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How to Spot a Fake Gold Chain

     Gold has always been valuable. Gold chains serve more than a fashionable accessory. It can also be an investment as they can always be sold after some time when their value has increased. It’s not just dollar reserves that add to the riches of a country but its gold reserves as well. Maybe this is why golden jewelries have been used as a status symbol. But as the saying goes, “Not all that glitters is gold.” This is practically true. Gold craftsmanship has evolved and goldsmiths have devised a hundred and one ways to manufacture gold jewelries that could be presented as solid gold yet possessing a low quality.

Karat system is what we use to reveal the amount of pure gold found in an item. A 24 karat or 24K gold is considered pure gold. 18K contains 18 parts gold and six parts another metal/s, making it just 75% gold. On the other hand, 14 karat gold has 14 parts gold and ten parts another metal/s making it just 58.3% gold or just a little over half. Lastly, 10K gold has 10 parts gold and fourteen parts another metal or metals, making it 41.7% gold. 10k gold is the minimum karat designation that can still be called gold in the United States.

You can also use a magnifying glass to analyze the clasp of a gold chain. Look to any stamps or markings if any, to identify the gold that is in the chain. It can be marked GP (gold plated), GF (gold filled), or GL (gold layered). This means that it isn’t a solid gold. Markings that identify caratage such as 14K or 10K are preferred though this may be faked too. Some countries stamp the purity based on the parts per 10,000. For example, 9,999 mean that 9,999 particles out of every 10,000 are gold.

Another way to check counterfeit is to hold the gold chain close to a magnet as there can be an attraction. Real gold should not be affected by a magnetic field. If it is attracted to the magnet, then there must be some other metal in the chain such as gold plated steel. Therefore, it is not pure gold. Or you can rub the jewelry by a cleaning cloth. Rub it as if you are trying to clean it up. If the chain is just gold plated, rubbing it will most likely be enough to rub away the plating.

One more test is dipping the gold chain into a cleaning solution that is formulated for sterling silver. After soaking the chain, set it aside for about 24 hours. The chain will tarnish if it is just gold plated for it would be heavily oxidized. Genuine gold will not tarnish if you’d soak it in the said solution.

Lastly, you can diminish the chances of buying fake gold by purchasing from a reputable store. Buying anywhere else leaves you exposed to swindlers who will just take advantage of you. Beware if “gold” is being sold at a cheaper price. Chances are the jewelry is not a solid gold or worst, fake.

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Posted on 2010-09-03, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author,

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