How to test with your New Kit
Step 1: Wear Gloves and Unpack
Take out the testing acids, testing stone, some ammonia (or Windex) for cleanup, and a put on a pair of latex gloves.
Step 2: Inspect
Inspect each piece of gold, looking for karat marks on Jewellery and fineness on bars.
Step 3: Scratch
Scratch (making a separate line) each piece gold from a given group against the stone. You will test these lines.
Step 4: Use the Acid
Apply a drop of the acid to each item’s representative line. Watch for how much gold remains, as opposed to base metal dissolved by the acid.
Step 5: File it.
Concerned that your gold isn’t living up to the hype? Take a tough metal file and scrape deep into it. Put the exposed area into several drops of acid for 30-60 seconds. See green or significant activity? Don’t risk it.
Step 6: Clean your area
Its always best to clean the scratch pad with a paper cloth that you have sprayed with water or Windex TM
The acid test just told you roughly what % of gold is in front of you. Now you can make a much better decision on the risk of fraud. Remember to always be careful and if unsure, file some more.
Now That You Know How to Test Gold with Acid, How Does it Work?
Strictly speaking, there really aren’t many scientifically validated ways to test gold. Moreover, there are very few ways to test gold easily and at a reasonable cost. That’s where the chemistry comes in. Remember that scratch you made on the stone? You left a very fine residue of the metal on it. You are then experimenting on that residue to determine the composition of the whole. While it requires sacrificing a tiny amount of gold on the stone, it leaves the rest of the material intact (unlike melting it).
The acid test works for the same reason many people find gold pleasant to wear. It is extremely stable and won’t react to anything but the strongest of compounds. Pre-determined strengths of of aqua regia (latin) with increasing amounts of nitric and hydrochloric acid will dissolve varying amounts of metal. The stronger the acid the gold withstands, the more pure it is. Equipped with an acid-test kit and knowledge, you should be a little more confident in buying precious metals, regardless of from friend or foe!