How to Tell Real Gold from Fake

You can uncover a treasure at yard sales and flea markets if you know how to tell real gold from fake. Follow these tips to learn how to find your pot of gold.

You will need

  • Gold coin
  • Gold jewelry
  • Jeweler or metal exchange expert
  • Tissue paper or jewelry box (optional)

Step 1 Bite the gold Bite down onto a gold coin or jewelry piece. Fake gold will not dent at all on a bite test. Real gold will, but so will some newer methods of gold plating.

Step 2 Look for a stamp or other marking Examine the surface of the gold item to see if you can find a stamp or other marking that indicates a carat value. American-made gold items will have this type of mark, but items from other countries may not.

Step 3 Examine the surface of the item Examine the surface of the gold item, looking carefully for any green or black spots that may be visible. These markings indicate fake gold.

Step 4 Feel the weight of the gold item Hold the gold item in your hand, and pay attention to the weight. Real gold is very dense and heavy, but fake gold will feel lighter.

Step 5 Consult with an expert Consult with a jeweler or metal exchange expert to confirm the authenticity of your gold item. They can also help you determine a value for your new find and help you know whether you did indeed find real gold.