How To Test Gold At Home With Toothpaste: A Simple Guide

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Last Updated on: 18th January 2024, 04:36 am

Gold is a precious metal with a long history of being used as currency, jewelry, and other decorative items; it’s known as one of the most stable and inflation-proof investments. Gold is also an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, so it’s often used in electronic devices like cell phones and computers.

Many people have gold sitting in their homes in the form of jewelry and other keepsakes. So, how do we know if the gold we have is real? That’s where gold testing comes in. By running a simple test, we can determine whether the gold is pure or not.

There are a few different ways to test gold, but one of the most common is to use toothpaste. (Yes, toothpaste!) 

Let’s take a look at the process.

Gold Testing with Toothpaste

To test gold with toothpaste, you will need the following items: a small piece of gold, toothpaste, and running water.

  1. First, you’ll need a small piece of gold to test. It can be a coin, a ring, or anything else made of gold.
  2. Next, apply a small amount of toothpaste to the gold piece. Be sure to use plain white toothpaste; avoid any with colored stripes or other added ingredients.
  3. Rub the toothpaste onto the gold for about 30 seconds. You should see a black streak begin to form.
A demonstration of how to identify fake gold using household toothpaste.

Source: Ruth Capio

  1. Rinse the gold piece under running water. The black streak should disappear, leaving the gold clean.
  2. If the black streak disappears, that means your gold is real! If the spot remains, unfortunately, your gold is not pure and is likely an alloy made with copper or low-grade silver.

While this test is not 100% accurate, it’s a quick and easy way to check if your gold is real. So the next time you’re at home, give it a try, and you can get a good idea as to whether your piece is genuine.

Why Does This Test Work?

This test works because toothpaste contains a small number of abrasive particles. When you rub the toothpaste onto the gold, these particles work to remove a thin layer of the metal.

The toothpaste will not affect real gold, but impure gold will change color. The black streak that appears is due to the presence of other metals, like copper or silver.

Keep in mind that this test will not work on gold-plated items. The toothpaste will remove the thin layer of gold, revealing the metal beneath. So if you’re testing a gold-plated item, check for the hallmark stamp first. This stamp indicates that the item is made of real gold.

Now that you know how to test gold with toothpaste, you can be sure that your gold jewelry is the real deal!

Other Ways to Test Gold

There are a few different ways that you can test gold at home. But unlike the Toothpaste Test, you will need to invest in a gold testing kit, which you can purchase online or at most jewelry stores. With this kit, you can test the karat of your gold and determine if it is real. 

Here are a few different ways that you can test your gold:

Karat Test

When it comes to gold, the word “karat” is used to denote the purity of the metal. The higher the karat number, the purer the gold. For example, 24-karat gold is 100% pure, while 18-karat gold is 75% pure.

So how do you test the karat of your gold? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a gold testing kit, which can be purchased at most jewelry stores.
  2. Clean your gold. Use a soft cloth to wipe away any dirt or grime.
  3. Place the gold on the test stone. The test stone is included in your gold testing kit.
A closer demonstration of how to identify fake gold using household toothpaste.

Source: Dan Hurd

  1. Apply the acid solution. The acid solution will react with the metal to determine its karat purity. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with your gold testing kit.
Materials needed to identify fake gold using household toothpaste.

Source: Treasures and Adventures

  1. Compare the results. The color of the acid solution will change based on the karat purity of your gold. A chart is included in your gold testing kit to help you determine the karat purity of your sample.

Now that you know how to test the karat purity of your gold, you can be sure that you’re getting what you paid for!

Magnet Test

Another way that you can test your gold is with a magnet. Here’s how:

  1. First, obtain a strong magnet. A neodymium magnet is ideal for this purpose, but any powerful magnet will do.
  2. Next, hold the piece of gold in question next to the magnet.
  3. If the gold attracts the magnet, it is not real. Gold is not magnetic, so if it sticks to your magnet then it's probably made of some other metal.
A demonstration of how to identify fake gold using magnets

Source: Arcadia Economics

  1. On the other hand, if the gold is not attracted to the magnet, then it's likely to be real. 

So there you have it! The next time someone tries to sell you a piece of gold, make sure to put it to the magnet test before handing over your hard-earned cash.

Float Test

Yet another way to test your gold is with the float test. Here’s how it works:

  1. First, fill a cup or bowl with water.
  2. Next, drop your piece of gold into the water.
  3. If the gold sinks to the bottom, then it is real. Gold is one of the densest elements on earth, so if your piece of gold is heavy enough to sink, then it's probably the real deal.

A demonstration of how to identify fake gold using a cup of water.

Source: LACONIC Jewellery

  1. On the other hand, if the gold floats to the top or hovers in the middle of the cup, then it is not real. 

With the float test, you can quickly and easily determine whether or not your gold is real.

Final Thoughts

Gold is a valuable metal, so it is vital to ensure you are not being scammed. With some testing, you can be sure that your gold is the real deal. These methods have been proven time and time again by various groups that have successfully spotted fake gold using toothpaste and other household materials.

Whether you've just received a gold gift item or come into possession of a family heirloom, you should test your gold if you are not 100% certain of its authenticity or origin. There are ways to test gold at home with items like toothpaste and a magnet. However, the most accurate way to test gold is with a gold testing kit from a jewelry store.

When in doubt, always consult a professional. A trained jeweler will be able to quickly and easily assess the quality of your gold. Want to protect your gold investments from taxation and let your holdings accrue value over time? Check out our reviews of the best gold IRA companies in America.

Nick Saraev
Nick Saraev

Nick Saraev is a technology writer with a particular interest in macroeconomics and entrepreneurship. He's been featured in publications like Popular Mechanics and Apple News.

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