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Gold is among the most expensive metals on the planet and is a symbol of royalty. The purity of gold is calculated on the basis of Karats and pure gold is 24K. However, 24K gold cannot be used to shape ornaments and jewellery. Therefore, an alloy of 14K to 18K is usually used for producing jewellery. It gives room to fraudsters to dupe customers with fake gold. Therefore, you should know how to check gold purity at home to save yourself from buying fake gold. 

Check for Hallmark

Hallmark test is the preliminary inspection for testing the purity of gold. Each piece of gold is stamped with a hallmark to testify its purity. You can find them on the back of ornaments, inside the bands of rings, and near clasps of necklaces. The hallmark specifies the purity of gold in karats or under the Millesimal Fineness system. It mentions the purity as certified by BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards). Manufacturers also stamp an identity mark on their ornaments. You can use the hallmark test to check gold purity at home without spending anything. 

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Magnet Test

Magnet test is the easiest way to check the purity of gold at home and the method is inexpensive too. Gold is a non-reactive and non-magnetic metal, whereas most other metals have magnetic properties. Therefore, if you put real gold near a magnet you will notice no change in it. However, if there are other metals present in the piece of gold, it will be attracted to the magnet. The presence of other elements in gold makes it impure. An ornament with a carat-age below 10K is considered impure by international standards. Magnet is readily available in the market and the test is safe to conduct at home.

Float Test

Gold is a hard metal with high density. The float test works best in determining the authenticity of your gold ornaments. It is one of the easiest ways of checking gold purity at home. If you put the gold jewellery in a bucket of water and it sinks, then it is made of pure gold. Pure gold is dense and therefore does not float while other metals would float or hover over water. However, if the alloy has other dense metals, then even fake gold may settle to the bottom of your vessel. Therefore, this test is not foolproof to predict the purity of your ornament.

Acid Test

Acid Test is the most reliable method to check the purity of gold at home as its results are relatively accurate. You must perform the test with all precautions in a well-ventilated room. You need a gold testing acid kit comprising hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. Along with your ornament, you will need a black stone similar to the jeweller’s stone. Rub your piece of jewellery on the stone and add nitric acid to the mark. The acid will dissolve any other metals other than pure gold. If the mark dissolves upon applying nitrohydrochloric acid, it confirms the gold is pure.

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Things To Know About Gold Purity

  • Gold has a natural yellow radiance and people with enough experience can judge its purity by the color.
  • The purity of gold is measured in carat-age and the purest form of gold is 24K.
  • Metals like copper or silver are mixed with 24K gold to increase its durability.
  • Mostly 14K to 18K gold is used to produce jewellery and is considered pure, as 24K gold is too soft. 
  • Fineness is another method to express the purity of gold.
  • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) set up by the Government of India issues BIS certificates to specify gold purity.
  • The gold purity mark, also known as a hallmark, is embossed on each piece of certified gold jewellery.
  • You can primarily test the purity of gold by holding it against your skin. Pure gold does not react with sweat.
  • Simple substances like vinegar can also be used to test the purity of gold. Due to its non-reactive nature, pure gold does not change its form, shape, or color when exposed to them.

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