Ways to differentiate between real and artificial gold

Jewellery 07 Jan 2019

All that glitters may not be pure Gold; here’s how you can be sure.

The BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) hallmark is the most important thing to check when buying gold. If the gold item has the following 4 symbols of the BIS hallmark, the gold is genuine:

  • BIS logo
  • Purity grade and fineness of the gold
  • Jeweller’s identification mark
  • Hallmarking centre’s mark

But what if you wanted to check the purity of your gold at home? You can do so with these simple tests that help you differentiate between real and artificial gold.

  • Magnet test

    Real gold is non-magnetic in nature.

    So, if your gold gets attracted to a magnet, it may be impure.

  • Nitric acid test

    Real gold does not react with nitric acid. However, the acid does react with a lot of other common metals.

    Hence, if you observe a change in colour to light greenish, the gold may not be real.

  • Liquid foundation test

    Apply liquid foundation to your forehead and then rub the gold item on your forehead.

    If a black streak is left behind, the gold may be artificial.

  • Density test

    Drop your gold item in a jug of water.

    Since real gold is heavy, the item should sink.

    If your gold item floats, it may not be real.

    The most fool proof way to verify the authenticity of your gold is by taking it to a jeweller or hallmarking center to get its purity tested.

Gold Glossary


Jad means to be embedded, and jadau jewellery, traditional jewellery of Mughal origin involves a complex method of setting or embedding colourful gemstones in gold.

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