Is it real?

Fake gold (typically yellow) may seem to be genuine at first sight. But if you look closely, you can usually determine whether it’s real or not.

Here are some simple ways to distinguish genuine from phony.

A price is usually a good indication. If someone offers you a cheap gold chain, go away. Gold is costly and worth its weight in gold.

If a $1,500 rope chain is on sale for $49… Fake!

Nobody will sell it for less than its value. Selling the item for scrap metal will get you extra money. So first the thing, then the price. Is it just? Price tells everything.

2) Gold Size: Use your judgment. Is the item huge? Like the music video’s big gold 30mm chain? If it’s so large and thick, it’s probably not genuine. If genuine, huge chains (many with czs) would be worth a lot. So no, they aren’t. They’re hollow, gold-plated, and worthless.

3) Gold Weight: How heavy is it? Gold is heavy. Consistency. So, bounce the object in your palm. Feel the heft! Does it feel like a balloon or does it have substance? Hear it as well. Fake chains usually sound like tin. When they fall, they clack. Do a bounce test. Is it light as a feather?

Now… It’s essential to remember that anything maybe both empty and genuine. Many manufacturers make hollow (or semi-hollow) gold necklaces that are just 1/4 the weight. Of course, this saves money (think gold hoop earrings). They are genuine yet hollow within. So although weight isn’t always a plus, it’s a start. Hollowed objects don’t last long. They often dent, crush, or shatter. No, I wouldn’t recommend them.

4) Gold Color: Gold’s color may also be a hint. Is it a bright yellow? Gold plating tends to be over-yellow. Stunning. Normal plating is not even or smooth. It’s bubbled up, and portions are gone (leaving some parts yellow, some parts white). Never miss a detail by looking carefully around and within the links.

Grab a 10x jeweler’s loupe and scope the whole thing. See tarnishing? Discoloration? Chipped or peeled layers? Gold plating is an outer shell. This shell erodes, chips, or pits. Look for wavy lines. a white or black base metal (sometimes leaving green or black stains on your neck or clothing). These are clear signs of a phony.

5) Gold Stamp: 10k (417), 14k (585), 18k (750), 24k (750). (999). Then it’s probably genuine. 925, GP (gold plated), or GF are common fake stamps (gold-filled).

One caveat: The carat mark isn’t always correct. The chain may be false, but the jump ring or clasp may be genuine (very misleading).

You may be ripped off if you just go by the clasp’s stamp (lobster, spring ring). It’s critical to test the real chain or bracelet. So the piece’s authenticity is guaranteed.

Compare the items: To tell whether an item is genuine or fake, compare it to the actual thing. Find something comparable at a jewelry shop. Examine the quality, color, and pricing. It will tell you what a genuine item would look, feel, and cost.


Test the gold using an acid testing kit. It will immediately tell you whether the gold is genuine or not. You may need to file away a piece or chunk of gold to determine whether there is a layer or if it is solid.

Buy acid testing kits here.

Those testing kits are used by jewelers.

Many assistance is available; visual appearance, color, smoothness or waviness of gold, weight, thickness and price are all sure-fire ways.

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