If you want to sell your gold, you will first need to make sure it is real gold. While a pawn shop or jewelry store can run the test for you, there are also some easy tests to perform at home. It is important to note that none of these tests tell you 100 percent whether your gold is real or not, but they give you a good indication.
The first, and often the most accurate, test to see if your gold is real is the magnet test. This is because real gold jewelry is not magnetic, but plated gold jewelry often is. Plated gold is not actually solid gold, but another type of metal that has been plated with a thin layer of real gold. It looks real, but is not and the value is considerably lower. To try this test, get a good quality magnet, not just a refrigerator magnet. Move the magnet toward the piece of jewelry and see if it grabs hold. If the jewelry sticks to the magnet, it is probably plated and not real gold.
Another test you can try at home to see if your gold jewelry is real or not is by checking for discoloration. Real gold changes color, if only slightly, as time goes on. In fact, antique jewelry often has dark areas of the gold color around the edges, and inside any detail work. This can automatically show you that a piece of gold jewelry is real. However, there may not actually be discoloration, but where it looks like the gold is coming off. In this case, if it looks like there is a different type of metal underneath, it is probably plated and not solid gold
Nitric Acid Test
While this gold test is most often done in a professional jeweler's shop, you can do it at home if you have experience using acid. You will first make a small scratch on the jewelry, choosing a location that won't detract from its integrity. After making the scratch, carefully drop a small amount of nitric acid onto it. If you see a reaction, it is not real and is probably gold-plated. Otherwise, it is likely real gold.
Test the Size
This is actually not done for gold jewelry, but for other types of gold, like bars or coins. This type of gold is sold by gold dealers to people who want to invest in it, then sell it again at a later date. If you have coins, bars or wafers, this may be a good test for you. You need a pair of calipers, and will need to figure out what the right dimensions for that weight of gold piece should be. Once you know what it should be, use the calipers to measure the actual dimensions of the piece you have.
For more information about testing gold, contact a company like Rocky Mountain Coin Inc.