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Tips on checking your gold

Elvis Elvis

Not sure if what you have is real gold? Many people are not familiar with the look and feel of real gold, let alone the many markings that appear on various pieces of jewelry. You probably have a lot of items in your jewelry box, so begin by setting aside everything you think might be real. In order to receive your very best price, you’ll need to invest in a few items that will continue to serve you well in the long run.

You’ll need a good jeweler’s loupe so you can search for and read the markings on your jewelry. A loupe will cost around $10.00 and they come in various strengths. I use a 10X and a 20X loupe to search for those elusive markings that usually can’t be seen with the naked eye. The proper way to use a loupe is to hold it right up to your eye and bring the item towards the loupe until it’s in focus.

Rings are obviously stamped on the inside, but pendants can be marked on the bale, which is the loop attached to the pendant.

Tips on checking your gold

A pendant can also be marked on the backside of the rim if it’s holding a stone or cameo. Brooches are usually stamped on the rim or the fastening pin. Earrings are often marked on the post, but can be marked just about anywhere on the back. Bracelets are almost always stamped on the clasp. Keep in mind that some of the markings are so minuscule as to escape detection on the first lookover. In some instances, the mark will be worn off, or in the case of rings, the stamp may have been removed due to sizing.

When looking the piece over, pay attention to places that would incur wear such as the clasps, bales and closures. If you notice a darker metal bleeding through, such as brass, the piece probably isn’t solid. It’s likely filled or plated. Don’t be thrown off by the marking, 14KP, as the “P” stands for plumb, and that means your piece is exactly 14.00/24 parts pure 14kt by law and no less. Lastly, don’t assume that every piece of jewelry marked 14KT is genuine. Phony stamps are easy to purchase, and there is an abundance of falsely stamped metal out there meant to deceive. Remember also, gold has no scent like brass or copper does and it won’t stick to a magnet.