal.

Another test is to run a magnet over the purported gold. Bear in mind that a fridge magnet will not suffice, meaning that you will need to find something stronger at a hardware store. Since gold is not a magnetic metal, it should not react to the magnet. Once again, this test is not fool-proof because not all examples of either fake gold or plated gold are made using magnetic metals.

A third test is based on the common usage of pyrite, which is better known as fool’s gold. To see if something is made using pyrite, simply drag it across the surface of unglazed ceramic. If the resulting streak is black rather than gold, then it is probably pyrite rather than gold. Naturally, you should not try this test unless you are willing to scratch your gold in the process.

There are also more rigorous tests out there, though some of them should be entrusted to the experts for a number of reasons. For example, one test is to drip nitric acid on gold because gold does not react to that particular acid. In contrast, the acid changing its color to green suggests the presence of a base metal, while gold and milkiness suggests brass and silver respectively.

In contrast, weighing the gold to check its density is better left to the experts because they have the precise instruments needed to produce accurate results. Not because the process is potentially dangerous.

Our Policies Regarding Real Gold


If you are interested in either selling your gold or securing a loan using your gold, then you should visit Pinto Cash For Gold at our Midtown Toronto location for exceptional service. We accept just about everything made using gold, including but not limited to coins, jewelry, watches, and even dental fillings made using the precious metal. In fact, we even accept other items of value, such as silver, platinum, diamonds, and even Hermes handbags.

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