How to test if gold is real

How to test if gold is real. One of the most asked questions by people is, "Is my gold real? This article is so you can learn how to test if gold is real. This article will only cover gold in quartz, gold nuggets and other raw forms of gold. Most people come in and say "I looked it up, and Im SURE its gold", or "My friend told me it was gold" and 99/100 we have to say "Sorry, but thats iron pyrite, and it MIGHT have gold in it, but the shiny stuff you see is not gold"

So lets start with the first part of the test that a lot of people overlook, and that test is the eyeball test. Does what you're looking at actually look like gold? Or is it sparkly and the grayish or silver in color? Natural gold, looks like gold, it looks like jewelry, it's a buttery yellow color, and it's "soft looking”. If you look at this picture you will see a gold ring next a couple of different kinds of gold naturally occurring in their rock. I am using a light source to show the difference between Gold which shines and pyrite which sparkles. You will distinctly see the gold looks like gold, and the pyrite does not.

If you look closely you will also notice that the large rock that the gold ring, gold nugget and gold rock are sitting on has very sharp, fractured and angular shape. The gold however is smoother and rounded off.

Another test you can use thats quite simple is to break off a small chunk of what you think is gold and then hit it with a hammer, does it crumble and turn to dust or does it flatten out? If it crumbles its pyrite, if it flattens out it very well could be gold and warrants further testing! (Pyrite can also contain gold so don't discount that you may have gold, but it is typically a very small percentage of the sample and takes crushing, roasting and smelting the product to remove the gold and it generally takes truckloads to make it worthwhile) .

There are of course some exceptions to the rule and you can find some crystallized gold in cubic shapes that will have a greyish tint to them, and of course chalcopyrite has a yellower tint to it than iron pyrite. Iron pyrite is more common and is also referred to as "fools gold". If you have any questions "a picture is worth a thousand words", we are willing to look at pictures of any samples you have and give you some input as to what you may want to do next. You can comment in the box below, find us on Facebook or call us 509-Goldbay (509-465-3229).

test gold

These 4 specimens below are ALL gold in quartz. You can see that the "metal" is DISTINCTLY gold color. It is NOT gray, green, brassy or other color. The "gold" looks like 14k gold jewelry, if you set a sample next to a wedding ring or 14k gold chain its going to give you a reasonable "visual test".

These 8 specimens below are ALL pyrite (aka fool's gold) in quartz and other host rock. You can see that the "metal" is DISTINCTLY NOT gold color. It is gray, greenish, brassy and in some cases dull. The "pyrite" (mineral) DOES NOT looks like 14k gold jewelry, if you set a sample next to a wedding ring or 14k gold chain its going to give you a reasonable "visual test" as compared to gold!:-)

About the Author Mlgdave

I started Goldbay in 1999 as a response to man-made or fake gold nuggets being auctioned on Ebay. I wanted a site that could control the authenticity of products and connect gold nugget buyers with a reputable source

  1. Thank you for the input.. I have several quartz rocks, from a quartz vein, in a location where gold has been found.. I thought I hit the mother load, until taking a look at these pictures. Maybe persistence will pay off.. I’ll keep trying.. =D

  2. Would you let me know how to share a couple pictures with you to get your opnion?

  3. I’ve got this hard rock, I don’t know but I think I’m having a gold on my hand.

  4. I have a white rock that I believe has gold in it,would you please look at a picture and give me your opinon?

  5. Hello my name is Rachel and I found a rock that has took me literally to the moon and back . At first thought it was a meterite but I had it test at the New England Laboratory in New York and they said that it wasn’t . Seen then I’ve found many of them . There very beautiful and remind me of sea coral. Could you please take a look and give me your opinion it will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  6. Looking for someone to come to my property to look at rocks and boulders that may contain gold and silver and other minerals. I live in a mountainside near the old mines of Bethlehem Steel co.

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