People tend to buy authentic gold jewelry while traveling to Saudi Arabia, whether for business or as pilgrims. Gold rates in Saudi Arabia(updated 12th November 2021) for 24K gold per Tola are SAR 2,614.13, which equals US$696.97. Gold rates for 24K gold per 10 grams are SAR 2,054.38, which also equals US$547.70.
While buying gold on their visit to Saudi Arabia, one of the main concerns is identifying real Saudi gold. People often find it difficult to differentiate between authentic gold jewelry and gold-plated jewelry.
This article discusses several ways to ensure you have real gold, all of which you can even do at home.
Ways To Check Authenticity of Saudi Gold:
1. The Skin Test
This test requires you to rub the gold jewelry piece against your hands. Real gold, when in contact with skin, does not lead to discoloration. However, if you have fake gold, your jewelry piece will react with the sweat from your hands, resulting in a skin color change. Your skin will turn a shade of black, blue, or green at the areas in contact with the fake gold.
You can do another type of skin test to make sure you have real Saudi gold. For this, you need to rub the jewelry piece against the skin of an iron-deficient person. A streak of black will form on that area in contact if you have real gold with you.
2. The Liquid Foundation Test
Since gold is a highly non-reactive metal, any traces of discoloration on your skin would mean you have fake gold. However, performing the skin test with a liquid foundation on that contact area gives the opposite results. When real gold is in touch with makeup, it results in skin turning black. Therefore, using a liquid foundation can also help check if you have pure gold.
3. The Float Test
The float test, also known as the density test, can also identify real gold. Gold is relatively a dense metal, and hence, when dropped in a water-filled container, it tends to sink at the bottom of that container. If your jewelry does not float around or stays at the bottom of the container, you possibly have real gold.
4. The Density Test
For this test, you would need
- A weighing scale (to weigh the gold)
- A water container
- An instrument to measure the level of water in the container in milliliters
- Once you have these, measure the level of water and note it down.
- Drop the gold jewelry in the container. Measure the level of water again after you have dropped your jewelry article.
- Subtract both the measurements you have, which will give you the density of the gold jewelry.
The standard density of gold is said to be 19.3 grams per milliliter (g/mL). If the density you have calculated is near this figure, you have real Authenticity Saudi gold.
However, there are differences in densities of different metals. For example, white gold is heavier than yellow gold, and the density of yellow gold of 14K to 22K is between 12.9 g/mL and 17.7g/mL. In comparison, the density of white gold of 14K to 22K is between 14g/mL to 17.8g/mL.
5. The Magnet Test
Holding a strong magnet near gold can tell you whether you have pure gold or not. Since gold is not magnetic, it will not be attracted to the magnet.
However, there can be little attractive force between the jewelry and the magnet. This could be because the jewelry piece is an alloy and contains a small percentage of other metals and gold.
If there is an attraction between the magnet and the jewelry, it means you have fake gold.
Some of the base metals mixed with gold have non-magnetic properties, lowering the reliability of this test. Therefore, this test would be more reliable if done with another more accurate test.
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6. The Vinegar Test
Dropping a few drops of vinegar on the jewelry can also help in you identifying real gold. If you have real gold, no reaction will be there. However, if you fake Saudi gold, your jewelry will change its color.
7. The Nitric Acid Test
Gold being a noble metal, does not react when in contact with acids. To perform this test, scratch the jewelry piece enough to leave a visible mark and then add a few drops of nitric acid to the mark.
The acid would dissolve any other base metals used in making the jewelry.
- If it turns into a shade of green, it means you have fake gold.
- If it turns milky white, it means you have sterling silver.
- If it remains the same, it means you real Saudi gold.
To get rid of the mark, apply some drops of aqua regia (nitrohydrochloric acid) to it. As this acid dissolves gold, if the scratch disappears, you have real gold.
8. The Stamp Test
Check for the karat or weight stamp on the gold jewelry. Real Saudi gold has a weight stamp or hallmarks that show the gold’s purity and the manufacturer. However, this method is not foolproof as anyone can engrave symbols or hallmarks on jewelry pieces.
Moreover, not all authentic Saudi gold jewelry will have these hallmarks. Some vintage gold jewelry did not have stamps, and original stamps and hallmarks on old jewelry could have gradually disappeared. Therefore, this test is not one of the most commonly used tests to check the authenticity of Saudi gold jewelry.
While all of these tests give a good idea about the authenticity of your gold jewelry, they are not entirely reliable.
Therefore, a better way to ensure you have real Saudi gold with you is to have a reputable jeweler evaluate it for you.