All That Glitters Might Not Be Gold

If there’s one thing we know at Cash for Your Gold, it’s certainly a seller’s market. The price of gold is near an all-time high set last summer, and silver has enjoyed a recent spike of its own, thanks to unexpected interest through a Reddit forum.

But an increasing number of sellers are keen to know whether they have the genuine article. How can you prove your item is actual gold or silver? Fortunately, we know just what to look out for, so you don’t get short-changed in the future.

Electroplating tricks the seller

An electrochemical process called electroplating has deceived many of you, who bought what you believed to be genuine gold or silver, when in actual fact, it’s simply copper encased in a thin shell of gold or silver. Cheaper to manufacture, electroplated items short-change many looking to realise the value of their supposed gold or silver collections.

One of the tell-tale signs that your item may be electroplated is as simple as checking for wear and tear. True gold and silver are some of the most durable metals on the planet. There’s a reason gold is valued so highly, especially. If your item looks like it’s tarnished in any way, exposing some other base metal, it’s a sign that the electroplated gold or silver has worn away, having been broken down by the base metal below.

True gold or silver items can get the odd scratch, and some items, like old chains can break, but the surface should maintain a uniform shiny quality. The old saying “all that glitters is not gold” is especially important to have at the forefront of your mind.

Check for the hallmark

If studying for signs of wear and tear prove tricky, it might be easier to check for a hallmark on your gold or silver item. These markings are able to serve as a unique seal of approval, showing you information about an item’s purity, as well as the Assay Office and Sponsor’s Mark.

It’s hard to fake these hallmarks, as they include compulsory stamps and are a legal requirement for items of gold weighing more than a gram, or items of silver weighing over 7.78g. If purity is the go-to metric by which you plan to assess your item, look out particularly for numbers such as 375.

This three-digit number implies that the item has been officially assessed for fineness, and found to have a purity of 9 carat, or 37.5 per cent purity. Numbers counting any higher than that, and your item could have a purity of 14 carat or more.

If you’ve correctly identified your item’s fineness, and have an idea for its weight, why not head over to Cash for Your Gold and see how much your item could be worth using our Gold Scrap Calculator? The result is near-instantaneous and you don’t need to send a single piece of gold or silver to use it.

When you’re ready to make a sale with an item of authentic gold or silver, fill in this Seller’s Form, to see what we can offer you today. Why not call us on 01902 623 253 to get the ball rolling, and see how we can help you with your enquiries?