Interested in investing in Gold? Be careful! It isn’t always easy to tell a gold nugget from a copper nugget that has been polished to shine just like real ones. And then there is Fool’s Gold; this is simply the name given to some naturally occurring minerals such as chalcopyrite, bismutite and iron pyrite that look a lot like unpolished gold to the unsuspecting eye.
But there are some ways of testing the nugget and find out if it really is what the seller says it is i.e. gold! And in case you still can’t figure it out, it is always a good idea to consult with a mineral and precious metals expert to help you make the right decision.
As a connoisseur of the finer things in life, Howard Fensterman has a passion for minerals and metals.
According to the professional lawyer and gemstone authority, Howard Fensterman offers the following few ways of ensuring the authenticity of your gold nuggets.
Real Gold Is Heavy
Gold has a specific gravity of 19.3 g; this simply means that it is 19.3 times heavier than a corresponding volume of water. A nugget made of any other metal will feel a lot lighter than a real gold nugget. So if you have ever handled gold, let your intuition guide you on this one. Or better yet, get a weighing scale!
It Always Looks Amazing
Hold the gold nugget under a lamp. Look at it from various angles, turn it around and examine it properly. The color and lustrous shine of a gold nugget remains uniform, but Fool’s Gold will show variations and get caught out! The uniformity in appearance is the secret to figuring out if you have a real gold nugget or not.
Gold is Tough
Try hammering a nail into the gold nugget. Don’t worry; if it really is gold, you don’t run the risk of damaging it. Because if it cracks or crumbles away, it’s not gold.
Real gold can’t be broken away that easily, it may best or dent slightly but it sure won’t crumble under a hammer.
Do the Nitric Acid Test
This is the most effective, foolproof test we have to date. Drip just one drop of nitric acid (be careful) on the nugget. If it fizzes into green foam, it isn’t gold but copper instead. On the other hand, if the nugget is entirely unaffected by the nitric acid, the Gold Nugget is good.
The Last Word
As the value of gold continues to increase, so does the temptation for scoring a good deal on gold nuggets. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
If you’d like to obtain more specific information about the qualities of gold, check out Howard’s article the history and scientific background of this amazing mineral.