How to Spot Fake Gold

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Gold dealers perform tests every day to ensure incoming items are not counterfeit. Learn the testing tricks of the trade in this presentation.

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How to Spot Fake Gold

  1. 1. How to Spot Fake GoldHow to Spot Fake Gold Easy tests for detecting fake goldEasy tests for detecting fake gold chains, bars, jewelry and morechains, bars, jewelry and more Manhattan Gold & Silver | 45 W 47th Street | New York, NY 10036 | 212-398-1454
  2. 2. Fake Gold ScamsFake Gold Scams • Fake gold scams are nearly as old as the jewelry industry itself, so part of the trade is knowing how to properly authenticate pieces. – Amateur and underequipped jewelers are at special risk because they lack the experience and/or advanced equipment to properly detect fake gold. • As scammers refine their techniques of deception, jewelers must continue their training to sharpen their senses for separating authentic and fake gold items. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454
  3. 3. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Jewelry TestingJewelry Testing There are many ways to detect fake gold jewelry. Some simple tests for the jeweler who is out-and-about or otherwise without much equipment include: • Magnet test: Real gold is not magnetic and will not be affected if you pass a magnet over it. As a general rule, precious metal jewelry is not magnetic. – Exceptions to the rule exist, but they are rare. There are some instances where platinum and silver might be magnetized. • If platinum is alloyed with cobalt, it will be a little magnetic. Cobalt is not a common alloy for platinum, it’s most often alloyed with rutheniumruthenium or iridiumiridium. • Some types of plating on silver can be slightly magnetic as well.
  4. 4. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Acid Testing and Hand TestingAcid Testing and Hand Testing • Stone acid testing or hand testinghand testing: The stone assay, or hand test, is a staple among jewelers everywhere. • When used correctly this is one of the best ways to test precious metals. – It must be practiced consistently to be effective when testing for fake gold. • Jewelers with the most experience will be able to use the test to define a wide range of gold percentages or karats (18k, 14k, 10k, etc).
  5. 5. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 How to Perform a Hand TestHow to Perform a Hand Test • The main tool for hand testing is a basalt stone, aka a touchstone. Gold is soft enough to leave a visible line when rubbed on the stone. • Trained jewelers will be able to determine the purity of a sample by judging the color of this line after it reacts to nitric acid. – Different strengths of nitric acid are used to measure different karat levels. Start with a weak acid and work your way up to find the karat level of the gold.
  6. 6. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Metallurgical AssaysMetallurgical Assays • While the previous testing techniques are effective, jewelers that are making large purchases should always rely on metallurgical assaysmetallurgical assays. • Assays are an important part of being a jeweler and are used to analyze the purity of a metal object. – Not only can assays detect fake gold, but they also provide an accurate way to measure the value of a piece (based on its precious metal content).
  7. 7. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 X-Ray FluorescenceX-Ray Fluorescence • X-ray fluorescenceX-ray fluorescence: aka XRF. This type of assay is much more complex than a stone assay. XRF assays are known for being fast and accurate (within ½ percent generally) and do not damage the metal being tested. • During XRF, the outside of a sample is bathed in X- rays. The metal in the sample then emits light (fluorescence) at an energy level specific to its atomic structure. The energy level is measured by the XRF machine to determine the percentage of metals in an alloy.
  8. 8. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Ultrasound AssayUltrasound Assay • Ultrasound testingUltrasound testing: A specialized machine sends an ultrasonic pulse through the gold sample. • If there are changes in the consistency of the metal (i.e. changing from pure gold into tungsten), the frequency of the ultrasonic pulse also changes. – The ultrasound machine detects any changes in the ultrasonic pulse and shows whether or not a sample is really made of solid gold.
  9. 9. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Fire AssayFire Assay • Fire Assay: aka melt testmelt test. A sample of gold is precisely weighed and lead is added. The sample is placed in a cupel and put in a furnace, then heated to 2,000 degrees. • The cupel absorbs the lead leaving only precious metal behind. The amount of pure material extracted from the lead is measured against the size of the rest of the sample being tested to determine its overall purity. – There are a few additional steps to determine the pure metal content, but that is a basic description of a fire assay.
  10. 10. 2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver2013 © Manhattan Gold & Silver www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454www.mgsrefining.com | 212-398-1454 Assay EquipmentAssay Equipment X-Ray Fluorescence Machine Ultrasonic Testing Machine Fire Assay
  11. 11. About MGSAbout MGS Manhattan Gold & Silver | 45 W 47th Street | New York, NY 10036 | 212-398-1454 • Manhattan Gold & Silver (MGS) is a precious metals refiner that has been based in Manhattan’s historic Diamond District since 1985. We are a B2B company that buys and recycles precious metal scraps that accumulate in other businesses. • We serve: – Jewelers – Pawnbrokers – Dentists – The industrial sector – Antique dealers – Machinists – And more! • MGS also creates charts, calculators, and other online tools for our customers to use. – Try our Precious Metals Prices app, which lets you monitor the real-time precious metals market situation from anywhere, right from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
  12. 12. Recycle your PreciousRecycle your Precious Metals for ProfitMetals for Profit • MGS accepts gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. • Payouts are based on the London Fixing. • Up to 99% payout (among the highest in the US) – Up to 98.5% for gold brought in for hand testing. • Not in NYC? Ship us your precious metals using our Ship & Sell which offers: – Same day wired payment (once lot is received) – Discounted, insured shipping – Payout calculator Manhattan Gold & Silver | 45 W 47th Street | New York, NY 10036 | 212-398-1454
  13. 13. Connect with MGSConnect with MGS • For amazing facts, history and news, read our gold and precious metals blog. • Join the conversation about precious metals on the MGS page on Facebook. • Follow gold, silver, and other precious metal trends at the MGS Twitter account. • Circle MGS on Google+ to hear our latest updates. • If you do business with us, connect with us on the MGS LinkedIn page. • To see precious metal melting and refinement in action, visit the MGS YouTube channel. Manhattan Gold & Silver | 45 W 47th Street | New York, NY 10036 | 212-398-1454

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