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what do pawn shops use to test gold?

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Usually they use a nitric acid mixture to determine if the metal is gold. Base metals will bubble while gold will not. They have various strenghts of acid to determine whether it is 24K, 18K, 14K, 10K etc. The acid will not harm the gold although it will turn base metals black if not wiped off quickly.

Life is a one lap race. Make many pitstops.

Most pawn shops do NOT have a jeweler on the job. They may have the old guy who has been around the longest who acts as the expert when someone brings in a piece of jewelry, but he still isn't a jeweler. That said, some pawn shops truly do have a jeweler on the job. Ask. 

Most of the times they will simply be looking at the stamps on the inside of the ring band or necklace hasp looking for 10, 14, 18, 22 K. They then can determine based upon weight, the amount of actual gold contained in a piece of jewelry. If you bring in gold nuggets or gold dust, they will rely on the look of the gold and ask you in what region the gold was found. There is an acid test that can be done to simply assure the nuggets are gold, but it isn't going to be done very often unless you have  a large quantity. 

The best rule of thumb is, pawn shops are in the business of making money by giving you a lowball offer on the item or hoping if they loan to you you aren't going to come back. This is not the place to bring your gold to by any means. Take it to a jeweler or better yet, a coin shop where you will be paid according to the daily spot gold prices. A pawn shop will try to get as much as they can for themselves. A jeweler will give you close to the value and if it's jewelry will likely pay you for the item based on it's actual jewelry value. A coin dealer will be buying for the gold and will pay you the daily spot price minus a very small handling fee.  

I may not be Mr. Know It All, but I knew him well and he taught me much.

1. Using small quantity of Acid to test (rub) the gold into the black stone, small scar appear to the gold to ensure the gold is not fake or replica.

2. Gold weight scale measure.

3. Gold Tester (Electronic Gold Tester)

4. Scope lens 

5. By nature; Smell (usually fake gold smell strong metal)   

 

Thank you ;)

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