How To Test Gold Jewelry At Home

a pile of gold necklaces, earrings, and bracelets on a white table

Gold jewelry is a brilliant compliment to just about any outfit. While you may love the appearance, there’s an underlying question of just how real your gold jewelry is.

Gold is a material that can be pretty affordable or quite expensive, depending on the grade. For example, gold flakes are edible on the lower end of the price spectrum. On the other hand, high karat gold rings fetch thousands of dollars. Are you wondering how much your gold jewelry costs?

Our guide will teach you how to test gold jewelry at home properly. You’ll learn the differences between authentic gold, gold plating, and gold alternatives. We’re proud to offer authentic gold necklaces, earrings, and bracelets to save you both time and effort.

Common Misconceptions About Gold

Can you tell if gold is real or fake at a glance? Unless you’re an experienced industry professional, judging by sight is quite challenging.

On the plus side, low-quality gold still looks very lovely and is a great choice for budget-conscious fashionistas. On the other hand, you may get worried you’re shelling out too much money for a gold pretender. While gold mining production has dipped a little in the past few years, the overall demand for gold remains consistent. 

The brilliance of gold ensures this material remains a common choice for elegant jewelry and high-ended furniture alike. Spotting authentic jewelry is helpful if you want to sell or insure your items.

Related: Affordable Gemstone Alternative for Engagement Rings

Tip #1: Keep in Mind Gold is Not Magnetic

The easiest way to tell if your gold is real is to use a magnet test. Unlike cobalt or nickel, gold does not respond to magnetic waves.

While you may want to use a toy magnet or a refrigerator magnet, these are usually not strong enough. We recommend you use one from a hardware store to test your jewelry. Hold your magnet up to your gold jewelry and see if it moves. If it moves even slightly, you have fake gold karats on your hands.

Does that mean jewelry that doesn’t move is real gold? Not necessarily. There are still other metals that also don’t attract magnets.

Tip #2: Dig Around for Gold Authentication

Pure gold goes through a rigorous testing and authentication process in the United States. This authentication comes in the form of an official stamp, which you may need a magnifying glass for.

What do these stamps look like and what do they say? The function of a gold stamp is to inform you of the karat size, which comes in the following degrees:

  • 10k
  • 14k
  • 18k
  • 22k
  • 24k

If your gold jewelry does not have a visible stamp, never fear. Very old jewelry might have the stamps rubbed off or removed during a polishing process. After looking for a stamp, double-check your gold jewelry for any green discoloration or peeling. These signs are a surefire way to determine if you have real gold or cheap gold plating.

Our gold jewelry is made with authentic 24k gold, such as our Boho Babe Necklace.

Related: 10 Gorgeous Emerald Earrings to Check Out

Tip #3: Weigh Your Gold to Double-Check

One of the best-known facts about pure gold is just how heavy it is. This rare material is soft, yet highly dense.

You won’t be able to use your bathroom scale for this tip. Purchase a jewelry scale and use it to weigh the pieces you suspect are not real gold. This technique is much more effective if you have authentic gold jewelry to compare your potential fake jewelry to. 

Related: Popular 80s Jewelry Trends

What makes handmade jewelry stand out? We believe it’s a firm attention to detail, beautiful designs, and authentic materials.

a gold necklace with a large pendant curled on a white table

Tip #4: Dunk Your Jewelry in Water

This tip may seem strange, but it’s pretty simple and effective! Dunk your jewelry in a bowl of water to test its authenticity. Real gold is a very dense material and will sink instantly.

Fake gold jewelry (or jewelry with very little gold) will float a little. Remember that real gold also cannot rust. If you’re still concerned your jewelry is fake, make sure to wipe it off immediately.

Tip #5: Reach Out to a Professional for an Examination

If all of these tips have yielded uneven results, consider reaching out to a gold professional. These workers have years of experience analyzing, grading, and selling authentic jewelry.

With a small fee, you’ll be able to determine the karat grade of your jewelry. You’ll also learn useful information about your jewelry’s design, origin, and other materials used to make it. This tip is best for people who are considering selling their jewelry or who want to insure their jewelry.

two gold bangles filled with blue stones on a gray table


Learning how to test gold jewelry at home means understanding the material. Gold may be soft, but it’s very heavy, dense, and rust-resistant.

Gold does not respond to magnets, nor does it float in water. If you wear a lot of jewelry, you may want to buy a jewelry scale to measure your items with. When in doubt, reach out to a jewelry professional for a high-quality assessment.

Unique jewelry reflects the deepest parts of your personality. Contact us today for personalized and handcrafted rings, necklaces, and bracelets.