By: Barb H

Can you spot the difference between a real 14K gold chain and one that is gold-plated or a total faux gold? How about your sterling silver earrings — are they really silver? Our jewellery experts from The Den have a few tips and tricks for you to make it easier to identify real gold and silver jewellery from imposters.

Identifying Real Gold and Real Silver

There are a few easy DIY tests to help determine if a piece of jewellery is real gold or silver.

Acid Test for Gold. This test requires you to make a tiny scratch into the gold and place a small drop of liquid nitric acid on that scratch. If you do this, do it with extreme caution and only do it in a place where the scratch won’t be noticed. Real gold will have zero reaction to the nitric acid, while fake gold will turn green. If it’s gold plating over sterling silver, the scratched gold will look almost milky.

Water Test for Gold. Real gold will sink to the bottom of a glass of water. It won’t rust or ever discolor when wet. Fake gold floats and eventually will flake off after continual exposure to water.

Magnet Test for Gold and for Silver. Real gold and real silver are not magnetic. Hold a magnet to a piece of gold or silver jewellery, if the magnet attracts it, the piece is fake.

Definition of the Month: Gold Plated

Gold plated jewellery features a very thin coating of gold over a base metal. There’s very little real gold used and over time the plating wears off.

Benefits of Hand Fabricated Jewellery Vs. Store Bought

It’s easier to know exactly what you’re getting , real gold and silver, when working with an artisan for a hand fabricated piece of jewellery. The value of handcrafted jewellery far outweighs commercially manufactured pieces — why wear something your neighbor may also choose to buy? Jewellery artisans offer passion and can create a unique piece expressly for you.

Artisans like those from The Den work hard to continually hone their craft and enjoy working with individuals just like you.