Today jewelry counterfeiting is a fairly common phenomenon. For underground producers, counterfeit gold has become a profitable business. Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc is often sold instead of the precious metal. Some brass items are extremely difficult to distinguish from gold items. Try to identify a fake yourself, in difficult cases, contact an experienced jeweler.
It is necessary
- - a gold piece for comparison;
- - magnifier;
- - a sheet of glass;
- - a lap pencil or a special reagent;
- - scales;
- - water;
- - professional expertise.
Examine the piece of jewelry you are about to buy. High-quality jewelry from well-known manufacturers is distinguished by perfect processing: shiny surface on the front and back sides; lack of burrs and cracks; clear drawings; absolutely fixed inserts. If you have a poorly crafted piece of jewelry in front of you, the chances of buying a fake are very high.
Do not trust the first impression of an expensive item, especially if it is sold in a little-known fly-by-night store or market. It is believed that brass is duller than gold. However, a mixture of copper and zinc lends itself well to polishing and can imitate the luster of a precious metal. Some sophisticated counterfeits look no different from 585 gold alloy.
A low quality counterfeit will be easier to spot. You should be alerted by the suspicious shade of the product. Reddish color is imparted by copper (zinc in brass is less than 20%); pale yellow - increased proportion of zinc (from 20-36%). The "golden" ring may be of the so-called "yellow copper", or tompak, a cheap type of brass.
Study gold prices in the current period. Impressive jewelry discounts can also be a sign of a fake.
Find a gold ring that you have no doubt about. It will make it easier to identify fake brass jewelry of the same size. Gold and brass have different densities (19.3 g / cm3 and 8, 2 - 8.85 g / cm3, respectively). A precious piece must be heavier than a fake one. However, for such an examination, you may need accurate scales, for example, pharmaceutical or jewelry scales.
Throw a gold and conditionally gold ring onto a sheet of glass. If you have a good ear for music, then you should hear the characteristic crystal chime - it will be emitted by the noble metal. The sound when two jewelry falls should be similar.
Take a magnifying glass and carefully examine the State hallmark on the jewelry - the mark of the master or company (name) and the sample number (the amount of gold in the alloy). On Russian products you can see numbers 375, 500, 583, 585, 750, 958. On imported ones - carat tests and markings GOLD (gold) or Gold-feld, Goldmult (gold-plated alloy). The presence of a sample, a receipt and a seller's license to trade in gold must necessarily accompany an expensive purchase. In a large jewelry store, all jewelry is labeled with information about the manufacturer, as well as the article, sample number, product weight and price.
If there is no sample on gold, this indicates a fake. However, the brass product may be falsely branded. Compare it with the officially accepted designations. You should be alerted by the crookedly set number and blurry numbers - this is a rarity on gold jewelry.
Moisten the jewelry with water and wipe with a pharmacy liner pencil. The copper in brass will darken from this. Gold alloy 583-585 will not change color, as this inert material does not interact with most acids. You can get professional reagents in a specialized store for jewelers and check the authenticity of gold with them.
All of the above folk ways to distinguish gold from brass will not give you a 100% guarantee if the fake itself was made with jewelry meticulousness. The final verdict can only be reached by a public or private examination in a specialized institution such as an assay office or a reputable jeweler.