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How to Tell if a Necklace is Real Gold

Jan 14, 2022

A woman wearing a gold necklace

Gold has long been a go-to for lovers of jewelry, and it’s easy to understand why. Gold has been used as a form of currency, jewelry and other decorative items for centuries. It’s bright and beautiful, by turns subtle or showy, elegant or flashy, and it’s versatile enough to be easy for jewelers to work with. But, with all the fake gold on the market, it can be difficult to tell if you’re getting the real deal. A truly precious metal, real gold should be malleable, ductile and corrosion-resistant. It’s important to know how to tell the difference between real gold and faux gold in order to make informed decisions about your products.

Types of Gold Jewelry

Gold can be found in essentially any type of jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and more. Gold jewelry can range from very expensive, high-quality pieces to cheaper costume jewelry. With Acima you can find a wide variety of the best brands, and the hottest styles, without the need to pay cash or use credit.* Find an Acima jewelry store near you today to get started.

Four Ways to Tell if Gold is Real

Drop It in Water

One of the easiest ways to test if gold is real or not is to drop it in water. Gold will not react with water, and it will sink to the bottom. Silver, on the other hand, will dissolve in water and turn into a blackish color. So if you drop your ring in a bucket of water and it goes to the bottom, then it’s probably made of gold.

Pay Attention to Your Skin

Pure gold won’t cause any reactions on your skin. However, silver and copper both will leave marks behind (green for copper and black for silver). So, if you have a green or black mark on your skin after wearing a piece of jewelry, it's probably not gold.

Use a Magnet

Gold does not react with magnets, but other metals do. If your gold necklace or bracelet has a strong reaction to a magnet and sticks fast to it, then you know it's not real.

Take to a Third-Party Jeweler

If you're still not sure if your gold jewelry is real or not, you can take it to a third-party jeweler and have it tested. This will be the most accurate way to determine whether your jewelry is made of gold or another metal, and it’s a great way to get an independent analysis if you're ever unsure of the authenticity of your gold jewelry. Do your research before taking your jewelry to be appraised — the jeweler’s fees could potentially be expensive.

Five Tips to Take Care of Your Jewelry

Regular Cleaning

Cleaning your gold jewelry is essential to keeping it looking its best. You can use a mild soap and warm water to clean it, or you can get a jewelry cleaner specifically made for gold. Be careful that you aren't using anything too harsh, as it could damage the finish and/or stones on your jewelry. We recommend asking your jeweler what they would recommend in cleaning your jewelry.

Store It Properly

When you're not wearing your gold jewelry, it's important to store it properly. This means keeping it in a cool, dry place where it won't be affected by other metals or elements. You can also put it in a special jewelry box or wrap it in a cloth to protect it.

Keep It Dry

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to taking care of your gold jewelry is that you don't want it to get wet. This includes not wearing it in the shower, swimming, or any other activities where it may come into contact with water. While getting it wet once won't destroy your jewelry, it's best to avoid any chances of water damage.

Rotate What You Wear

When it comes to taking care of your jewelry, you should also rotate what you wear. This means that every now and then if you have a collection of gold pieces, don't wear all of them at once. Instead, switch between wearing different ones on different days. By doing this, you're not putting too much stress on any one piece and you're also giving them a chance to "breathe" and avoid any build-up of oils or dirt.

Avoid Chemicals

Lastly, you want to avoid any chemicals when it comes to taking care of your gold jewelry. This includes things like perfume, hairspray, and other cosmetics. These chemicals can all tarnish or damage your jewelry over time.

Common Questions About Gold Jewelry

How can you clean gold jewelry?

The best way to clean gold jewelry is by using mild soap and warm water. You can also use a jewelry cleaner specifically made for gold. We also recommend getting a new, soft toothbrush to carefully brush the gold and diamonds.

How long does gold-plated jewelry last?

The lifespan of gold-plated jewelry depends on how often you wear it and how well you are taking care of it. However, you can expect that your jewelry should last around two years before it starts to become tarnished.

Should I get gold jewelry?

Gold jewelry is a great investment as it is a precious metal that is known to hold its value over time. If you are looking for an item that will last, gold jewelry is a good option. Additionally, gold jewelry can also be worn to special occasions or events and can be passed down as an heirloom.

Can gold rust?

Yes, gold can rust if it is exposed to too much moisture or certain chemicals. To reduce the chances of this happening you should store your gold in a cool, dry place and avoid wearing it while swimming or taking a shower.