Got Gold?

So you think you have gold? But your not sure if its real, so the next thing you do is Google "how to tell if you have real gold?" When you search this an array of different options will come up, some good... some not so much. You're not an expert on gold so how do you know, most of the stuff that comes up will confuse you and ultimately leave you where you originally started. This will be a quick guide to hopefully get you on the right track to finding out if you struck it rich. 

Gold can come in many forms including jewelry, coins, bars, nuggets, watches, little trinkets, and even from our mouths (dental gold).  Many times when a person inherits items or is gifted items they don't know if they are actually solid gold or just gold plated, and they certainly wouldn't think that something silver or copper in color could actually be gold as well. Most items listed above that are gold will actually have markings or hallmarks indicating what they are made of. Even items that are gold plated will have markings so it can be confusing at first. 

To get started you will need a couple of items to help in the assessment of your items. All of these can be bought on Amazon or eBay easily.

-Loupe (magnifier)

-Strong Magnet


-Gold testing kit with Acids(store these out of reach of kids with proper labeling and wear proper gloves for protection.

Once you have all of the above items you can proceed with uncovering what items you think could be gold.

Its a good practice to examine pieces with your loupe for markings, its also import that you familiarize yourself with the basic hallmarks and if you come across something that is different/odd then set it aside for further investigation.

The magnet is a great tool to sort out items that are definitely not gold, however some components  in real gold items can be magnetic like clasps and internal steel supports to help shape an item or allow it to open and close. When you come across items that stick to your magnet but are also marked with gold markings it's a good idea to set them aside for further investigation. 

Once you have completed your rough sort and have the pieces you believe to be gold based on the 2 prior steps you then can try an acid test to see if you are closer to knowing if you struck it rich. Your acid kit should come with a smooth black test stone that you will rub your gold pieces on to take a sample, this process takes a small sample of the piece so that you can then put some of the acid on it and see the reaction. when doing this keep a note of what your item is marked, if it's marked 14k then you would want to start with the 14k acid, if the mark stays the same color as it was without acid then your piece is most likely gold. If the mark disappears or discolors its either not gold or a lower grade gold then marked. you can repeat his step with different acids to see if you piece might be a lower grade gold. This Step is not full proof since gold-filled items and items with heavy gold plate can pass this test so that's why having a file will come in handy, simply file the piece your testing in a non-obvious spot and put the acid directly on it and look for the same reactions. If the piece is nice or an antique I don't recommend filing it because you could damage it, your best to set it aside for further investigation. 

This is the basic process to test your gold pieces. After you have done these steps bring your pieces to Cal Coin and Jewelry for further expert evaluation. The pieces that are gold you will be paid for based on the current gold price, also expect to get a premium price on higher quality resalable pieces. Cal Coin and Jewelry buyers are located at 9019 Park Plaza Dr Ste E La Mesa, CA 91942 and our phone number is 760-315-3890 Feel free to call or email us with any questions and we will be more than happy to help. Open Monday through Friday 10-5 and Saturdays 11-4.