Are you interested in gold nuggets? Maybe you’ve tried prospecting, but you have nothing to show for it. You can always buy a gold nugget but how do you know what you are buying is the real thing? There are lots of people who sell gold nuggets online that look like the real thing, but are worth nothing more than just a hunk of rock with paint on it. So, how can you tell what’s real and what’s fake?
Most experienced prospectors who have experience handling the metal can tell the difference between real gold and fake gold by just looking at it. If you are new to the gold collecting industry you should pay careful attention to avoid being swindled. Here are some fakes that can pass as real gold to an inexperienced eye.
Iron Pyrite or “fools gold” is relatively easy to identify. It has a brassy color and typically has crystals bunched up together. Iron Pyrite is harder than gold and more brittle. It also has a reflective surface that bounces off light like a disco ball. In the olden days people lost a lot of money on prospecting and buying fools gold because they did not know any better. These days, it’s hard to pass pyrite as gold, but some people have fallen for scams because they did not know better.
These are gold plated copper nuggets that actually feel like natural gold nuggets. The trick is that 24k gold is often used to plate these copper nuggets which makes them look convincingly real. There is nothing wrong with copper nuggets. There are a lot of reputable companies who sell gold nuggets made with copper, but you should know that this is what you are buying, not the real thing. It is easy to get duped into buying one of these if you are buying your gold online because you only have a picture to go on and not the actual nugget. If you could hold one of these in your hands, you would notice that it is light. Gold has a specific gravity of 19.3g whilst copper has a specific gravity of just 8.9, so gold is heavier than copper. This is something you would be able to feel if you could handle the nugget. .
Lead is heavy and when it is plated with 24k gold you can pass it off as real gold – to a unsuspecting novice. Cast lead ‘gold nuggets’ usually have an odd shape, but then most gold nuggets do. However, they have an unnatural shine.
Man-Made Gold Nuggets
Some fake gold nuggets are made of actual gold by people who melt real gold and shape it into a nugget. These are not natural and could be made from scrap gold like gold from jewellery, gold dust and even gold used for dental fillings. You never really know what has been added to form these. People go to great lengths to pass these off as real specimens. Man-made gold nuggets are harder to spot because they look and feel like real gold until they are melted down again and all the junk comes out. Most of these gold nuggets are made with low grade gold like 10k or 14k grade so an acid test should be able to prove whether they are real or not.
The best way to avoid fake gold nuggets is to buy your gold nuggets from a reliable gold supplier. Be weary of gold nuggets that are sold cheaply and if you have to buy from an online store, make sure the seller has a good reputation and excellent reviews.
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