If you're thinking about selling gold jewellery, then there are some ways to tell if your gold is real, and will fetch a good price.
Here are PJ's top tips:
* Does the gold look too yellow, or not yellow enough ( as in the photo on the left)? If so there's a chance it is rolled gold, or gold plated. A thin layer of gold can be applied to base metal and this means that the value of the item is fairly low.
* Fake gold rings are often made from a steel, brass and nickel alloy. A fake stamp saying `18K' or `750' may be applied and this might look a bit wonky, the numbers won't be clearly defined, when viewed under a magnifying glass.
* Use a powerful magifying glass to check for hallmarks. By law, since 1973, all UK gold items must bear an Assay Office marking. For 9 carat the number is 375, 14K is 585 and 18 carat has 750 stamped on it.
* Typical places for hallmarks are the bail, or loop on a pendant, the inside of a ring, a ringback fastener on earrings, or near the fastener on a chain or bracelet. You will also sometimes see a makers mark (set of initials) or perhaps a `22 or 18' number on older wedding rings.
* On a wristwatch, the 375 nine carat stamp will generally be on the inside of the caseback, so you need to carefully open the watch to check. If you don't have the right tools, this can be tricky - we are happy to have a look for you and there's no charge. Just pop into our Warrington shop anytime after 9.30am.
* If you see the words `gold sil' on your item it is gold set upon silver, which isn't especially valuable in itself. Some jewellery may have `RG' or 'GP' stamped on it, which indicates rolled or plated gold.
* If you buy gold on holiday in the Middle East, or Far East, it will not usually be hallmarked. It might have a stamp saying 18K or 22K on it, but many overseas countries do not have a hallmarking system, verified by their local government - you buy this gold on trust, and because it is NOT UK hallmarked, it cannot be sold on again by UK jewellers, it can only be melted down. This means the value is generally lower than UK hallmarked gold.
Hope these tips are useful and if you need a chemical test on your gold, then pop in and see us ;-)
01925 571 207