If you are looking to add a few fresh pieces to your jewelry collection, you likely want to get value for money. The last thing you would want is to pay for solid gold but get gold-plated jewelry instead.

If you are not a gold expert, how do you know if you are getting what you are paying for? Here is a complete guide on that.

Gold Plated vs. Solid Gold

Solid gold jewelry is seldom made from 100% gold. Instead, it’s a gold alloy that is consistent throughout an entire jewelry piece.

On the other hand, a gold-plated jewelry piece is jewelry made from a different base metal, then covered in a thin layer of gold.

What are some of the methods you can use to differentiate the two? Here are some ways to test your jewelry.

1. Initial Stamps

Gold Jewelry Stamp

Gold jewelry will often bear some markings on it. These are good indicators of what a jewelry item is made of.

  • GP: gold plated
  • RGP: rolled gold plate
  • GEP: gold electroplated
  • HGP or HGE: heavy gold electroplate

These stamps are a good indicator that the jewelry you are buying is not solid gold. However, use this cautiously as some manufacturers do not label their plated jewelry, so this method is not fool-proof.

2. Magnetism

Solid gold is not magnetic.

If a piece responds to a magnet, it probably has other metals aside from gold. However, solid gold is too soft and is difficult to work with. For this reason, it's always alloyed with other metals before manufacturing metal pieces.

The best way to use this test is in combination with others because you can never use it to differentiate solid gold from gold-plated jewelry conclusively.

3. Color

Jewelry plated with 24k gold has a deep yellow hue. Solid gold jewelry, on the other hand, is alloy metal. The metals mixed in with pure gold alters the color, so the final product does not have the intense yellow color.

Solid gold also used the same alloy throughout a single piece, making the color consistent all around. However, gold-plated jewelry can have color changes if the coating is unevenly done or wears off in some places.

4. Acid Testing

This is among the more reliable testing methods whether you have solid gold or a gold-plated jewelry item.

The acid test can reveal two things. The first is the karat of a solid gold jewelry item. The second is whether jewelry is gold-plated or solid gold. With this test, a sample of the jewelry is extracted and exposed to acid.  The resulting color indicates the metal the jewelry is made of.

There are ready-to-use testing kits available for sale. Nonetheless, you would still need a skilled professional to interpret the results.

Take The Uncertainty Out of It

Another way to be sure about what you are buying is by purchasing all your jewelry from a reputable vendor. At Play With Diamonds, we deliver what we promise. If you are looking for wholesale top-quality real solid gold jewelry, come to us and take the guesswork out of it.