Information on Gold and Silver
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR GOLD IS REAL
To identify the difference between fake gold and real gold, there are a few simple methods that can be done at home without acid or an electronic test. The first method is to use a magnet and place it against your gold in question. Gold and silver are not magnetic and will not be attracted to your magnet. The second method requires using a magnifying glass to read the hallmark stamps on your piece of jewelry in question. If you look closely, you can find number markings that are engraved into your gold to identify the purity level (For example: 9k, .375, 10k, .417, 14k, .585, 21k, .875, 22k, 917, 23k, 24k, .999). If your gold is marked with any one of these, you likely have gold of that purity.
When examining your gold, you can also check for indicators and hallmarks that represent plated or fake gold. If you see any of the previous mentioned number beside the letter k followed by: GP, Gold Plated, EP, Electric Plated, GF, Gold Filled, 1/20, these markings will let you know that you have plated, filled, or partial gold. When looking over your piece of gold check to see if the colour is consistent throughout the item. There should be no bubbling or rippling of the gold and no colour change. Also, if you have a chain or necklace, you should look over all the clasps to ensure that they are soldered and check for stamps that say Korea or china. Typically un-soldered items stamped with China or Korea are plated gold.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR SILVER IS REAL
When looking over your scrap silver, jewelry, or flatware, a lot of the same principles apply from checking gold. The most common Silver hallmarks are represented by: .800 (80% silver), .925 (92.5% silver), sterling (92.5% silver), .999 (99.9% silver), Ster, Birks, a lion’s head or other symbols. There are hundreds of markings for silver that date back centuries. If you have a piece of silver with a marking that is not listed, you may have a valuable antique and it would be worth your time to bring it by for us to check out.
UNDERSTANDING MARKS ON PRECIOUS METALS
Hallmarks on precious metals are used to indicate the purity level of metal. Most metal used for jewelry consists of a mixture of different metals. The hallmark on the jewelry will indicate the percentage amount of the precious metal used in the jewelry, but does not indicate the other metal(s) used. Hallmarks are also used to identify the company or individual who is responsible for the claim of the purity level. Below is a chart of typical hallmarks used on jewelry.