You go looking for gold and . . . you find some! Maybe you go to an antique store and find a piece of jewelry that looks like pure, shiny gold, but you find out later that it is only covered with a thin gold plating. Or you discover a gold nugget and find out that it is only a cheap collectible that has been created to look like the real thing, but isn’t.
Those are only two of the ways you can be fooled into thinking that a golden discovery you made is worth much less than you expect. Here are some other ways that your eyes can trick you when you go looking for gold.
You can be fooled when the item you find . . .
Is accompanied by incorrect or falsified documentation
Is only gold-plated or gold-filled, not made of solid gold
Is a counterfeit item, such as a fake luxury watch like Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet
Is a counterfeit or fake coin or bullion bar that has only a thin layer of gold that has been plated onto a core that is made of iron or base metal
Is gold-toned, meaning that it is made of silver or base metal that has been covered with gold-toned varnish
Is really pyrite (also called Fool’s Gold) that looks like gold, but which is nearly worthless
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Many gold-hunters carry small gold testing kits so they can test the items they find when they are hunting for gold. To a certain degree, those kits can help determine which items are made of the real thing, and which are not. The problem is that those kits cannot help you determine whether items are made of solid gold, or whether they are only thinly plated.
Your best strategy is avoid spending too much money on items that might be gold – or that might not. Then if you do buy something, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 and ask how you can send your discoveries to us for professional testing. Our precious metal consultants are here to answer your questions and help you profit from items that contain real, recyclable gold.
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