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Determining the Purity of Your Gold

Determining the Purity of Your Gold

Tucson Gold Value – Finding Your Gold’s Purity

The easiest way to determine the purity of your gold is to look for a stamp. The majority of solid gold jewelry will be stamped with a karat value. Look for 14k, 18k or something similar. Though this isn’t a perfect measurement, it should give you a good idea of the karat value of your gold. Check out our blog post “What Does Karat Mean for Gold” If you’d like to learn more about what the different karat values mean.

What If My Jewelry Isn’t Stamped?

If your piece is not stamped, you can contact a local Tucson gold buyer to do an evaluation of the piece. Also, a simple test can be performed using either a set of acids, or an electronic tester. While these are not the only tests, these are the most common and accurate.

Acid Test:

For this, a small needle-like tool is used to make a scratch on a small part of the piece (in an unnoticeable spot). This is done to get past any plating that the piece may have. Then, a series of acids are dropped into the scratch, each corresponding to a specific karat of gold. If the piece is tested with 14kt acid and the piece is 14kt or above, then there will be no color change. This test is repeated until a color change occurs and the best estimate of the gold karat is ascertained.

Electronic Test:

Gold is cleaned and placed on the tester with a test solution. An electrical current is passed through the piece and the results are shown on a lighted scale, showing the karat value of the gold.

These tests can cause minor damage to the piece. However, most of the time this can be polished away and there will be no lasting evidence of testing.

Why Did My Gold Test Lower Than Its’ Stamp?

Your gold can test lower than its stamp for many reasons. The most common are that the gold you bought was marked higher than it really is for the simple purpose of getting a higher price.

The other, less common reason has to do with the age of your jewelry. If your piece was passed down to you from an older relative, or if you bought a used piece, odds are that it was made many years ago. As with all technology, the way gold was refined and mixed to create the karats was less precise, and as a result, your 14kt necklace could really be 13.5kt or even 15kt gold.

Find Out the Purity of Your Gold Jewelry

If you’d like a free evaluation of your gold jewelry to find our its true karat value or worth in the current gold market, contact Tucson Gold and Silver and we’ll do a free assessment of your gold items and perform whatever tests are necessary to educate you about your pieces.

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