Identifying Gold, Silver, and other Precious Metals

Gold, Silver, and other Precious Metals you may find Metal Detecting

After a day gathering your golden treasures you will wonder what is gold and what is golden. There are different markings that manufactures use around the world and then sometimes you may find a gold object that is old or just not marked but that is rare. Bring a small magnet to see first of all if the object is magnetic. Gold and silver are not magnetic. The markings inside the rings may indicate the karat such as 10k, 14k, 18k, etc. I understand that some countries are using 9k and others use different markings. If you see a silver colored, non magnetic ring it may be platinum and may be marked with a PI. Gold rings may be marked with foreign markings that do not use the karat mark but indicate like some silver rings a rating such as 925 which means that it is 92.5% silver or in the case of gold rings the percentage of gold. If you find a gold ring that is marked with 417 that is a 10K gold ring with is 41.66% gold and rounded off to 41.7 and the decimal is dropped. Use the following formula on the rings with a karat marking to determine the percentage of gold: #k divided by 24k(pure gold) multiplied by 100 equalsthe percentage of gold as the following examples:

10k divided by 24 and multiplied by 100 = 41.66% pure gold
14k divided by 24 and multiplied by 100 = 58.33% pure gold
18k divided by 24 and multiplied by 100 = 75% pure gold
22k divided by 24 and multiplied by 100 = 91.66% pure gold

I have rings that are silver but marked as such and these may be antique Mexican or Indian rings which have been created by hand in a remote area. The worst thing you can do with a find is jump to a conclusion and throw a valuable ring into the junk box. I use a very strong magnifying glass and look close at gold rings to see first of all whether they have nicks that reveal that they are only gold plated. If there are no nicks indicating another discolored metal underneath then look very closely at the scratches and see how soft the metal is. I look at the deepest scratches because a soft gold ring will scratch deeply and still show gold. It may be necessary for you to create a very small tool to use to scratch the gold to see if it is plated or solid but unless the ring is gold plated over silver it should show as magnetic and have nicks on it. Deep scratches that still show gold are good but the best indication that you have a gold ring will come from a gold test there areĀ Acid Testers and the less mess but more expensive testers like TRI ELECTRONICS GT-4000 ELECTRONIC GOLD TESTER, I actual have and use this unit and its really great almost full proof. The karat marking could wear off if the ring is very old and the gold content is high. Beaches where Europeans vacation are good for 18k gold and most domestic beaches just have 10k to 14k gold. Another indication that the rich folks may not come from America.

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