3 Things To Look For When Buying Gold Jewelry From A Private Unknown Seller

If you are looking to buy gold jewelry, you may have decided to try to buy a piece from a private seller. However, because the person is not known to you, you may have reservations about whether the gold is real and of good quality. If so, look for the following three things before you buy gold jewelry from a private, unknown seller.

See If the Surface Is Flaking

The first thing to check when examining a piece of gold jewelry is the surface. If you see any flaking on the surface that reveals a color other than the surface color, the piece is most likely not solid gold.

Instead, the piece may be either gold-plated or vermeil. Both methods of making jewelry are similar, as they each use a thin layer of gold to coat the surface of the piece. However, gold-plated jewelry may use any metal, while Vermeil uses silver as the base metal.

Either way, if you see flaking of the plated surface and the seller claims the jewelry is solid gold, you may want to think twice about buying the piece. This is especially true if the individual is asking for the full price of a solid gold piece of jewelry.

Drop the Jewelry in Water

If you found no flaking on the jewelry, this is not necessarily a sign that the piece is gold. Another way you can check for its authenticity is to drop the jewelry in a glass of water.

Because gold is heavy, the piece should sink straight to the bottom. However, if it floats on the top or in the middle of the glass, the piece is not gold.

Look for the Hallmark

If you feel that the jewelry is made from gold, there is another thing you can check to see if it truly is real. Look on the underside of the jewelry to see if you can find the hallmark, which is the manufacturer's stamp of authenticity.

Most major jewelry houses will stamp a piece of solid gold jewelry with their brand, as well as the weight of the gold. If the piece does not have a hallmark anywhere on it, you may want to pass on buying it.

Even after examining the jewelry closely, you may still not be able to tell whether the quality of the metal is good or even real. To avoid being cheated, you may want to abandon your efforts with unknown sellers and buy your jewelry from a reputable jeweler who is knowledgeable about the different types of quality of gold. Check with places like Dock Bros Pawn Shop for more information.