How to Find out if Jewelry is Gold Plated

Jewelry is crafted from a wide variety of different materials, each adding a different look and feel to the piece. Sometimes it’s really hard to distinguish a luxurious piece of jewelry from a constructed fake. If you’re planning on selling some of the jewelry you’ve been holding onto, you might need to check gold and silver prices, as the percentage of actual minerals within the jewelry will determine the selling price.

Look for Gold Plated Jewelry Markings

One of the fastest ways to determine if gold is real or not is to check for any gold markings. There are a few different markings that you may find on your jewelry with these initials; GP, GEP, RGP, HGE, and HGP. The most common marking used on gold plated jewelry is the GP initials, which stands for “gold plating”. The next most common you will see is the GEP marking, which stands for “gold electroplate”. The third most common would be RGP markings which means “rolled gold plate”. HGE/HGP which stands for heavy gold electroplate.

Perform an Acid Test or Magnet Test

The next step to take if you can’t find any sort of markings or indications of gold plating is to consider doing either an acid or magnet test. These tests can help determine if your jewelry is gold plated or made of other materials such as silver, as the price of silver per ounce can still be valuable. An acid test requires that you either buy a kit or take it into the jewelers. It works by selecting a tiny fragment of minerals off of your jewelry and soaking it in acid, if there is a color change, you will be able to identify the metals and materials it is made out of.  Magnet testing is when you try to attract your jewelry to a magnet. This can easily be done at home. Gold does not react to magnetic fields, therefore if your jewelry is attracted to the magnet, the piece may contain other types of metals. However, take this in warning, this just means that the main component of your jewelry isn’t gold, not that it doesn’t contain gold. Check here.

Gold Coloring

Lastly, one of the easiest methods to tell if your gold jewelry is real or not is to look at the color. Real gold jewelry is crafted with gold alloy, giving it a mixture of hardness. Take a good look at your jewelry and see if you can identify any bumps, lumps, or wrinkles. There’s a high chance that if you can that the gold is real and is valued at a higher price.  Any intense yellow colors that appear to be smooth all around are usually gold plated and worth less. Look for chippings in the jewelry as well, sometimes you can see the underlying metal.

Conclusion

No matter what your reason for identifying if your jewelry is gold plated or not, this guide will surely give you some ideas. Just remember that the best method for identifying if the jewelry is gold-plated or real is to give it a magnet or acid test. This was you can distinguish which mineral or metal it may be made out of and get a better idea of the value of it. If you find that your jewelry is made out of silver, which is the most common, you should put your silver for sale instead of pawning it. To find out more, check out http://www.beadandhandicraftjewelry.com/how-to-avoid-white-gold-turning-yellow/

 

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