Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Thing # 187--Is It Real?

I saw yet another ad today from a company that was anxious to buy my "unwanted" gold jewelry. Over the years, I've collected random rings, bracelets, and watches from my grandmother, parents and in-laws. Although I have NO desire to get rid of any of the jewelry I have--too many memories go with it--I wondered if there was a simple way to find out which pieces were costume and which weren't. Today I tested my gold jewelry to tell if it was real gold.

wikiHow had several different ways to test. Some of the the methods needed scientific equipment, so I ruled them for my informal experiment. I decided to use the streak test. I rubbed the pieces of jewelry across an unglazed porcelain tile (which I had in the backyard from an unfinished craft project). wikiHow said that if the jewelry left a black streak then it wasn't gold, and if the streak was golden yellow I had real gold.

I took a handful of jewelry outside and started rubbing. Much to my amazement, I DID get different color streaks from different pieces!

These were not gold:
  • My college ring (I knew this wasn't real; I never would have paid for the real thing)
  • A garnet ring from my mother-in-law
  • An opal ring from my mom
These were:
  • My Dad's wedding ring
  • An old cocktail ring from Mom
  • A bracelet marked 14k on the inside (yes, I threw in a ringer for verification)
wikiHow didn't tell me, though, if I would get the same results if the jewelry was plated gold, so I guess if I really want to know I'll have to take it to a professional.

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