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Being able to quickly and easily determine whether the materials you are working with are precious metals or just decent forgeries can be a valuable asset for any home jeweler. Sometimes it is enough to simply know if the metal is gold or not, in other situations you need to know the quality of the metal you are working with. Home testing or DIY methods can let you know if the metal is in fact gold or not. There are kits online that allow you to determine the quality of the gold you are trading with.

There are simple, home methods that can be used to differentiate between something made of gold and something made of a less precious metal. The easiest test is to hold a magnet next to the metal piece you are investigating, if the object is attracted to a magnet it is not pure gold. Another simple test is to carry the object in question; if it leaves the green mark back it is not pure gold.

Other tests include rubbing the object on an unloaded porcelain tile, if the remaining strip is yellow it is gold, if the stripe is black then it is not pure gold. There are many other DIY tests that can be done with simple items found in your home. As mentioned earlier, these tests only let you know if the object in question has any gold in it or not. To more accurately determine the amount of gold, or carat, that a piece of jewelry has, you should purchase an acid testing kit.

In general, acid testing kits contain several bottles of different strength acids to determine carats for a particular piece of gold. Karat refers to the purity of the substance; for example, 24K gold is greater than 99% pure gold where 14K gold is only 58% pure. The basic premise of the test kits is to scrape off a piece of the metal in question and try to dissolve it in the acid, depending on the amount dissolved or the acid used, you can tell how pure the gold sample is.

Most bets require you to take a sample of the gold you are trying to research. This can be done by scraping the piece with a sharp needle or razor and getting a small sample of the object in that way. Other products come with stones that you have to rub on the item to leave small specifications of the piece. Be careful not to damage too much what you test during this process. Depending on which batch you use, the next step is to use the acid, according to the instructions in the kit, to test the sample. Start with the weakest acid, probably a 10K gold acid test formula, and move to the strongest you drop small amounts on the samples you have taken. Notice which acid causes the sample to dissolve, this gives you an approximate estimate of the density of the gold you are working with.