How to Test Gold at Home with Vinegar

Vinegar makes food taste awesome, doesn’t it? But do you know that it can serve other purposes? 

Vinegar is a household item that can be used in several household hacks. The most interesting of which is testing the purity of gold. 

In this article, we will find out how to test gold at home with vinegar.

Gold is an incredibly beautiful, shiny, and valuable metal that is used to make coins, jewelry, watches, medals, and whatnot. However, not all gold jewelry or coins are of the same quality. 

There are some that are made of almost pure gold, and others that have a lower gold grade. 

So how can you tell if gold is pure?

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to test the authenticity and quality of gold is to use vinegar. 

Vinegar reacts differently with different metals, but pure gold jewelry won’t be affected by vinegar.

On the other hand, vinegar will change the color of jewelry that isn’t made from pure gold.

This step-by-step guide will show you how to test the purity of gold with vinegar at home:

Steps To Test Gold with Vinegar

Testing the purity of gold with vinegar is as easy as following these steps:

Step 1 – Prepare the Suspected Gold

  • Take a cloth, towel, or a piece of tissue paper.
  • Wipe the piece of gold to be tested to remove any debris, dust, or liquid from its surface.

Step 2 – The Actual Experiment

  • Take a clean bowl or glass.
  • Pour some vinegar in it.
  • Put your suspected piece of gold in it.
  • Another method is to put the piece of gold in the glass bowl. Afterwards, pour some vinegar on it or put a few drops of vinegar on the piece of gold.

Step 3 – Wait for the Reactions

  • Leave the gold in the vinegar for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Next, take the piece of gold out of the vinegar.

Step 4 – Rinse the Gold

  • Rinse the piece of gold with cold water.
  • Wipe off the water with a tissue or towel.
  • Make sure there are no traces of vinegar left on the piece of gold.

Step 5 – The Results

  • Observe the color and shine of the gold.
  • If it shines and retains its original color, then it’s pure gold.
  • If you notice any discolorations, unfortunately, your gold is fake.

Isn’t this quick and easy?  

Anyone can check the purity of gold using vinegar. It is an inexpensive and easy method.

Pure gold does not react with the acetic acid and does not change its color or corrode. Whereas, other metals easily corrode and change their color when they come in contact with vinegar.

But wait, is this method of checking gold’s authenticity safe?

After all, vinegar is an acid, can it be destructive to the piece of gold?

Is Checking the Purity of Gold with Vinegar a Safe Method?

This method is a completely safe procedure to check the purity of gold. 

Moreover, if your gold is real, this method will bring shine to your gold. Yes, this is true! Real gold is often cleaned using white vinegar. 

It removes the visible impurities from the surface of the gold and enhances the shine of the gold.

Can We Use Any Type of Vinegar for This Test?

Well, this is a good question because there are different types of vinegar. 

It is important to know which vinegar you should use for performing this method.

Normally, white vinegar available in stores everywhere is the most suitable for this test. 

Apple cider vinegar has not yet been known to be used for this experiment. 

However, you can use any vinegar for this method but make sure that the vinegar has high acidity. 

Nevertheless, white vinegar would be ideal in this case.

Is This Way of Testing Gold at Home Reliable

Good news! This is one of the reliable gold testing methods

Besides being super quick and easy, the use of vinegar for testing the authenticity of gold is a reliable technique. But remember, this test is good for the yellow gold, not for the white gold. 

White gold reacts to things differently as compared to golden gold.

What if you have to check your gold’s purity but you have run out of vinegar? 

Well, that’s not a thing to worry about. There are plenty of other methods to test gold at home. 

Let’s move ahead and have a look at other methods to check the purity of gold by using household items.

Some Other Methods to Test Gold

Few other safe and easy methods to check gold’s authenticity are as follows:

1.     Bleach testing method

You perform this test in similar steps to the vinegar test.  Of course, you have to do this with more precautions. 

Real gold shows no difference upon reacting with bleach; whereas, fake gold changes its color. Moreover, upon reacting with impure gold, bleach undergoes bubbling and the color changes, too. 

This is not a safe and foolproof method; thus, it’s not recommended.

2.     Skin testing method

When fake gold comes in contact with human skin and sweat, the color of the gold, as well as your skin, shows some alterations. This suggests that the suspected piece of gold is not pure.

3.     Magnet testing method

Pure gold is not attracted to a magnetic field. Take a magnet and place it near your gold. 

If the suspected piece of gold is authentic, it will not attract towards the magnet. If it’s fake, it will move towards the magnet.

4.     Floating test method

The density of gold is more than that of water. Therefore, when you drop the piece of gold in a glass or bowl of water, it will sink to the bottom. Whereas, if you find the suspected item to be floating on the surface of the water, unfortunately, that’s a fake gold piece.

5.     Nitric acid testing method

This test is very similar to the vinegar testing method. However, here you use nitric acid in place of acetic acid; that is, vinegar.

Pour some nitric acid on the scratched surface of the gold. The suspected piece of gold is fake if the scratch dissolves in it or turns green. If you see no changes, the piece of gold is real.

6.     Ceramic testing method

Keep the suspected piece of gold over an unglazed ceramic surface and observe the marks. If the marks are black, the old is fake. 

Whereas, if the marks are golden, then the gold is pure.

Final Thoughts

So now you know how to test gold. Check the authenticity of your gold by using household items and save yourself from being tricked!

Please keep in mind that the different methods mentioned here are not foolproof and sometimes might give inaccurate results. 

In this case, you can take the jewelry to an expert for testing if you have any doubts about the quality of the gold.

So, this is it. This was our take on ‘How to test gold at home?’. 

We hope that you liked the article and found it helpful. If you have any doubts or suggestions, please feel free to let us know in the comments section below. 

Happy gold testing!

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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