One way to get some quick cash is to sell old jewelry to your local gold dealer. While only a trained gold dealer or jeweler can tell you for sure, there are a few things you can do at home to test your jewelry to determine if they are made of real gold. So, get out those dull yellow items stuffed in the back of your jewelry box and follow along with this article to determine if those pieces are made of real gold.
Look For The Purity Mark
If you have a magnifying glass, get it out now. Then, use it to inspect a piece of jewelry that you are considering selling. Look for a purity mark stamp. Most authentic gold jewelry has this mark. It indicates how pure the gold is in karats. You are looking for a stamp that reads 10k, 14k, 18k, 22k, or 24k. The higher the number, the purer the gold is. 24k gold is pure gold, while anything less than 10k isn't considered to be real gold in the United States.
If you don't see a stamp, don't worry just yet. If the piece of jewelry is old, the stamp could have been worn off, or it could have been removed during a previous repair. Also keep in mind that fake gold jewelry may also have a stamp so it will pass as real gold, so this isn't the only test you should do to determine if your jewelry is made of real gold.
Inspect The Item For Discoloration
While you are looking for the purity stamp, also look for any discoloration on the piece of jewelry. You will typically see this on the edges of the jewelry or on areas that experience heavy friction. What you are looking for is a clue to what is underneath the shiny gold layer. If you see a color other than yellow, then that item is probably gold plated, not real solid gold.
Get a scale that can measure small changes in weight, like a balance scale, and weight 2 pieces of jewelry. These 2 pieces are the jewelry item in question and something of similar size that you know for sure is made of real gold. Gold is much heavier than most other metals, so if the real gold item is significantly heavier than the jewelry in question, than that piece in question isn't real gold. If both pieces weigh about the same amount, then that's a good sign that the item in question is real gold.
Preform The Magnet Test
While gold isn't magnetic, most of the metals used to make fake gold are. In order to perform the magnet test, you'll need a stronger magnet than what is on your refrigerator. Instead, use a woman's purse clasp, a magnet in one of your kid's toys, or one you buy from the local hardware store. Now, simply put the piece of jewelry in question on a table our counter and hover the magnet above it. If the jewelry is affected by the magnet, especially if it sticks right to it, then that piece of jewelry probably isn't made of real gold.
Using all of these tests that can easily be performed at home, you should be able to determine if your old jewelry is made of real gold. Of course, only trained and skilled gold experts, such as professionals who specialize in buying and selling gold, can give you a more accurate determination. If you have any questions or still can't decide if your jewelry is made of real gold, simply bring it to an experience gold buyer with a company like Rocky Mountain Gold & Silver Exchange, and he or she will be happy to help you.