How Can You Tell if Your Jewelry is Gold or Gold Plated?
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How Can You Tell if Your Jewelry is Gold or Gold Plated?

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Okay, so now you’re considering investing in fine jewelry, but want to make sure gold is solid and not plated. We’re going to talk about that today.

While solid gold jewelry is made of a gold alloy, consistent throughout the piece, the gold-plated pieces are made of a non-gold metal covered in a thin film with gold. Let’s see how you can see whether solid gold or gold is a piece of jewelry.

Solid gold

Despite the term, solid gold jewelry is seldom made entirely of gold. Instead, it’s a gold alloy that’s consistent all through the piece of jewelry. Low-purity alloys can produce more substitute metals and less gold than high-purity counterparts.

Gold plated

Gold-plated jewelry has a base consisting of some other form of metal. The base metal is coated by a thin layer of gold.

How Can You Tell if Something is Gold or Gold Plated?

Scratch test

This test is damaging because it allows you to cut a piece of your jewelry. If you cut deep enough to reveal the underlying metal, you can presume that it is plated. If it tends to have a consistent composition within, then it is probably solid gold. Both forms of jewellery have pros and cons. Gold-plated jewelry also looks just as attractive as a reliable gold substitute and is far more reasonable.


Gold is not a magnetic object. If your jewelry reacts to magnetism, it possibly contains a form of metal other than gold. This test, however, is not wholly reliable. Although solid gold jewelry is made of alloys containing small quantities of alternate metals, your jewelry can still react to the magnetic pull. Even if your gold-plated jewelry’s base metal is not magnetic, it may not react to the magnet test and offer the impression that it is solid gold. The lesson here is that the magnet test is useful in combination with other tests, but it is not entirely accurate.

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The color is intensely yellow if a piece of jewelry is plated with gold 24 kg. And because solid gold is combined to make it more durable with small amounts of other metals, it will not appear as vibrant.

Acid test

The acid test will expose a carat of solid gold jewelry, but it can also indicate whether the jewelry is solid gold or gold-plated. In an acid examination, a small sample of the jewelry is discarded and exposed to acid to cause a change of hue. The resulting colors suggest the type of metal the jewelry is crafted from.

Bonus Tip

Contributed by one of my readers!

Another tip: Pwede mo ma determine na true gold and isang jewerly is by their codes. My mga code numbers kase bawat carats gold at kung gaano kataas yung karats nila like 375 (10 carat gold), 585 (14 carat gold) , 750 (18 carat gold) , 916 (22 carat gold) 958 (23 carat gold) 999.9% or 999 (24 carat gold)

Iilan lang yung mga yan sa mga codes per carats maliban pa yung texture nila, tulad ng 24 carat gold na pure agd mo siya malalaman na pure kase sa texture pa lang niya, malambot pagkagold niya,madaling mabend o mayupi.. ang pinaka solid o hard na texture yung japan 18k gold😊

Naka relate ako dito because i was once na nagwork sa pawnshops as apprentice o taga kilatis ng gold😊And yes, we also do the acid test, dun din kase lumilitaw dahil magrereact yung color niya sa acid lalo na kung gaano kataas yung carats nila.

How Can You Tell if Your Jewelry is Gold or Gold Plated?


Investing in fine jewelry or receiving an heirloom that is made of gold may give that feeling of luxury. But, before anything else make sure you know the basics on how to determine fake gold and real gold so you don’t waste your hard-earned money.  

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How Can You Tell if Your Jewelry is Gold or Gold Plated?

Source: Gold Plating


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  • Rowena Callo Villareno

    Thank you for this mommy kaycee big help ito sa katulad ko hindi marunong tumingin sa real gold and gold platead ang palagi ko lang kasi naririnig is yung magnet pero hindi rin pala accurate yun😊.

  • Hyun Jang Nim

    Wow super informative. Honestly I don’t have idea how to determine the difference between gold or gold plated. The lists that you have listed are a great checklists, I will take note of these po.

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