Last week, a friend of mine approached me looking to have some of her gold and silver melted down. She brought me a combination of watches and jewelry that she thought contained some level of gold or silver. She wasn’t sure of the content since most of the pieces weren’t stamped. If an item isn’t labeled, it can be difficult to tell if it truly is made of gold or silver. There is, however, an easy trick that can usually tell you if your piece is gold or silver. Hold a magnet next to the piece; if the piece is attracted to the magnet, it’s not gold or silver. The majority of precious metals are not magnetic. There is a chance that the piece is gold plated, which would still attract the magnet, but it does not have a high content of gold or silver.
Even if your jewelry is stamped, you should know that 14K gold is only 58% gold. The other 42% is a mixture of different alloys. Pure gold is 24K, but it’s very seldom used in jewelry because it’s so malleable. In order to make the piece stronger they stick with a mixture of gold and alloys like silver and copper. So even when the piece is stamped 14K, it’s not pure gold. This is a good tidbit to keep in mind when not only selling, but when buying jewelry as well.
Good luck and happy hunting!