Testing Gold for Purity

If you’re getting into the secure investment opportunities of buying gold, great for you! It shows you’re a forward thinker that refuses to allow a shaky economy to threaten your financial future. One of the skills you’ll need to be a success in these investments is the ability to accurately test the gold you plan to buy. Here’s how to test the purity of the gold you’re buying.

Testing Gold for Purity

Image Courtesy of MAURO CATEB via Flickr

1. Tools You Need

Invest in a testing stone, gold test needles and testing solution. One stone can be used for several tests, but you’ll need karat-specific needles and solution to perform accurate tests on a variety of golds. Get needles and solution for 14 karat, 18 karat, 24 karat, etc.

2. Examine the Gold Piece

Look for any indication marks on the jewelry or piece of gold. Many are already marked with the karat value, which gives you a good place to start the test. If there are no markers, you’ll just have to begin at the low end and repeat the test until you find a match.

3. Performing the Test

Scratch the test stone with the correct (or your best guess) karat test needle. Right next to this mark, scratch the stone with your gold piece. Only make a small mark with each on the test stone, leaving room to use your test stone over and over.

4. Getting an Accurate Match

Apply a drop or two of solution to each scratch. Compare the colors. If the colors match, you’ve found the purity. If not, repeat the test with different gold test needles and testing solutions until you find your match.

Accurate gold purity testing assures that you’re always paying the seller a fair price, and you’re getting your money’s worth from the gold you buy.