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When examining a Gold piece of KARAT jewelry, somtimes looking and identifying the gold jewelry Hallmarks is not enough. For this reason we have the Gold Acid Testing Kits with us at all times when buying gold.
So... how does it work?
Gold Testing Kits includes test solutions for different KARAT jewelry, 10K, 14K, 18K, 22K and somtimes also includes test solutions for Silver and Platinum and test fingers/needles rated with the different karatage and used for control.
Test kits comes as well with a Touchstone , Touchstone has a finely grained surface on which soft metals leave a visible trace when striking them.



On the Touchstone we strike a line of known karatage item (i.e. control) and next to it we strike a line of the unknown item and apply a drop of the appropiate test solution on both and looking at the reactions at each one of the strikes, test and control.
-- If the test strike disappear (i.e. metal dissolve) just before, or at the same time as the control strike, then you know your tested item is at the appropiate karatage.
-- If the test strike disappear immediately then add a lower karatage control strike (control 2) and apply a lower karatage solution on all three and notice again the reactions, the control strike should not be effected or to be effected at a slower rate then the test stike ans control 2 should be similar to the test strike.
-- If the test strike disappear long after the control strike or does not disappear at all, then try to apply a higher karatage solution on both the test and control strikes, the control strike should disappear and the test stike sould slightly be effected or not at all  (aldough, hard to imagine someone will make a 18K piece and mark it 14K)
Please remember, Observation time with any test is 10-20 secunds, longer then that the test is no longer effective, with time and experience one can learn how to inturpate the attack rate of the acid on the metal, the colors it produces etc'..
As you can probably understand by now, it's a game of comparison between a known and unknown samples,
An Example:
Say we have an Unmarked ring, and seller claims it is a 14K gold.
Simply srike the ring along side a control 14K strike, apply 14K test solution and watch.
- Reaction is similar, the ring is 14K
- Ring strike disappear faster then the 14K control, add a 10K strike and apply a 10K test solution on all three strikes, if ring strike still disappear fast then it's most likely not gold, if disappear slowly then it can be 9K gold ring, if remains then it's 10K gold ring.

Acid Gold Testing is not just for the Pro's, the common man can easily learn how to test Gold, Silver and Platinum and with few trial and errors you will become an expert, becoming a better gold buyer and helping friends and family with their jewelry.
You should know that Acid Gold Testing involves hazardous chemicals (nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, potassium dichromate) and testing must be done with latex gloves, away from people and in a ventilated place. Make it a habit for yourself to keep and store all of the paper used to wipe the used acids from the Tuchstone as there are some traces of dissolved gold on it, once accumulated they can have a recoverable amount of Gold.
Current Gold, Silver and Platinum spot prices:
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