Dec 07, 2010, 08:26 PM
The Magnet Test
Is gold-filled jewelry ever bonded to magnetic base metal?
It's pretty common for people testing jewelry or counterfeit coins to use a magnet. Obviously precious metals are non-magnetic, but what about the underlying base metal in gold-filled?
Two things came together to make me ask:
1) I sent some stuff off to ARAGold. I called about the settlement, and the woman said that it wasn't ready yet because the steel in gold filled objects may take a few extra days to dissolve.
2) I saw a very nice looking old gold-colored chain that I was highly tempted to buy and test with my GT-3000, but I ran it past a magnet and there was a weak attraction. Everything about this chain said 'quality'. It had a very nice gold tone that was not worn through at any point that I could find. The round spring type clasp was nicely decorated, but not karat marked. The chain itself, not just the clasp, was attracted to the magnet.
I'll buy that chain if there's reason to believe it's gold filled. It's cheap enough that I could take the hit if it wasn't, but I wanted your advice first.
I ran a magnet over my gold filled scrap, the only things that stuck were some clasps and a watch band that I hadn't yet separated the gold caps.
This one object was not worth typing all that out; but for every reader's future reference - have you ever seen magnetic gold-filled chain?
Thank you for reading.
Dec 08, 2010, 03:59 PM
Re: The Magnet Test
Originally Posted by batcap
If I am understanding your question correctly, I would have to say that I have never seen, nor even heard of a gold-filled chain being surrounded by a lesser alloy, it's always the other way around. Why take the pretty valuable metal and obscure it with a metal of inferior beauty? If you are asking if there is solid gold items that are magnetic, then your answer is: there is no such thing.
Just use this as a rule of thumb, if any "gold" item as any reaction, even in the slightest way, then don't even bother with it. You're dealing with cheap alloy mixed, plated, or even leaf gold covered nonsense.
I would not even use such items as a test for your detector, unless you really want to know the VDI numbers for it to go ahead and find more of it. If you want to test your machine on gold, get ahold of real gold, and you dont have to buy it, just ask a friend or family member to bring thier gold with them and to be a part of the test with you.
Also, you may not even have to test with gold, gold is a nonferrous metal, so is aluminum and lead and more often than not, aluminum and lead comes up on the meters reading as gold.
Does this help you any?
Formerly Known As Cap'n Crunch
Dec 08, 2010, 07:03 PM
Re: The Magnet Test
I guess I was unclear. The "base metal" is the metal under the gold in gold-filled jewelry. Usually it is copper or some other nonferrous (and therefore non-magnetic) metal. This necklace is faintly attracted to a magnet.
Originally Posted by Cap'n Crunch
Also, while gold is not attracted to a magnet, I don't believe it would act as a shield to perfectly hide a ferrous core.
Lastly, and the place where I was least clear, was my reference to testing with a GT-3000. It isn't a gold detector, but an electronic gold tester.
I went ahead and purchased the chain: $7.42. Brought it home and tested it, burned off a layer with acid and retested. It does seem to be either 14k gold-filled or RGP. If it is 1/20 14k GF, the scrap value is a little under $6. A scale and a calculator would have told me it was not a good deal.
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