To the untrained eye, fake gold can look very similar to real gold because this is one of the most mimicked metals out there. The art of imitation has undergone extraordinary perfection in this century. You therefore need to gather as much info as you can about identifying authentic pieces of jewellery before purchasing one. Gold is a massive investment to make and though it's expensive, you'll see it in quite a number of jewellery stores like Matusik Jewellers. Here are some tips and tests to help you out.
Check for stamps
Real gold is usually stamped in hidden places with figures that show its weight in karats. Search for a small figure like '750' which shows that the gold piece is 75% gold. Additionally, brand manufacturers also place their symbols on the jewellery piece. A gold piece without any mark is a huge red flag and you should avoid buying it at all odds.
This is another highly effective way to determine the authenticity of a jewellery piece because different metals react differently to acid. Lightly scratch the piece, perhaps over a rough stone then carefully pour some nitric acid onto the streak and observe the reaction.
A green colouration shows that the jewellery piece is not gold and neither is it gold plated. If the spot turns to a milky colour, then that is sterling silver that is gold plated. However, if the acid doesn't affect the streak, then it shows that it is genuinely gold. Gold is highly unreactive and is not affected by acids.
Check for discolouration
Real gold is evenly coloured and there should not be any hint of poor coloration. Check for any discoloration, or if the gold is chipped in the friction prone areas like the inside of a ring. If present, then that's an imitation.
If you can have the piece for a day, then you can better test it by wearing it on your neck. Real gold doesn't leave any coloration on your skin and you won't feel discomfort of any sort.
This is an additional test to the jewellery piece. Real gold isn't magnetic and it shouldn't be attracted to the magnet at all. However, this is not a guaranteed method of identifying real gold but it can complement your other tests. You should also know that real gold above 20% alloy can be attracted to a magnet and there are also some counterfeit non-magnetic metals that are used in faking gold.