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How to Tell if Gold Is Real: The Basics Explained

In 2019 alone, gold had a return rate on investment of more than 235.75%, making it one of the best ways to diversify your investments. Though it’s possible to buy gold bars, many people still prefer to make use of the gold they have on hand.

Believe it or not, scrap gold and gold jewelry can still be incredibly valuable. You just have to make sure it’s real before you try to sell it.

If you’re like most, you’re not quite sure how to tell if gold is real in the first place. Here are a few proven methods to help.

Look for the Stamp

One of the easiest signs that gold is real is the hallmark or stamp etched into the bottom of the item. Real gold always has some kind of stamp in the material that indicates the gold’s weight in karats.

On jewelry, the stamp will be in an inconspicuous spot like the inside of a ring or near the clasp of a necklace. If it’s real, you should see a number followed by the letter K stamped into the metal.

Keep in mind that European gold gets weighed using a different system. Their stamps will show a decimal amount indicating the amount of pure gold in the piece.

Give It the Water Test

If you’re looking for an easy way to see if your gold is real, try the water test. Gold is a heavy metal. This means that it should sink if it’s dropped into a container of water.

Fill a bowl or glass with water and drop your gold into the container. If it floats, you likely don’t have real gold on your hands. But if it sinks, it’s likely real and has some serious monetary value.

Keep in mind that some fake gold pieces can have inner cores made up of heavy metal. If you’re truly worried about the authenticity of your gold, speak with a professional jeweler.

Get It Appraised

According to the experts at American Gold & Diamond Buyers, the best way to determine if you have real or fake gold is to get it appraised. During this appraisal, you’ll find out what kinds of gold you have as well as the value of each piece you bring in.

Keep in mind that you’re not obligated to sell to the appraiser unless you want to. You’re even allowed to take your gold to different companies and get offers from more than one appraisal service.

If you do decide to sell, shopping around will help you get the best amount for the different types of gold you have.

Now You Know How to Tell if Gold Is Real

Learning how to tell if gold is real is the first step in helping you get the most out of your scrap jewelry collection. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to recognize the signs of real gold in no time.

Remember, you don’t have to sell your collection even if you learn that you have real gold. Holding onto it can help you build your savings and, since gold prices are fairly stable, you can always sell it at a later date.

Looking for more insight into getting the most for your scrap gold? Check out our latest posts.

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