evaluating gold quality

Discussion in 'Money, Investing & Precious Metals' started by residentfetii, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. residentfetii

    residentfetii Member

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    Does anyone here know how to tell what carat a particular piece of jewelry is from looking at it? I am interested in being able to figure out how high of quality gold is that I purchase to make sure I am not being ripped off. :cool:
     
  2. SgtGreenbag

    SgtGreenbag Member

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    Back in the old days they used to bite into it to tell...
     

  3. bkt

    bkt Well-Known Member

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    Not really sure. If someone said "This ring is 24k gold" then you should be able to weigh it (in grams) and measure its volume (via displacement) and determine its density (d=m/v) and if it is as dense as gold, then you know...you have something as dense as gold. Might be gold. Might be something else.

    Anyway, if you're looking to get bullion gold, I recommend buying well-established bullion coins which are marked with their weight and gold content/purity.
     
  4. coinguy

    coinguy Well-Known Member

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    I can tell.....sometimes. And that is from over 30 years of experience in the business. DON'T buy jewelry for investment! Period! If you like it, fine. Bullion coins are the only way to go.

    Jewelry should be marked, which of course can be counterfeited. Nitric acid is what is used to test it, and not something you should do without some coaching from someone who knows how to do it.

    G
     
  5. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    Correct, Nitric acid solutions and a rubbing stone.

    Rub off a mark on a rubbing stone,
    One solution or another will eventually dissolve the gold on the stone as the concentration gets stronger.

    The concentration of the acid mixture will determine the quality of the gold.
     
  6. coinguy

    coinguy Well-Known Member

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    Of course if you were taught the old fashion way, before all the acid mixes, electronic testers, diamond testers etc, you learned to use straight nitric and tell the carat or percentage on silver and gold by the reaction. I still test gold and silver that way, and my tests come out at least as accurate as the mixes. Never forget the first time a saleman brought in one of them new fangled diamond testers. Said it was foolproof. I held it, looked at it and touched my glass counter top. "Six foot long diamond I guess" was my response, as it tested positive for diamond.

    Bottom line, learn the basics and don't depend on all the fancy mixes and test kits. You never know what you will have to work with. when the time comes.

    G
     
  7. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    I learned how gold quality was tested from an offical Assay office.
     
  8. justsayno

    justsayno Member

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    Are there kits available that you can purchase that have the different acid mixes to test gold?
     
  9. coinguy

    coinguy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but......the mixes are acids mixed together and they tend to attack each other over time. Not a long shelf life. You can get gold touch sticks which have a small wire of gold on the end of a known carat. With those wires you can see how it should react, both with the acid mix and with straight nitric acid.

    G