The Collector’s Guide: Can You Tell Fine Gold Nuggets from Fakes?

Gold nuggets make for excellent jewellery if the craftsman knows how to work with natural gold, but they also have the most value to those looking to collect, invest or perhaps even both. Nevertheless, whether it’s about taking advantage of the rising gold prices or finding the next fine piece for your jewellery collection, the real question is how you can tell the quality. If someone is trying to sell you a convincing fake, you want to be able to avoid being scammed.

Fortunately for us, gold is such a unique metal that it is very hard to replicate without leaving identifiable marks. There is also the question of adequate knowledge, of course, which we are going to impart on you next.

Where Was It Found?

As we are dealing with natural gold, the geographical location is a very big determinant of quality. Aside from Australia, where some of the world’s finest gold nuggets have been found till date, Canada and Alaska are the two other places where high-quality gold nuggets are found. However, if someone is selling low-quality gold nuggets, they may also lie about the nuggets’ origin, which is why the next point is so important.

What is a Reliable Source?

Unless you really know your gold nuggets, it’s best to use exclusively reliable and reputed sources. This is especially true if you are going to make a purchase online, as reputable sellers are rare. There are a few gems out there, however, and if you  buy gold nuggets from Nuggets By Grant, which sources its collection from Orocal, you are using a trusted company.

In any case, the seller should be able to provide you with a Orocal Certificate of Authenticity, and they should have a reputation in the niche market.

Telling Real Gold Nuggets from Fakes

This is not going to be easy for someone who isn’t properly initiated with the basics, but just in case you find yourself in a place where you have the opportunity to collect a few gorgeous nuggets at a good price, check for the following to be sure that they are original gold and not fakes.

  • Odd shapes and too much sine may indicate cast lead covered in gold, and these are toxic.
  • Copper nuggets are harder to tell but will feel a lot lighter in hand than a similarly sized gold nugget.
  • If an electronic test reveals the gold nugget to be <14k, it’s likely a manmade gold nugget

With the exception of high-quality manmade gold nuggets, which are almost impossible to tell apart from natural ones, all other fake metal nuggets will be lighter, and the seller will likely not agree to even a simple acid test.

In case you are new to collecting gold nuggets or buying gold jewellery made from natural nuggets, it’s best to stick to a trusted supplier rather than trying to risk telling fake from real all on your own. Eventually, though, you will gain enough experience to tell even the most intricate fake gold nuggets from the natural ones, simply because you have seen the real thing far too many times already.

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