Gold testing is necessary to determine if your jewelry is real gold or not. Baking soda is a basic household staple, and you can use it for a whole lot more than just making cookies. It’s a great way to test for gold!
This article will tell you how to test gold with baking soda and give you step-by-step instructions on how to do so. It’ll also discuss other alternative ways of testing for gold at home.
How To Test Gold With Baking Soda
In a pot or cup, mix water and baking soda (three parts of baking soda with one part of water). Take your gold jewelry and fully submerge it in the solution. Please leave it in for half an hour, then remove it and rinse under running water. Then dry it with a cloth.
If there is a reaction (usually scratching), the gold is genuine. This is because real gold is too soft, and any abrasive, even mild ones like baking soda, will easily scratch it.
Gold And Its Properties
There is no doubt that gold is one of the oldest and most valuable metals globally. Only about 2.5 billion ounces of gold globally (above ground), making it one of the rarest metals on Earth.
It has an extremely long history, but it is still a sought-after commodity even today.
The name “gold” comes from the Old English word “giol,” which means yellow. Gold is among the least reactive metals in the world.
It doesn’t react with oxygen or water, so it doesn’t tarnish at all. That’s why gold has been used for coins and jewelry for centuries.
The most common ore from which gold is obtained is called “gold telluride.” Gold properties make it valuable because it is resistant to corrosion, has a high thermal and electrical conductivity, and does not tarnish over time.
Properties Of Gold
Gold resists oxidation for long periods; gold does not react with atmospheric oxygen at all. The surface of the gold is very hard and non-porous, which makes it resistant to both corrosion and contamination.
The metal is very resistant to corrosion doesn’t corrode in the air or water. This means that if you treat it properly, gold items can last for thousands of years.
Gold is a soft, heavy metal with a bright yellow color that doesn’t react to anything. Gold is not magnetic and does not dissolve in water or alcohol.
High Thermal And Electrically Conductivity
Gold is a good conductor of electricity.
Dissolves Only In Nitro-Hydrochloric Acid
Gold can be easily damaged by scratching or dissolved in nitric acid to form gold ions.
Malleable & Ductile
Because of its malleability, gold can be drawn into thin wires and hammered into sheets so thin they are transparent.
It is one of only three elements (the others are platinum and mercury) that are both noble and malleable or capable of being drawn out into thin wires.
Sectile means that gold is a very soft metal and is usually combined with other metals to create alloys.
The purest gold is 24 carat, which means that it is 91.6% gold and 8.4% other metals. In the Mohs hardness scale, gold has a hardness of 2.5, which makes it very soft compared to other metals such as steel (5), iron (4), or titanium (4).
Its purest form has a beautiful yellow color, like unrefined gold.
Gold is very durable and doesn’t scratch easily. It also maintains its shine even after being used for a long time.
How To Test Gold In Various Ways
Nitric Acid Test
Many people use the acid test for gold, which involves adding nitric acid to determine if it will dissolve or not. This is an accurate test.
Rub a piece of gold jewelry on a black stone, which will leave a noticeable mark. Check the mark by immersing it in nitric acid, which dissolves the mark of any non-gold object. If the mark persists, check it with aqua regia (nitric acid and hydrochloric acid).
Gold cannot replace the hydrogen from the supplied acids because it is likewise less reactive than hydrogen.
The Magnet Test
Place the gold jewelry on a wooden surface. Gradually get the magnet closer to the gold. If the gold is attracted to the magnet, it is not genuine gold; meanwhile, it is real if the magnet doesn’t affect the gold.
Prepare a vinegar solution by pouring vinegar into a cup. Drop your jewelry inside and let it sit for 5 minutes.
If the metal of the jewelry changes color, it is not pure gold; if it continues to shine, you have genuine gold in your hand.
You can also use a liquid foundation. Pour some liquid foundation into your palm, smooth it into your skin, then set it aside to dry. Rub your gold on the spot where you’ve put the foundation.
If that region becomes black or rubbing the gold leaves a black mark, the gold is pure. However, if rubbing the gold does not harm the foundation-applied region, then the gold is not genuine.
Place the gold in a cup full of water. If the gold sinks completely, it’s genuine; if it floats, it’s fake. Gold sinks in water because it is less dense than water. Gold density is 19.3 grams per cc, while water is 1 gram per cc.
Use a Q-tip (cotton swab) and place it in iodine. Rub the iodine on the gold and wait to see any color change. If it turns dark, it’s genuine because gold reacts to iodine and becomes dark.
How Can You Tell If Jewellery Is Real?
Jewelry makers have used natural gems in jewelry for centuries. Their beauty and rarity have made them favorite monarchs and aristocrats who could afford to adorn themselves with the most expensive jewelry.
Synthetic stones are made of glass, plastic, or resin; real stones from natural materials such as rock, crystal, or gemstone. Jewelry should be made of gold, silver, copper, brass, or nickel if it is real.
Jewelry is often the perfect gift for a loved one but can be hard to trust if you’re unsure what you’re looking for.
Ask A Jeweller Or Appraiser
The one sure way to tell if your jewelry is real is to have a jeweler or appraiser inspect it. They will tell you more about where, who made it and how old it is. A jeweler will also test your jewelry for authenticity if you are unsure whether or not it is real.
You can, however, learn to recognize the different clues that will allow you to spot fake jewelry with a little practice:
The weight of the jewelry is an important signifier of authenticity. Real jewelry will be heavier than counterfeit items. The first thing to check is the karat weight.
A piece of jewelry will always list the karat weight on it somewhere. If it doesn’t, it’s a red flag that the jewelry is probably fake.
Check For Residue
Rub the surface with a coin and rub it onto a cloth to see if any residue is left.
Use A Magnet
If you think the weight is off, touch the stone with a magnet and compare it to other magnets. Gold is non-magnetic and will not attract magnetic components.
Check metal quality and content.
Next, check the metal content. Anything gold will have a stamp on it with the metal content. If there is no stamp, then it’s likely not real gold. Gold is usually 10k, 14k, 18k, 22k, or 24k K, standing for karats.
Look at the metal quality too. If it appears too perfect to be true, it’s probably is fake. Genuine metal will show signs of wear from daily use.
Know how to spot synthetic gemstones
If you’re buying a gemstone, check the color under different light sources. Synthetic gems may have a much deeper color in artificial light than natural light.
Check for flaws in the design.
Genuine jewelry will have small imperfections that make it unique. These imperfections can be tiny chips or scratches on a stone, fingerprints on the metal, or marks from the setting process.
Fake gems may look perfect but will be made from lower-quality materials and often lack a certificate of authenticity.
In this article, we’ve looked at a few ways you can test gold with baking soda. However, if you’re after a foolproof method that works every time, then the nitric acid and aqua regia tests are usually your best options.
It’s important to test for the presence of gold when panning for gold. And because gold is often mixed with other metals, it can be difficult to tell if you have pure gold on your hands. To ensure you’re getting the most- pure gold possible, follow our simple guide in this article.
We hope these tips have been helpful!