How to Tell If Gold Is Real

Most authentic gold jewelry pieces bear a hallmark, a small stamp noting the karat weight of the gold. On jewelry items of American origin, this usually shows up as a number followed by the letter K. For instance, a piece of jewelry that bears the hallmark 24K is made from 100% solid gold, while an item inscribed with 14K is roughly 60% gold. For European jewelry, the hallmark usually includes the percentage of gold in three decimal points. In France, for example, a 14K bracelet might be stamped .583. While this can be valuable in determining if the gold is real, two exceptions are very old, genuine vintage jewelry and jewelry that has been crafted outside of Europe and North America.