Loans on Jewelry


Gold Testing

People from the San Jose area bring us their gold to sell every day.  The question that we get asked the most, is “How can you tell if the gold is real?”  and if it is real, “How can you tell the purity of the gold?”

The purity of the gold is usually stamped on the piece of jewelry.  They typically try to stamp it somewhere unobtrusive, like the inside of the ring, or the clasp of a chain.  Pure gold is very soft, so most gold used in jewelry is alloyed with other metals to make it stronger.  The more alloy in the gold, the less pure the gold is, so the karat scale is used to let the consumer know how much actual gold is contained in their jewelry.

14k (acclaimed 58.33%) = 58.33% – 62.50%
18k (acclaimed 75.00%) = 75.00% – 79.16%
22k (acclaimed 91.66%) = 91.66% – 95.83%
23k (acclaimed 95.83%) =95.83% – 99.95%
24k (acclaimed 99.99%) = 99.95 and above

So as you can see by the above chart, 14k gold is just over 1/2 pure gold and the rest is alloy.

14k gold jewelry can be stamped simply “14k”, or it can be stamped 585 which is the actual content, 18k can also be stamped 750.

Gold jewelry can be stamped either 18k or 750, it means the same thing!

Gold jewelry can be stamped either 18k or 750, it means the same thing!

When a piece of jewelry is not stamped, and we need to determine the gold content for a purchase, we must test the gold.  To test the gold, we scrape a little bit of the gold jewelry onto a stone, and use acid to determine the karat purity.  If we put the 14k gold acid tester on the unknown gold and the gold is dissolved by the acid, we know the purity is less than 14k.  If the acid does not dissolve the gold, we know that the jewelry is at least 14k and we need to test with the 18k gold acid tester.  If the 18k gold acid tester dissolves the gold, we know that our unknown sample is 14k.

From this test we can see that the gold is 14k

From this test we can see that the gold is 14k


From the above test we can tell that the unknown sample is definitely 14k gold, as the 14k gold testing acid did not dissolve the sample, and the 18k gold testing acid did dissolve the sample.

What does this mean to you?

Well, if you are selling a gold ring that is 18k yellow gold, and it weighs 10 grams you have around 7.5 grams of pure gold!

If you live in San Jose, and you have some gold you are looking to sell, bring it in!  We will do all the testing for you and make you an offer!  As one of the largest gold buyers in San Jose we will test your gold, weigh it and pay you a fair price.  We are a licensed gold buyer in San Jose and have been in business for over 35 years.  Have some additional questions?  Call one of our experts at (408) 341-0313


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