Real gold can be difficult to identify because most gold is mixed with other metals. That is because pure gold is too soft to be used for jewelry; it would get damaged right away if you tried to wear it. One problem with testing gold at home is that if you want to test some of your own jewelry for gold content, you need to destroy the jewelry to perform the test. The best way to test your jewelry is to bring it to a jeweler.
Things You'll Need
Take your gold to a jeweler and ask for an x-ray to determine the gold content. This is the fastest, easiest and safest way to test your gold. You won’t damage your jewelry or injure yourself, and most jewelers can perform this task for a nominal fee.
If you don’t want to take your gold to a jeweler, stick your gold with a pin. If the pin breaks, what you have is definitely not gold. Gold is very soft. This test could damage your jewelry.
Test your gold in hydrochloric or sulfuric acid if you absolutely must find out at home if what you have is gold. Shave off a small piece of your gold with a sharp razor. Place the shaving in a glass jar. Put on some rubber gloves and pour a tiny bit of acid over your gold. Other metals will dissolve, leaving you with pure gold. Obviously, this test would ruin your jewelry. Acid is very dangerous and can cause you, your clothing and your drain pipes serious burns if you’re not careful.
If an at-home acid test seems like a bad idea, wear your gold jewelry and check if it discolors your skin. Real gold will not discolor or give you green skin, but fake gold might.