How can you tell if a precious metal is real?

Real precious metals, such as gold, are often seen as a good investment, and the value of investment in gold is usually indicated by marks that indicate purity, weight, and other key identifying factors. On bars and ingots, mandatory seals or marks are usually right on top. On jewelry, the seal is usually close to the clasp or in another discrete place. Use the acidity test if you are still not sure what your precious metal is. In the notch you filled in for step 3, place a drop of nitric acid.

Sterling silver will convert acid to a creamy white, while minted silver will produce a dark, almost black tone. The finer the silver, the darker the acid. More than 10 carats of gold won't react with acid, while gold-on-silver plating creates a creamy pink color. In the case of platinum, you should compare a well-known piece of metal with your own and compare the results.

The color combination will indicate the amount of gold or silver, plating or steel being mixed. Naturally, the same procedures that scientists use to analyze metallic elements apply to precious metals. This comparison test is a great way to find out if your precious metal is real and determine its fineness. If you're concerned about the authenticity of your valuables, check out these seven facts about precious metals.

When you think of precious metals, you probably think of expensive jewelry, Tiffany's cases, or the intricate gears of an expensive watch. These marks show that only a small amount of gold was used to cover a piece made of another type of metal to give it the appearance of gold. Gold, silver, and especially platinum weigh much more than the other metals (such as mercury) used to create realistic-looking alternatives. Silver metals will be marked with the word “sterling”, an S, SS and the numbers 925 because sterling silver is composed of 92.5% silver.

Treasure seekers find rare coins using metal detectors, while bargain shoppers often find precious metal jewelry at pawn shops and consignment stores. After biting the jewelry with light pressure, you should be able to see noticeable dents in the metal. Some base metals that can be mixed with gold may also not be magnetic, making it possible to get a false reading. If you're still not sure if the piece of jewelry is made of real or fake gemstones and precious metals, seek a second opinion.

Slowly tilt the metal object to see if the magnet adheres to the object due to the magnetic force or if it slides towards the floor. But if the simple tips above don't reassure you, the best way to determine the metal content of your belongings is to take it to a certified precious metals specialist. In the case of gold jewelry, a reaction that changes the color to green means that the piece of jewelry is made of a base metal. However, those who try to pass smaller metals, such as real gold, have become more sophisticated in their “trade”, so even the jeweler may have to resort to a machine to verify it.