How To Tell If a Necklace Is Real Gold

How To Tell If a Necklace Is Real Gold



Determining the authenticity of a gold necklace is essential when making a purchase or assessing the value of a jewellery piece you already own.

Gold’s timeless allure and enduring value have made it a popular choice for jewellery, but distinguishing between real gold and counterfeit or lesser-quality alternatives can be challenging.

Luckily, several key factors can help you determine if a necklace is made of genuine gold.

By examining the markings, conducting simple tests, and considering other factors, you can become adept at discerning real gold from imitations.

In this guide, we will explore various techniques and tips to help you confidently identify whether a necklace is a real gold.

Whether you’re an enthusiast, a buyer, or a jewellery owner, this knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and appreciate the true worth of your gold necklace.


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How Do I Tell If a Necklace Is a Real Gold?

With the rise of counterfeit jewellery and the availability of gold-plated or gold-filled alternatives, it’s important to know how to distinguish between genuine gold and imitations.

In this article, we will guide you through various methods and techniques to help you determine if a necklace is made of real gold.

1. Check for Hallmarks and Stamps.

One of the first steps in identifying real gold is to look for hallmarks or stamps on the necklace. Most gold jewellery carries a stamp indicating its purity or karatage.

Common stamps for gold include “24K” for pure gold, “18K” for 18-karat gold, “14K” for 14-karat gold, and so on.

These marks are usually located on the clasp, near the pendant, or on a small tag attached to the necklace.

Be aware that some counterfeit pieces may also bear fake hallmarks, so additional testing is necessary.

2. Magnet Test.

Gold is not magnetic, so a simple magnet test can help determine if a necklace is made of real gold. Hold a magnet near the necklace and observe its reaction.

If the necklace is attracted to the magnet, it is not made of real gold. However, keep in mind that this test alone is not foolproof since other non-magnetic metals can also be used in jewellery.

3. Acid Test.

The acid test is a reliable method to identify real gold. However, it involves using nitric acid, which can be hazardous if not handled with care.

To perform this test, make a small scratch on a discreet area of the necklace and apply a drop of nitric acid.

If the scratch mark remains the same colour, it indicates the presence of gold. If the mark changes colour or fades, the necklace is likely not made of real gold.

It is recommended to consult a professional jeweller to perform this test or to use a gold testing kit.

4. Hallmark Verification.

Consulting a professional jeweller or a reputable appraiser is an excellent option to verify the authenticity of a gold necklace.

They have the knowledge, expertise, and specialized tools to accurately determine the gold content and quality of the necklace. Jewellers can also verify the hallmarks and stamps, ensuring they are genuine and not counterfeit.

5. Color and Weight.

Real gold has a distinct colour and weight. Pure gold, which is 24 karat, has a deep yellow colour, while lower karats may have a slightly lighter hue due to the presence of other metals.

Additionally, gold is a dense metal, so real gold necklaces should feel heavier than their counterparts made of less valuable materials.

6. Hallmark Consistency.

When examining the hallmarks on a gold necklace, ensure their consistency throughout the piece. Genuine gold jewellery should have consistent markings, with clear and well-defined stamps.

If the hallmarks appear irregular, blurry, or poorly engraved, it may indicate a counterfeit or lower-quality piece.

7. Seek Professional Appraisal.

If you have doubts about the authenticity of a gold necklace, it’s wise to seek a professional appraisal.

A certified appraiser will evaluate the necklace’s gold content, quality, and craftsmanship, providing you with a detailed report of its characteristics and value.


Determining if a necklace is made of real gold requires careful examination and testing.

By checking for hallmarks, conducting the magnet and acid tests, and considering the colour, weight, and consistency of the piece, you can make an informed judgment.

Remember, seeking the assistance of a professional jeweller or appraiser is always advisable, especially for valuable or sentimental gold necklaces.

Armed with these techniques and knowledge, you can confidently identify whether a necklace is real gold and make informed decisions when purchasing or evaluating your precious jewellery.

What do you think?

Written by Udemezue John

Hello, I'm Udemezue John, a web developer and digital marketer with a passion for financial literacy.

I have always been drawn to the intersection of technology and business, and I believe that the internet offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals alike to improve their financial well-being.

You can connect with me on Twitter


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