GOLD - A BACKGROUND
|Gold is one of the most valuable of all the metals.
Primitive man prized gold above all other metals.
From it he made rings, chains, and other ornaments
that appealed to his vanity.
Gold, whose chemical symbol is Au, is malleable, ductile, and sectile, and its high thermal and electrical conductivity as well as its resistance to oxidation make its uses innumerable. Malleability is the ability of gold and other metals to be pressed or hammered into thin sheets, 10 times as thin as a sheet of paper. These sheets are sometimes evaporated onto glass for infrared reflectivity, molded as fillings for teeth, or used as a coating or plating for parts. Gold's ability to be drawn into thin wire (ductility) enables it to be deposited onto circuits such as transistors and to be used as an industrial solder and brazing alloy. For example, gold wire is often used for integrated circuit electrical connections, for orthodontic and prosthetic appliances, and in jet engine fabrication.
Gold's one drawback for use in industry is that it is a relatively soft metal (sectile). To combat this weakness, gold is usually alloyed with another member of the metal family such as silver, copper, platinum, or nickel. Gold alloys are measured by karats (carats). A karat is a unit equal to 1/24 part of pure gold in an alloy. Thus, 24 karat (24K) gold is pure gold, while 18 karat gold is 18 parts pure gold to 6 parts other metal. Please be sure to visit www.goldtester.net for gold testing equipment and supplies.
SO HOW CAN WE TELL IF IT'S REALLY GOLD?
These steps can help you determine if your gold is real,
and possibly what the true purity is.
There are many suggested ways to test gold, and these
are some of the most common:
PURITY OF GOLD
Having the ability to test the purity of gold is important for
anyone who is involved with buying or selling gold.
A jewelry item that is stamped as 10k, 14k or 18k does not
mean that it actually contains that type of gold. It is a
reality that fakes exist in the gold market, particularly
since gold jewelry has virtually no regulation or oversight.
Sometimes a lower quality of gold will be stamped with a higher
grade marking, or other times it may not be gold at all, but
rather layered with gold in such a way that it is not immediately
apparent that it is a plated item. To protect your investment
against forgeries and to make sure you are getting the gold you
pay for, it is important to test the purity of the gold. There
are simple methods you can do at home without sending your gold
away to an assayer’s office.
Procedures For Testing Gold, Platinum & Silver Using A Gold Testing Acid Kit:
To test for the karat value of gold, platinum and silver, you will need the following materials and tools:
Testing For 10K, 12K, 14KScratch the gold piece to be tested on the stone. Next to this position, scratch the appropriate needle (10, 12 or 14K). Place a drop of the appropriate acid on the stone where the gold was rubbed off. If the gold is the same karat or higher, the color of the scratch mark for the gold piece will appear the same as the mark from the needle. If that gold piece is a lower karat, the scratched deposit will become fainter and eventually disappear.
Testing For 18KScratch the test piece on the stone and apply 18K acid. Any gold that is less than 18K will disappear in less than 30 seconds. Gold that remains on the stone is 18K or higher.
Testing For 20K & 24KScratch the gold piece on the stone. Next, scratch any item of known karat (coin or needle) on the stone. Apply one drop of acid to area. The material that starts to disappear first has the lower karat.
Testing For PlatinumScratch the test item on the stone and apply one drop of acid to the application on the stone. If the material is platinum, it should keep its white, bright color.
Testing For White GoldThe same procedure for platinum can be used for 18K white gold. The material on the stone should start changing to a light bronze in about three minutes. For 14K white gold, the material on the stone should disappear in 15 seconds.
Testing For SilverPlace a drop of acid on the object to be tested.
90 to 100% silver, the acid will show a creamy color.
77-90% silver, the acid turns a gray color.
65-75% silver, then the acid will show a light green color.