When you buy antique gold or gold items manufactured in countries where gold stamping is not required, age or damage could make it difficult to confirm an item's authenticity before making a buying decision. The same holds true for gold items that you purchase online. To limit your financial loses, test gold purchases as soon as you get them home and continue to buy only from sellers and auctioneers who have a proven track record of selling you high-quality, authentic products.
Things You'll Need
- Magnifying glass
- Jeweler's loop
- Gold testing kit
Examine the gold jewelry or bullion for stamps with a magnifying glass or jeweler's loop. This is the simplest way to check a piece of gold's authenticity. Gold bullion usually bares a stamp verifying authenticity on its face. An authentic gold ring usually bares a stamp on the inner edge. Gold necklaces and bracelets usually bare stamps of authenticity near the clasp. Industry stamps vary, depending on where the gold jewelry or bullion was manufactured.
Test the gold with a home gold testing kit. Such kits contain acid and a stone on which to test the gold. Rub your gold on the stone, which leaves residue but should not damage an authentic gold item. Consider wearing safety gloves before applying acid to the gold residue. The acid will not dissolve the gold residue if it is authentic, writes Dennis Gaffney on the Antiques Roadshow website.
Take your gold to be appraised. You can locate a certified appraiser in your telephone directory or take your gold to a reputable jewelry store or pawn shop to be appraised. The Better Business Bureau suggests seeking authentication and valuation from at least two reputable appraisers.