You may own jewelry that was given as a present on your birthday or during special occasions that you are unaware of its' value. You just think it’s a piece of fashionable jewelry that you can wear such as a necklace, bracelet or a ring. But did you know that there are simple techniques to determine if your trinkets are really precious? They may be of some value or even very high value especially those that are handed down to you from your parents and grandparents from generation to generation. This jewelry can help you if you are in financial stress if you know its' value.

Techniques to know if your piece is real gold:

  • Look for engraved numbers: usually, a real necklace, bracelet or ring, etc has numbers engraved in it which is commonly found at the bottom of the ring or for the necklace, bracelet and anklet; it is located usually in the lock. You may need a magnifying glass to see the engraved numbers since they are too little that it is hard to decipher with your naked eye.  Commonly engraved numbers that determine the karat of the jewelry are:
    •  958 - 23 karat
    • 750 - 18 karat
    • 916 - 22 karat
    • 585 - 14 karat
    • 875 - 21 karat  
    • 375 - 9 karat 

  • Use black stone, acid and cigarette ash for testing: there are new ways of testing the gold karat of your jewelry but using this basic technique is very easy and reliable when determining gold karat. You need to have a black stone to scratch in the gold (there is a specific black stone used during our training). Just choose the blackest one to clearly see the line of gold when you rub it in the stone’s surface. Put a drop or two of acid on it and then add on the cigarette ash and see if the line changes the color. If you see no change or just change a little to reddish, it’s fine it still contains gold. But when it disappears quickly, then it does not contain any gold at all.


  • Other tips: You can just tell if the jewelry it is real or not often just by looking at it. Finely made jewelries usually have Karat values marked, especially Italian and Japanese made. Their designs are really nice and fine. You can tell where it is manufactured through their designs. Saudi made jewelry is usually 18K gold. You can also determine especially men’s ring that are usually bigger are not filled with other metals by listening to the sound when you drop it on the floor. High pitched sounds means it contains pure gold but when you hear a dull thud type sound or by holding it you can feel it is kind of heavier, then it may contain other metals inside. Some local jewelry manufacturers deliberately stuff other metals inside to give it a heavier weight.

Determining your jewelry’s karat is fun and exciting to do. You may never know how much gols you have precisely, but the items you keep inside your home safe may well have a high enough value in the market to save you on rainy days.