How to Spot Fake Gold Chains(Step-by-Step Guide in 2024)

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When purchasing your favorite jewelry items, it may be pretty hard to establish the gold content in them. There are times when you may not even be able to identify whether they are fakes or originals. Generally, purchasing gold chains physically from a retail shop is a lot easier because you can always ask a jeweler to help you establish their purity level. However, the real challenge comes in when you are buying your jewelry online.

When looking up jewelry online, all you can depend on is the item’s description and customer reviews. Unfortunately, you won’t always find information that supports the authenticity and purity levels of your favorite gold chain. Sounds risky, right?

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 Well, lucky enough, there are multiple ways through which you can verify whether your jewelry is real. That said, you shouldn’t shy away from purchasing your favorite gold chains online. In this write-up, we will look at a comprehensive guide on how to spot gold chains.


How to Spot Fake Gold Chains (Step-by-Step Guide)

Generally, fake gold chains do not contain solid gold, and they are often gold plated. The chains are made of any other metal and are layered with a thin film of gold to make the jewelry piece look like a real gold piece.

When purchasing any gold chains, you should keep in mind that jewelry less than ten karats shouldn’t be sold as gold. On that note, anything below that is fake gold.

To spot fake gold chains, you can use the following visual cues;


1.Compare the size, carat weight, and price of the gold chain you would want to buy

When looking to buy any gold chain, you will come across several options in every jewelry store you end up stopping by. Gold chains differ in terms of size, length, and carat weight. Each of these factors actively contributes to the price tag of the gold item. At the same time, the carat weight and size have the potential to confirm the authenticity of your gold piece.

I bet that you have come across huge gold chains, particularly those that most rappers wear around their necks. When we come across any of these necklaces, the first thing we would assume is that they cost a ton! That happens because they seem quite flashy, if not because they are massive. On the contrary, when we look at smaller chains, we are often quick to interpret that they are cheaper and may not hit the tens of thousands mark.

Well, if you come across huge chains that feature solid gold pendants covered in diamonds, the odds are that the chain isn’t real. Most people who purchase this type of jewelry tend to get it custom made from the jeweler. And that costs a fortune! So, if you come across huge 33mm gold chains going at a throw-away price, try visiting a different jewelry store or browse another collection because you may regret purchasing it later on.

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2.Examine the gold coloring of the chain

Real gold chains have a very distinct color and visual appearance. They have a yellow hue that exudes luxury. The yellow color is never too shiny neither does it appear metallic. So, if you come across a gold chain with a very shiny yellow color that seems a little bit off, you may want to skip that purchase.

Just to add a little more information on this, yellow gold is the easiest color to mimic, and most people may seldom distinguish between real and fake gold.

If you have already made the purchase, you can look out for faded areas on the chain. If you find any parts where the color is starting to wear off, the odds are that it is a fake gold chain.


3.Look through the gold chain for a hallmark

The easiest way to spot a fake gold chain is to identify whether it has a jewelers mark. All jewelers mark their jewelry pieces with a symbol to confirm their authenticity.

Usually, in gold chains, you will find the marker’s mark on a tiny section of metal near the clasp. The stamp is often small, but it gives you information about the purity of the gold used to make the chain.

Other times, you may find other marks such as GF for gold-filled chains and GP for gold plated chains. Overall, these markings are necessary for quality control purposes. They give you crucial information on the maintenance and manufacturing process of the gold chain.

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4.Feel the weight of the gold chain

Solid gold is pretty heavy. Okay, not heavy in the sense that you cannot wear it around your neck, but it is significantly heavier than fake gold. Imagine that you have purchased a 33mm solid gold chain, and it feels light. Wouldn’t you begin to suspect its authenticity?

Generally, a thick solid gold chain should be heavy. If your thick chain is made from a different base metal, you will realize that it is often lighter. Most of the time, you will also notice that its thickness does not match its weight. If you purposely purchased a gold plated chain, then expect it to be light.


5.Check the Diamonds on the chain

Have you ever heard of iced-out chains? Certainly. Well, iced-out pieces are quite the trend, and they add to the bling! Iced-out chains are dope, and the diamonds often add to the drip.

The only problem is that some are made of cubic zirconia, which is passed out as real diamonds. That said, you want to make sure that you are dealing with the real thing unless you deliberately purchased a duplicate!

If you are paying for the diamonds on your new gold chain, it would be a good idea to try this out. Blow on the gemstone on your chain. If the stone fogs up, then you have a fake chain.

Real diamonds have a high thermal conductivity. Just for this reason alone, the condensation from your breath should cling to the gemstone itself, no matter how little it is. This means that when you blow over the diamonds on your chain, it should remain clear. And that is how you know that you just bagged an authentic piece.

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6.Verifying the authenticity of your gold chain

As you have seen, multiple visual cues help you confirm the authenticity of your gold chain. Alternatively, you can carry out a few tests that you can carry out to figure out whether your favorite gold chain is real. These come in handy when you still have doubts after exploring the visual cues.  

  1. A Magnet Test

A magnet test takes a few minutes. It is the quickest way to confirm the authenticity of your gold chain. Generally, Gold is not a magnetic metal, which means that when you hold a magnet up to your new gold chain, they should repel each other.

Unfortunately, this is not the most efficient testing method because gold is often mixed with metal alloys to strengthen it. For this reason, alloys such as Nickel or Copper may stick to the magnet. When this happens, your doubts may heighten.

So maybe you can only try this out with 24k and 18k gold pieces. If your gold chain doesn’t pass the magnet test the first time, you may need to try out other tests to eliminate any doubts you have.


  1. An Iodine Test

The best way to know whether your gold chain is real is to use the iodine test. You have the option to purchase a metal testing kit, which often comes with iodine or any other chemical that affirms the purity of your jewelry.

Once you have the testing kit, take a drop of iodine and place it on your new gold chain.

If your golden chain is real, the iodine should fade off and disappear within a few minutes. However, if the jewelry piece is fake, the brown iodine color stays on for a while.

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  1. Vinegar Test

One thing we all have in our homes is vinegar. I mean, you dress your salads with a little vinegar, right? Vinegar is a great solution to confirm the authenticity of your gold chain. Fill up a small or large bowl with vinegar. The size of the bowl you choose to use depends on the size of your chain.

Afterward, dip the chain into the vinegar and submerge it for about 5 minutes. If it is real, it will maintain the golden color.

If it is fake, you will notice that the yellow hue fades, and the chain begins to darken pretty fast.



There is nothing wrong with opting to purchase a gold plated item. However, if this isn’t part of your intention, then you may want to ensure that the gold chain you are just about to buy is authentic and a value for the buck.

Overall, we recommend shopping with a jeweler that offers returns, just in case your new gold chain is a knock off.

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