How to Test The Purity of Gold Jewelry at Home Using Bleach

Are you sure if your gold jewelry is 100% pure? 

Bleach can be used to find out the authenticity of gold. 

In this article, we will see how to test the purity of gold with bleach at home.

Many simple household items can be used to check whether your gold is pure or if it just looks like it. 

Everything that has a golden shine is not always gold. 

It might simply be a gold-plated metal, or maybe the golden tint of the base metal makes it appear to be real gold.

To find out the value of that shiny golden piece of metal, there are certain ways to test gold purity at home. One of those ways is by using a household bleaching agent

It sounds strange, doesn’t it? Is it possible to test gold purity with bleach? 

You bet! You certainly can, because fake gold readily reacts with bleach whereas, pure gold doesn’t. 

Performing a bleach test to check the authenticity of the gold is quick and safe. 

Let’s find out how to perform a bleach test on gold.

Steps To Test Gold with Bleach

Follow these simple steps to check the purity of your gold with bleach.

Cleaning With Bleach: 6 Reasons Why You Should Be CautiousStep 1 – Which bleach to use?

  • Scented or colorfast bleaches are not suitable for performing this test. They might damage your gold jewelry.
  •  Use plain chlorine bleach for testing your gold.

Mistakes You're Making When You Use Bleach for Cleaning | HGTVStep 2 – Prepare for the test

  • Take a glass bowl, not a plastic one.
  • Wear gloves to keep your hands safe from the harmful effects of bleach.
  • Put in the appropriate amount of bleach in that bowl based on the piece of gold you want to test.
  • The piece of gold should be completely immersed in the bleach.

7 Tips to Polish a Gold RingStep 3 – Prepare the gold item to be tested 

  • Scratch the surface of the gold piece.
  • Make a deep scratch. In case the suspected piece is plated with gold, the scratch should be deep enough so that the bleach can penetrate the gold plating.

How to Test Gold at Home | Nationwide Coin & Bullion ReserveStep 4 – The Experiment

  • Drop the piece of gold in the bowl of bleach and carefully observe it.
  • You have to look for the changes in the color of the suspected piece of gold.
  • The reaction is mostly subtle.
  • Some bubbling may take place, and the bleach might change its color, too.
  • Look for these changes, and if any of them occur, unfortunately, that piece of gold is not pure. 

Either it is plated with gold or some metal tinted with golden color to imitate the gold.

  • If you see no changes in the color of the suspected metal or the color of the bleach. Voila! The jewelry piece is of fine pure gold.

Step 5 – Remove the suspected piece 

  • Remove the piece of gold immediately from the bleach.
  • Either pure or fake, it shouldn’t remain in contact with bleach for long.

4 Ways to Clean Gold Jewelry - wikiHowStep 6 – Rinse the suspected gold

  • Use cold water to rinse the suspected item thoroughly.
  • Make sure there are no traces of bleach left on it.
  • Gently dry the piece with a tissue or towel.
  • Discard the bleach very carefully.

This is how you test gold at home with bleach. 

But wait! There are a few things you should remember.

Things To Keep in Mind When Testing Gold with Beach

Don’t get started with the bleach test on your suspected item right away, just out of the excitement. There are a few things that you should know, and keep in mind before performing this test.

  1. Bleach test is not the best method to test gold items

Remember, there are many better techniques for testing the purity of gold. Moreover, testing your gold with bleach isn’t conclusive at all. Plus, it can be destructive to the piece of your jewelry. 

You can always visit your jeweler to perform non-destructive tests, moreover, you can look for marks from makers or brands on the jewelry or watches.

  1. Worth of the suspected item

Your heirloom’s worth does not lie in the amount of gold it contains. Its history and memories are its real value.

So, if the suspected item is the family heirloom, the bleach test is not recommended at all. Undoubtedly, the worth of a small amount of gold can’t be compared to the piece’s inherent value.

  1. Other parts of the suspected piece may get damaged

You have to be very cautious if the jewelry to be tested contains pearls or stones. Bleach may destroy many stones beyond repair. Moreover, several antique decorations and stones tend to be completely dissolved when exposed to bleach.

  1. Bleach test may damage the item

In performing the bleach test on the suspected item, you have to scratch the item deeply. 

This is done to make sure that the bleach penetrates the gold-plated piece. 

By scratching the piece of gold, its value is undoubtedly decreased.

So, these are a few things to consider before performing a bleach test on your suspected piece of gold. 

Taking these points into consideration, you may decide not to bleach your gold.

What to do now? 

Don’t worry, it might be a good decision as there are several other ways to test the purity of gold. The best thing is that those ways are less destructive than the bleach test.

Other Methods to Test Gold

Let’s go through some less destructive gold testing methods, which can be performed easily at home:

  • Skin testing method

This test doesn’t give out instant results, but it is a good way to test the purity of your gold jewelry. 

If your jewelry makes your skin appear greenish or bluish, it’s confirmed that the gold is not pure. Remember, pure gold never changes your skin color.

  • Magnet testing method

Pure gold is not attracted by a magnetic field. Place a magnet near your suspected piece of gold, if it gets attracted towards the magnet, then it is not pure gold. Rather, it might be some other metal that had been gold-plated or tinted to look like gold.

  • Floating test method

Pure gold is denser than water. Drop the piece of gold in a bowl or glass of water. If it floats on the surface of the water, it is not real gold. Whereas, if it sinks to the bottom of the glass or bowl of water, then the gold is pure. 

This test is not reliable, however, you can not completely depend on this method to declare whether the metal is pure gold or not. This is because there are other metals that are denser than water.

  • Vinegar testing method

Real gold doesn’t change its color when it comes in contact with vinegar. Put a few drops of vinegar on the suspected piece of gold, if it changes color, it is not pure gold.

Ta-da! These were a few tried and tested methods to test the authenticity of gold at home. 

Now, it’s completely up to you whether to take your gold to an expert to test its purity, or to perform experiments with it using the identified household items to determine whether you own a real fortune or just looks as good as gold.

All the best!

D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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