Before you choose to buy gold or silver, you’ll want to make sure that what you are paying for is the real thing. The same goes if you want to try to sell silver or gold. After all, the last thing you want to find out at the jewelry store is that the “gold” chain or “sterling silver” bracelet you’re trying to sell is nothing of the kind!
Here at Carolina Silver & Gold LLC, we want to help you make a sound investment and avoid any potential embarrassment. Here are a few ways to check if the gold or silver item you plan to purchase or sell is real:
1. Check for a hallmark
Nearly all real gold and silver items are marked with a hallmark, which displays the karat weight of the gold or silver jewelry (10k, 4k, etc.) This stamp can typically be found on the clasp of a necklace or bracelet, or possibly on the inner band of a ring.
2. Does it Sink or Float?
One way to make sure your gold or silver jewelry is real is to place it in a bowl of water. If the jewelry sinks, it is real. If it floats, it is most likely fake.
3. Testing with a Magnet
Real silver and gold will not react when placed near a magnet. If the silver or gold is attracted to the magnet, this means that there are metals within the piece that are not genuine.
4. Acid Test
Acid tests are one of the most telling tests to determine whether your silver or gold jewelry is real. However, this test could potentially damage the object. It is also important to wear the proper safety glasses and gloves. If a creamy, gray or light green color appears when the acid is applied, the item is most likely fake.
If you’re like many people, you may have some old gold or silver jewelry lying around at home – pieces you never wear or particularly like. You may have even been left some old jewelry or coins that you have no use for. It’s only natural to wonder if these items can be turned into cash for you to spend on something you will use.
Never worry – your friends here at Carolina Silver & Gold LLC are here to help you out! We’ve assembled a list of signs to help you determine if the things you have are worth real money or if you’d be better off keeping them for sentimental value. Check them out below!
For jewelry – look for a hallmark.
Real silver and gold jewelry that has been made within the last 100 years will often come with a hallmark, or even two of them. Usually one that will be marked is the type of metal – for instance, “18k” for gold or “sterling” for silver. Practically all real gold and silver jewelry comes with this kind of hallmark. The other kind of hallmark will be a manufacturer’s hallmark, like Tiffany & Co. or Cartier, or the name of a local jeweler you might not recognize.
If you suspect your jewelry is older than 100 years old, however, it’s best to bring it to us for an in-depth appraisal.
For coins – look for the date.
In general, the older a coin is, the more it is worth. Coins minted last year are worth no more than the face value, while coins minted decades ago or even centuries ago can be worth a lot more. But keep in mind that coin dates come with a few caveats. For instance, countries like Israel, India, etc. don’t use the Gregorian calendar, so you’ll need to use a date converter to find out how old they are. Also, most European coins from before the seventeenth century don’t include the date.