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How to test gold coins at home

If you have recently bought gold coins you might wonder how you can check their authenticity. Below we will give you a few simple ways how to test gold coins at home without the need for expensive gold tester kits.

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1. The gold coin ping test

Lay the gold coin on the top of your finger and strike it gently with another coin.

The gold coin ping test is a very quick way to test wheter your gold is real or not.  If you gently strike your precious metals with another coin it will make a long, high-pitched ringing sound as opposed to base metals, whose respective sounds will be much shorter and duller. To perfrom the ping test for your gold coin do the following:

  1. Lay the gold coin flat on one of your fingers
  2. Strike it gently with another coin
  3. Listen for a high-pitched long ringing sound.

If you are in doubt what you should hear, listen to this youtube video.

2. Test with a gold coin app

If you want to go the extra mile you can also verify the “ping” of your gold coin with an app. Their are several gold coin apps out there that let you do this for free. The one that we like the most is “pingcoin” for android. As of time of writing pingcoin currently supports 35 different gold and silver coins that you can test for free through the app. They support most of the major coins such as the krugerrand, maple leaf and the american eagle.

By recording the sound produced by your coin the app is able to tell you if the coin is genuine or fake. The app will compare the characteristic sound of the coin to reference values that were recorded previously. For each coin and for each frequency a tolerance threshold is displayed. If the coin’s frequencies falls within these thresholds, it will almost certainly be genuine. 

Verify your gold coin with a ping test app. 

3. Test your gold coins weight and size

The following test is also a fairly simple way to test your gold at home.  Bullion coins come with a specific set of weight and size. This will give you a reference point to test your gold coin’s authenticity. Since gold is one of the densest metals on the planet, it’s close to impossible to replicate the exact physical properties such as seize and weight. For example a fake Maple leaf would need to be thicker or wider to exactly match the weight of the real one. Similarly, a Fake Maple Leaf that has the exact dimenions of the real one will be noticeably lighter.

Below you can find the weight, size and thickness of the most traded bullion coins world-wide. 

#Gold CoinWeight (g)Diameter (mm)Thickness (mm)
11 oz Krugerrand 202031.103532.772.84
21 oz Maple leaf 202031.1035302.79
31 oz Kangaroo 202031.103532.102.80
41 oz American Eagle 202031.103532.702.75
51 oz Vienna Philharmonic 202031.103532.702.75
61 oz Britannia 202031.103532.692.79

 

#Silver CoinWeight (g)Diameter (mm)Thickness (mm)
11 oz Krugerrand 202031.103538.73.1
21 oz Maple Leaf 202031.1035383.15
31 oz Kangaroo 202031.103540.602.75
41 oz American Eagle 202031.103540.62.98
51 oz Vienna Philharmonic 202031.1035373.2
61 oz Britannia 202031.103538.613

Test the weight and size of your gold coin with a caliper. 

4. The magnetic gold test

For this test you will need a stronger than average magnet, meaning that the magnet should be capable of pulling up a metal such as your coin. 

Gold and silver are not magnetic. Fake gold, or gold that is not pure will likely be attracted to the magnet if you hold it close. If your gold coin does nothing, it is another indication that your gold coin is pure and you are not dealing with a counterfeit.

FAQ

Can you test gold with vinegar?

Yes. Place a few drops of vinegar onto your gold coin. If the drops change the color of the metal, then it is not pure gold. If the color stays the same it is pure gold.

Does 14k gold stick to a magnet?

No. If its real gold the gold will not stick to a magnet, because gold is not magnetic. Fake gold will attach itself to the magnet, or will leap to the magnet. 

Can bleach tell if gold is real?

All precious metals can be tested through the use of an acid test that will only harm fake materials. However, we recommend using one of the above methods, which are less cumbersome. 

Will silver stick to a magnet?

No. Silver is not magnetic and will not stick to a magnet. If it will, or if it slides quickly it is not silver. Keep in mind that just because the magnet does not stick it does not necessarily mean that it is silver. You should perform more tests, listed above. 

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