5 Main Differences Between Real and Fake Gold: Do You Know How to Tell What Karat Your Gold Is?

For a precious metal whose dalliance with success and high status extends to centuries ago, but still maintains its charm, gold is still valuable today. It is rare, expensive and as deluxe as it has always been. Incredibly, its value can’t be lost!

Recently, however, gold investors in the gold-hungry market have been losing billions in high-profile fake gold scams. From buying fake, gold-plated billions to getting scammed, perpetrators seem to have reaped big from non-savvy investors. They know that for those who rush into buying them with conducting thorough gold analysis, especially on how to tell if gold is genuine, purchase fake is easy!

So, how can you tell if gold is real or fake?

Real gold has lots of exceptional physical and chemical properties all of whom phoney ones understandably don’t. And when buying one, whether it’s from a fully-fledged jewellery shop or off the web, having the expertise to check and tell can be the difference between getting duped and being safe.  Simply put, you must have the technical know-how that professional, experienced gold investors use to distinguish one from the other.


To differentiate between them, you will need to perform a test on it. And that means you should be aware of some of the following:

1.  Real Gold comes with a genuine hallmark ‘K,’ fake doesn’t

Whether it is gold bullion or gold jewellery, it can’t be genuine if it doesn’t have a special stamp with a hallmark indicating its carat weight. Real gold comes with a hallmark featuring a number with letter K. For a necklace, inspect its clasp while if it’s a ring, check on its inner band. 24K is the purest, unlike 10K or 14K. Also, .585, .999 or 1.000 is acceptable, although ‘K’ carries more weight.

2.  By acid testing the two, a real one will turn the acid milky; green will mean it’s fake

This is possibly the most trusted ways of telling whether the metal is precious or not. You make a little scratch on it and pour a slight drop of nitric acid on the area. If a reaction takes place and the acid drop turns green, the metal isn’t gold. Genuine gold usually turns the acid milky because it doesn’t react. This method though comes in handy when testing scrap gold – it’s not advisable when testing gold jewellery!

3.  Real gold neither sticks to a magnet nor sinks in water. Counterfeit ones readily sink!

When you place real gold near a strong magnet, nothing happens. Fake ones do get attracted to the magnet. Your gold getting attached to the magnet, even if it’s real, can mean that it doesn’t contain a substantial amount in it. However, if it sinks in water, it’s phoney.

4.  By professionally appraising the metal, a dealer will tell with certainty if it’s real or fake

It’s probably the best, most surefire way, especially if you take it to a competent and honest gold dealer whose gold analysis skills encompass a series of specialized tests.

You will have to pay for the services, however.

5.  Lastly, you’ll tell their difference using your skin!

What this test is based on is the fact that fake gold is easily discoloured. You rub it on your skin for a few seconds and check whether the area is stained with a tiny streak of black and green pieces. If you spot them, then it is gold-plated.

Also Read...

Scroll to Top