How to Identify White Gold Jewelry

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White gold jewelry can be properly identified by looking for a few key characteristics. Identify white gold jewelry with help from a jewelry buyer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Gold Buying & Selling
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Video Transcript

Hello. My name is Brett Barrad. I'm a jewelry buyer with, based in San Diego, California. Today, I'm going to be talking to you about how to identify white gold jewelry. The first thing that you will want to do is to have a jeweler's loop handy. With this, you can take a look at the items that you possess to try to determine if they are gold, silver, platinum or perhaps none of the above. What I do with the loop is I'll take the loop, and I'll look at the item very closely and I'm looking for markings. In the United States, there are common markings on most of the jewelry which will either be ten karat, 14 karat or 18 karat. But we don't want to trust that. Especially now that the price of gold being so high, it's very high to find items that may be marked as gold but might not necessarily be made of gold. So the first step we'll do is we'll take the light gold and we will run it on this stone here. This is called a jeweler's rubbing stone. When we rub the metal on to the stone, applying with firm pressure, a small micron layer of the material will remain on the stone. Interestingly, when using white gold, the material that's rubbed on the gold is not exactly white in appearance. It's not quite yellow, it's kind of an in between. That's because there's no such thing as white gold. Other alloys are added to yellow gold to make it white. When we apply the acid to the material on the stone, it should remain the same color. And often that color with the acid will remain a more yellow color. Because what that acid is doing is it's removing some of the other alloys but it's the yellow gold that is remaining. We want to make sure that color is still the same, not changing. If it starts turning a little bit red, it's probably a weaker karat gold. If it disappears completely, most likely it's not gold. Also, if you have an item and you're not exactly sure what it is, you want to remember about different markings. I've shown you the different markings that are typical in the United States. Ten karat, 14 karat, 18 karat also represented by their approximate purities. 417, 585, or 750. Silver for example, is typically marked with a 925 or sterling, which the 925 means 92.5 percent pure. Platinum items will be marked plat or the word platinum or they'll have the 900 or 950 markings. That is a quick way to know right away if the item could potentially be white gold. So basically, I showed you what you need to look for when it's time to determine if you have white gold jewelry. Look for the marks. Use your loop. Apply acid to a marking that you left on the rubbing stone, and that will get you about nine tenths of the way there. If you're still in doubt, I recommend taking your items to a professional jeweler or an appraiser who will be able to tell you 100 percent. But if you follow the steps I've provided, you're pretty much on your way. Again, my name is Brett Barrad, jewelry buyer with in San Diego, California. Thank you.


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