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Pattaya Daily News

26 August 2010 :: 14:08:29 pm 36620

Buying Gold? How to Know If It Is the Real Thing

When purchasing gold, it is in your best interest to know if what you are buying is the real thing or not. With the world economics as they are, everyone is out to make a fast buck and what better way especially here in Thailand, than to sell fake gold to all unsuspecting clients who think they are getting a bargain.
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In order to identify whether what you have already purchased is fake or not, collect all the jewelry you have in your possession and a magnifying glass or a jeweler’s loupe. Take a close look at each piece of gold through the magnifier and read the markings.  All pieces of gold are marked according to their purity.


24K  – Pure Gold

18K  – 75% Gold

14K  – 59% Gold

10K  – 42% Gold

The marking can be found near the clasp usually on a small tag which will be either oval or rectangle and in the same gold as the rest of the item. Look carefully for the gold’s karat marking of one of the above or a decimal marking such as .750 to indicate 75% of gold-18K.

If the tag is stamped with EP or GP then the gold piece is plated, meaning the item is not real. It is gold, plated over a cheaper metal to reduce costs. If a mark is nowhere to be found then compare the items of jewelry to see if any have tarnished. The gold will appear dull and silvery in colour if it is fake. Real gold will not tarnish, but can chip or flake. If after examining your piece of jewelry you still cannot determine whether or not it is fake, the next step is the jeweler for an acid test.

Finding out whether the gold you already have is real or not is similar to checking if it is fake. Look for silvery patches where it has worn, if not real gold this is what you will see. Again, look for the gold quality stamp this will be the same as for the fake gold. The higher the number is, the more gold and the softer the metal. Anything marked with a lower number is harder as there is less gold content.

All gold jewelry should have a hallmark and sometimes, depending on where in the world the item originates, there will be lettering after the number to determine which country it was made. Try using a magnet on your piece of gold, if it sticks to the item then it is either not gold or it has a very low gold content. Real Gold will not attract a magnet. Test kits are available for testing gold but usually contain an acid which will dissolve a bit of the item.

If after examining your pieces of jewelry, you are not sure, then the jewelers is the next step and the best option, but be sure to inform them that the item is not for sale and that it is an appraisal so they do not underestimate the gold content or value. Most jewelers will conduct a free appraisal. Gold chains come in different designs and are made to stand out as a fashion statement. During the middle ages and the 18th century, gold chains were given as gifts or rewards for loyal service to the royal courts.

If buying gold chains for investment purposes, it is best to purchase 18K and above. Gold chains of 18K are the most popular as they do not damage too easily.  Gold jewelry of 21K is common in the Middle East along with 18K, 21K 23K and 24K. Anything below these contents is by law not available as it is not considered real gold. Italy has for years been a leader in the design and quality manufacturing of gold jewelry. 22K is popular with them and in many other countries in Europe such as Spain.

Many designs of gold chains in Thailand are distinctively Asian styled and the Thais are renowned for their gold of 23K which contain certain alloys that makes the Thai gold harder and so withstands more wear. Thailand’s gold chains are referred to as “Thai Baht Chains”, so a “Two Baht” chain would weigh 30.4 grams, just below one troy ounce (31.1grams). There is no wholesale or retail price for Thai gold. Everyone pays the going price of the day which is published on a daily basis in the newspapers or by government agencies. The price of a gold baht chain will vary according to how ornate it is and there is no bargaining.

Related Links:

Deceitful Fake Gold Transaction Stifled in South Pattaya

Local police detained a Thai woman in South Pattaya Wednesday, after she had attempted to exchange a fake gold necklace at a local jewelers. The lady subsequently professed that she was unaware the necklace was fake, however police have detained her for further question.

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