Gold is valuable because it is rare. It is beautiful with its metallic properties and its golden yellow tint. It is able to resist corrosion, unlike many other metals, and it can be formed into many different shapes. It can be used to make delicate items, to add accents to an item, or into strong heavy items. It is versatile and has many different applications in electronics, industry, and chemistry.
Because of its value, people have tried to replicate gold, especially when they make jewelry. You may not be able to tell with the naked eye so you will need to have a way to find out. There are several different tests to find out. One test is the lighter test and it is overwhelmingly effective. Read on to find out how to determine if gold is real with a lighter.
Choose the Right Kind of Lighter
You can use an ordinary disposable lighter if you have no other option but this is not ideal. You want to use a lighter that can produce a tall, constant flame. If you have a butane lighter, make sure that it has full fuel and make sure that it uses lighter fluid and not any other kind of gas.
Hang Your Gold Jewelry
The next step is to hang your gold jewelry on an object that is not flammable. You want something that will not melt or burn. If you do not have anything available, you can have someone hold the gold jewelry with a pair of pliers. If you want to make sure that your gold jewelry is not damaged, you can cover the end of the pliers with tape.
Apply the Flame to the Gold Jewelry
Finally, hold the flame of the lighter on the gold jewelry for about sixty seconds. Watch the gold to see if it changes color. If it darkens, it is likely not gold. Pure gold will actually get brighter as you apply the flame and it will not get darker. Jewelry that is made of fake gold, brass, iron, or copper will darken and change color. Jewelry that is gold-plated will show the gold melting and the material underneath will be exposed.
The lighter test is one of the most effective ways to find out if your jewelry is real gold and many gold buyers use this test. One of the basic qualities of gold is that it does not change to a darker shade; it brightens under heat. Gold can be melted and molded into other shapes, which is how jewelry is made.
There are a few other tests, one of which is the smell test. This test is okay for smaller gold pieces. If you have ever held coins, you know that they have a distinct metallic odor to them. Real gold does not have this odor. You can take the gold jewelry and rub it between your hands. Continue for about 30 seconds and then smell your hands. If they have an odor that resembles coins, you can be pretty sure that your jewelry is fake gold.
One of the most common metals used to make fake gold jewelry is brass, which is a mixture of copper, zinc, and other materials. Brass is reactive, which is why it produces this odor when it is mixed with sweat.
One other test you can use is the magnet test. You will need a rare earth magnet, which is made of special alloys. Pure gold is not attracted to the magnet. If your jewelry is attracted to the magnet in any way, there is at least part of the jewelry that is not gold.
You can try the lighter test to find out if your gold is real but if you have any doubts, you can always ask a professional.