How to Tell if Gold is Real- Gold Testing Methods

Last updated on March 22nd, 2023

Buying gold is a difficult task for an inexperienced person. Having little or no knowledge will only lead you to a worthless deal. Because it’s not child’s play rather it’s a tough job to tell if gold is real or not. But in case you are buying it from a trustworthy or reputable dealer like (your family jeweler), you can rely on them.

It will minimize your risk of spending money. One more thing, you must check the gold rate before making any decision. Some international standards say gold must be considered fake if it’s less than 41.7% or of 10 Karats.

In this article, We are going to tell you several ways that are not only easy but also authenticated when there is a need to know how to check real gold at home.

After reading it you will be able to buy gold with full confidence. But before buying gold, you must check the Gold rate today to get an idea about the gold price in the market.

Gold Testing Method-How to test gold at home

Here is a list of some simple gold testing methods to be performed at home to check if the gold is real or fake.

Through Hallmark

Hallmark is the easiest or free method to check gold’s purity. Hallmarks are different signs like  (Numbers or Symbols)  embedded in gold. It will not only help you in purity checking but will tell you when and where this piece of gold was manufactured and its weight too.

how to tell if gold is real-Hallmark test

This mark will also help you to identify the manufacturer of that piece of gold and its content. Hallmarks are different and vary from county to country. If it is absent then gold might not be pure. Because real gold always carries a hallmark.

As we mentioned above, different countries have different hallmarks,  gold manufactured in America will show the letter “ K” that represents Karat. 24k means 100% pure gold. Moreover, it will change according to the purity of gold

European gold will represent it with a decimal number like “.999” or ”.583”. (.999) will represent 100% pure gold while. (.583) means gold has some other mixtures.

However, It is not necessary that you will find hallmarks on every piece of jewelry because some antique gold jewelry and some countries before the year 2001 have no concept of it. It happens most of the time that the hallmark is very small so, you must have a magnifying glass with you to check it.

Vinegar Test

Vinegar is the most common and popular kitchen item and is probably found easily in everyone’s kitchen. If not then you can buy it from the market.

how to tell if gold is real-Vinegar test
How to tell if gold is real-Vinegar test

Now we will tell you how to perform this test in three simple steps.

1- Take vinegar and put it into a little dropper

2- Hold the piece of gold which you want to test in your hand.

3- Now drop some drops of vinegar on the gold.

Conclusion of that result

If after dropping vinegar the gold changes its color then it will not be pure. But, if remains the same as before then it’s a 100% pure form of gold.

You can also use a bowl for this test. Simply put vinegar in that bowl and place a piece of gold in it for 10-15 minutes. Then wash it with water. It shines then it is pure otherwise it is not real.

Also Check: Guide on how to buy gold jewelry

Through Magnetization Test

how to tell if gold is real-Magnet test

Yes, you hear it right, if you have a question in mind that how to check the purity of gold in a simple way at home then a magnet is one of them. we are going to tell you how to perform these simple steps:

1- Bought a strong magnet from a hardware shop

Why a strong magnet, only a strong magnet is applicable to pull gold pieces toward it.

2- Now move the magnet above the gold in a clock, anti-clock, up, and downward towards the magnet.

3- So if the gold shows some attraction toward the magnet while performing the test, then it may be fake. The reason behind this is gold is not magnetic. If it shows any, then probably you have bought something other than gold.

The recommendation is that you must pass gold from multiple tests because it might happen that gold was made of some stainless material. Then magnetization test will not be helpful.

The Float Test

how to tell if gold is real-Float test

Float test, density test, and water test are the same name called for this test. It is a quick and very simple test to perform. For this, you have to:

1- Take a clear glass bowl and fill it full of water. 

2- Now all you need is to drop your piece of gold into the water bowl.

3- The third step will lead you to the conclusion that whether your gold is pure or not. So the conclusion is that the density of gold is high, which means its weight is heavy. When you drop the real gold into the water it will sink to the bottom of the bowl due to its weight.

If it is fake, then it will float above the bottom of your bowl. However, it is not guaranteed that gold is real or fake. It may happen sometimes that some sort of material is mixed with gold and increases its density automatically.

Moreover, gold will also not rust, so if you notice any kind of rust on your gold piece after some time of performing this test, you will know its purity. As we mentioned above if you want to know if your gold is pure or fake, you must pass multiple tests.

The Skin TestHow to check if gold is real

how to tell if gold is real-Skin test

A skin discoloration test is an easy test to perform if you have bought gold jewelry or don’t know how to test gold at home. This test will take some time as its procedure is a little bit time taking but, it’s a guaranteed method to check gold’s purity.

In this method, all you need is to hold your jewelry piece in hand for some time until your skin produces some sweat. When you feel some sweat or wetness on your skin lose your hand and keep jewelry aside.

Now you have to look if your skin color changes to greenish or some bluish tent. If skin color changes then it is not pure, and if doesn’t show any change in skin color, then it indicates that your gold is pure.


To perform this test you have to wash your hands and make them clean. Any kind of liquid foundation like lotion, cream, or moisturizer should be removed first.

The Scratch Test-To check if the gold is real

how to tell if gold is real-Scratch test

A quick method to perform, all you need is a ceramic unglazed piece of tile. You can find it at any home improvement store. scratch your gold piece gently on that tile and see if the gold is real then it will leave its mark on the ceramic tile. Otherwise, it is fake.

The Nitric Acid Test

Because of its Nobel properties gold shows resistance to acid, oxidation, and corrosion. In simple meaning, it must not change its color as a result of interaction with vinegar or nitric acid.

To perform this test you have to take some safety measures as nitric acid is harmful. So you must use butyl gloves as they are made up of synthetic rubber and will keep you safe from the hazardous reaction of nitric acid. Moreover, the room must be well ventilated and wear black glasses.

Now take a clear, plain, and smooth black stone. Rub your gold piece on it with a very gentle effort until it leaves a visible mark on the stone. Then drop some nitric acid on that area. If the mark is dissolved by acid then it’s not pure gold, because pure gold will not be dissolved with nitric acid.

How to check if gold is real with lighter

A method that can be performed easily at home. For this, you need a good lighter that provides a constant flame. Now hang your piece of gold and blow the flame of the lighter under it for about 1 minute.

During this process, if your gold changes color like some blackish stains appears on it then you must have something else than gold.

Remember that, during interaction with flame and heat gold starts to melt and get brighter and brighter. It’s the primary quality of pure gold.

Size and Weight Test

For this test, you must have a pure gold piece that you have tested before. Now if you are going to buy a new one then compare its weight with the old one. If it is the same then no problem you can buy it without any hesitation. 

Another thing is that you must compare its weight with its size. As we told you before that gold is denser in weight, so if you feel any difference in its weight as compared to size, then it may not be pure. It must justify its weight according to its size.

So these are some simple and quick gold testing methods if you were not aware of how to tell if gold is real. You must perform a test to check gold’s priority and to save yourself from financial loss. You must also check the gold price before buying. The price you can check here is the Gold rate in Kuwait, the Gold rate in Dubai, the Gold rate in Pakistan, and many other countries. checking the gold rate will help you to estimate the exact price of gold.