How-to-Tell-if-a-Gold-Chain-is-Real Rosery Poetry
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How to Tell if a Gold Chain is Real

Mar 20, 2024

Do you want to buy a gold chain? Gold chains can be very pretty. They come in many designs like link chains, rope chains, and box chains. Chains can be worn short or long. Some people layer several chains together for a bold look. But with so many choices, how do you know which gold chains are real?


It is important to check that a gold chain is real gold before you buy it. Some chains only look real because they are gold plated. These will not have the same shining beauty and value of real solid gold. This article will teach you everything you need to know about how to tell if a gold chain is made of real gold.

What is Real Gold?

The first thing to understand is what we mean by "real gold". Gold comes in different purities called "karats". The most common types of gold used for jewelry like gold chains are 10k, 14k, and 18k gold. 10k gold is 41.7% pure gold and 58.3% other metals. 14k gold is 58.3% pure gold and 41.7% other metals. 18k gold is 75% pure gold and 25% other metals. 24k gold is 100% pure gold but is very soft and difficult to make into jewelry.


Most gold chains for everyday wear are made from 10k, 14k, or 18k gold because they are durable enough. You should look at the numbers or letters on the chain to see what karat it is marked. Real solid gold chains will have these purity markings.

Solid Gold vs Gold Plated

It is also important to know if the chain is solid gold all the way through or just gold plated on the outside. Solid gold chains are entirely made of gold alloy and will last a very long time with proper care. Gold plated chains have a thin covering of gold put over a cheaper metal like nickel underneath. These chains may say "GP" for gold plated and will not feel as heavy as solid gold. Some gold plated chains try to look like solid gold and do not have any markings.

Weight of the Chain

A good sign that a gold chain is real is that it will feel heavy in your hand. This is because pure gold is a dense metal. Gold plated chains will feel much lighter since most of the metal is a cheaper material rather than gold. When looking at different 14k solid gold cuban link chains, choose one that has good weight to it rather than feeling flimsy or light. A real gold chain should feel solid and heavy.

Checking the Stamp or Markings

As mentioned before, legitimate gold jewelry is required by law to have a purity mark telling you the karat of gold used. Look closely at different areas of the chain for very small numbers or letters pressed into the metal. Real 10k, 14k, or 18k gold chains will be clearly stamped. If you cannot find any markings or the chain claims to be gold without stating the karat, it may not be solid gold. Be wary of unmarked chains claiming to be gold.

Let a Jeweler Examine It

If you still have doubts about the authenticity of a gold chain, the best way is to take it to a jeweler you trust for professional examination. Jewelers have special tools called acid tests that can confirm the purity of gold alloys. An experienced jeweler will also know how to identify visual signs of a gold chain being real like quality of soldering joints or the type of metal used in clasps. A jeweler examination is the surest way to authenticate a gold chain, especially antique or vintage pieces missing purity markings.

Testing the Chain Yourself

While not as accurate as a jeweler's examination, there are some basic tests you can try yourself:

  • Rub a small area of the chain vigorously with white paper. Real gold will leave a gold colored smudge while other metals will not.
  • Use a strong magnet. Real gold is non-magnetic, so it should not attract to a magnet at all. Some gold alloys may show a very weak attraction.
  • Apply fingernail pressure to a prong or link. Real gold will not leave permanent indentation marks but will spring back into shape. Weaker metals may show fingernail dents.
  • Real gold has a slightly yellowish tint and luster that does not rub off easily. It also does not tarnish or corrode like other metals when exposed to air.

No single test is definitive, but combining results can tell if a gold chain is likely authentic real gold or not. You should also only do brief, small testing to avoid damage to delicate gold jewelry.

In the end, knowing your jewelry is authentic real gold is reassuring, especially for an expensive purchase like a fine quality 14k solid gold cuban link chain. With proper care, real gold chains fashioned by quality craftsmen can become treasured family heirlooms passed down through generations. Spending a bit more money on real gold ensures you receive both beauty and value for your investment. Just follow the simple tips in this guide to ensure the gold chain you want truly sparkles with the real thing!

Luxury Gold Chains Rusting - Can it Happen?

People sometimes wonder - can expensive gold chains actually rust or lose their shiny luster over time? The answer depends on the type and purity of gold used.

Pure 24k gold is actually too soft and delicate for everyday wear. Lower purity gold alloys like 10k, 14k, 18k are mixed with other metals like copper and nickel to strengthen the gold for long-lasting jewelry pieces. While pure gold does not rust, these alloyed gold compositions can experience some discoloration due to chemical reactions depending on storage conditions and usage.

  • 14k and 18k gold chains worn regularly are less likely to rust or tarnish since human oils polish and protect the surface of the gold. As long as the chain is cared for as instructed, it should maintain its gold glow for decades of wear.
  • Chains made of 10k gold may show slight discoloration more quickly than 14k or 18k. The lower gold content makes it more prone to minor reactions. Gentle polishing can often restore the shine.
  • All gold left immersed in water, perfumes, cosmetics, or exposed to humidity/air pollution over many years risks greater tarnishing. Make sure to remove your gold chain before activities that could damage the finish.
  • Proper storage is important too. Place gold in a cloth bag or box rather than wrapped tightly where it can't breathe. Avoid contact with materials like leather, rubber, wool that may interact with the gold.

So in summary - high purity solid gold chains are designed to last a lifetime with fair wear and care. With some basic maintenance like occasional polishing, valuable 14k gold cuban chains and other luxury gold necklaces should retain their sparkling luster and value for decades to come! Let me know if you need any tips on gold chain care.

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