Gold is one of the favorite investment instruments. Aside from being liquidated quickly, the value of gold also tends to increase every year. However, before deciding to buy gold, you should first study the characteristics of real gold.
There is a lot of fake gold in the market which is made and shaped very much like real gold. Because of its similarity, fake gold is very difficult to distinguish from real gold by the naked eye. However, you don’t need to worry, there are some characteristics of real gold that can never be counterfeited.
- Does Not Stick to Magnets
Gold is not a magnetic metal. If you hold it close to a magnet, it certainly won’t stick, or even have any reaction. Therefore, when you want to buy gold, you can bring a small magnet with you to test it. However, there are several other types of metals that are also non-magnetic, such as aluminum. So, if the metal sticks to the magnet, it’s definitely not gold. However, if it doesn’t stick, it’s not necessarily gold. You should do further checks.
- Gold is a good conductor of heat and electricity
Gold is highly conductive. Gold’s conductivity is just a bit less than silver and copper, the two highest electrical conductivity of all metals.
- Gold does not get corroded and the color does not fade easily
24-karat pure gold has a yellowish-orange color that shines brighter under bright lighting. if the color is not too bright, it could be because there is a mixture of other metals in it. The more substances mixed with gold, the darker the color will be. The gold color will remain shiny, unchanged over time, and there will be no signs of rust or corrosion. Meanwhile, the yellow color of fake gold will change or tend to blacken. If you want to distinguish fake gold from real gold, you can rub the surface. If the color turns dull and non-uniform, chances are it’s fake.
- There are Marks on the Surface
The authenticity of gold, especially gold bars, can also be seen from the mark on the surface. Usually, there is a series of letters or numbers engraved indicating the purity of the gold. For example, a number between 1 – 999 or 0 K to 24 K, depending on the standard used.
- Real Gold is Measured in Carats
A unit of weight used to measure real gold is carat. 24 carat is the purest gold, without traces of any other metal. This measurement is a reference for consumers in buying precious metals. The lower the number of carats, the more other metals alloyed with gold. Metals commonly alloyed with gold include nickel, copper, and zinc.
- The Purer, the softer
The purer or higher the number of the carat, the softer the gold. Try to bite the gold. If it leaves bite marks on the surface, chances are the gold is real. But, this method cannot be applied to jewelry. Gold that has been designed into various jewelry has additional metal content so that the surface becomes harder.
- Gold is Solid
Gold is solid although the more pure gold, the softer it is. Test the density of gold by dropping it into a container filled with water. See if it floats or vice versa. Real gold is supposed to sink in water. You can also do the test on an unglazed ceramic plate or piece of tile. Scrape the gold across its surface. Real gold will leave a gold mark or trail in its wake.
- Does not Easily React with Acid
If you drop an acidic liquid called nitric acid, real gold will not change at all, either its shape or color. Meanwhile, fake gold will react with acid liquid and the color will change. This gold testing method is effective, but it can harm you if the acidic liquid gets on your skin.
- Ring Sound
Real gold has a solid surface, but it can make a loud sound. When you drop it on ceramic, or a hard surface, real gold makes a long, crisp ring. Usually, this ringing sound has a fairly long interval, with a high pitch. Especially if you drop it on a metal surface, the sound will be louder. Meanwhile, the sound of fake gold is relatively shorter.
- Accompanied by a Certificate
Every gold purchase will be accompanied by a certificate that proves its authenticity. However, there are also fake certificates. The original certificate will have the same colorful minor stripes as those on banknotes, and will have a watermark indicating the company that produced it. With this certificate, it will be easier for you to resell your gold.
If you are still unsure about identifying the characteristics of real gold on your own, you can seek professional help. Visit a trusted gold shop to get more accurate results!