Strangers offering to sell gold become very active during gold price violent movements. There might be a real opportunity here, but how do find out which is genuine, and which is not?
As a rule of the thumb, never buy something from someone you don’t know. Professional scammers and frauds are called pros for a reason; they are masters of deceiving people and convincing them with illusions. Plus, they could change a real gold piece tested with another one in split seconds without blinking or anyone noticing. How-ever the offer they make might sound rewarding, DON’T FALL TO GREED IN THEIR TRAP. Remember that con artists are the most trustworthy and you feel something is not right about them. They are too trustworthy, might I add, but you get this feeling about something fishy about this guy. Trust your heart in this one.
Now, if you know someone is NOT a fraud, how to know the thing he is offering you is not a fake? It could be a gold-plated metal or a real gold item but with lower purity (karats). Gold is usually faked by copper, lead or iron alloys to give the item as many properties as gold. So, to be safe, a series of simple tests is to be done to ensure the item tested is gold or not.
First, the color should be easily distinguished. It depends on how well the item is made and plated. But still if doesn’t have a “gold” color, it isn’t gold. For instance, even if copper being polished to the extreme without being painted or plated, it should be distinguished by the color! Gold wasn’t given the “yellow metal” name for just the fun of it. The inspected item also should have an official mark, or the stamp. The stamp will say the karat or the fineness of this particular item.
Now, to know for sure if this is the true color of the metal or not, there is an extremely simple thing to do, bite it. Yes, biting gold with reasonable pressure is a very effective and practical way to find out. If it is painted, the color of the original metal might appear, and if not, you will find your bite markings. Moreover, you will probably know from the pressure you exerted. Gold is a soft metal, and only lead is a common metal softer than gold.
It might be an item made from an iron alloy, right? One, iron is a much harder metal. Two, check it with a good magnet! A strong magnet will be the ultimate test for iron. Gold is not magnetic, but a strong magnet will not attract iron as well as gold. So, if the item passed these tests, it’s either a well made item, or its genuine gold.
The Next Level
One can never be careful enough, especially if it involves gold and money, yes? If the item passed these tests, it should be taken to a new level. You should also move to a new level yourself and be prepared with a calculator, a pen and paper, and scale. Why? Density is what we are trying to find here! Old man Archimedes was also trying to know if the king’s crown was the real one made of gold or was it being replaced by a fake one. He discovered how to measure density using water.
First, write down the weight of the item in grams accurately. Then, simply put some water enough to submerge the item totally in a container that has millimeter markings. Write down the water level before you submerge the item in it, and write the value after you submerged the item. Calculate the difference between them and write it down. Now, divide the weight of the item in grams on the difference you wrote down. If the result is close to 19.30, it is pure 24 karat gold item.
To know how much gold in a different karat item, just divide the karat on 24. For instance, a 21 karat (more popular karat in the Middle East and less in the U.S. and Europe) contains 87.5% of gold. How? 21/24 gives us 0.875, which is the ratio of pure gold in this item. Multiply this number in the weight to know how much gold in the item. For example, a 21 karat 8 gram ring should contain exactly 7 grams of pure gold.
So, to apply this test on a 21 karat 8 gram ring from UAE, divide 7 (the actual amount of gold in the ring) to the amount of water displaced. If the result was near the 19.30 ratio, it is a genuine item. If not, that’s was a scam.
The best way to avoid scams is by purchasing gold from reputable sellers, they do their tests too, and they know for sure their items is the real thing. Then again, you can never be careful enough. These tests are just to ease your minds if you are in doubt.