How to Test Gold With Vinegar

By Rachel Terry
How to Test Gold With Vinegar
Ignacio Lopez/Demand Media

If you've ever wondered whether a gold piece is real gold or some other type of metal, you can find out without taking it to a jeweler or pawn shop. Using equipment and ingredients you already have, you can test the authenticity of gold with a very simple test conducted in your own kitchen.

Step 1

the gold piece, the clean wash cloth, any dust, dirt
Ignacio Lopez/Demand Media

Rub the gold piece with the clean wash cloth to remove any dust, dirt or contaminants. If there is any stuck-on dirt or grease, get the wash cloth wet and scrub it off.

Step 2

the eye, dropper, two or three drops, vinegar
Ignacio Lopez/Demand Media

Use the eye dropper to place two or three drops of vinegar onto the gold piece. If the piece is very small or doesn't lay flat, put the gold into a small bowl so the vinegar can stay in contact with it.

Step 3

any changes, the gold piece, Gold, a stable metal
Ignacio Lopez/Demand Media

Observe any changes to the gold piece. Gold is a stable metal and does not react with oxygen corroding. Because it is stable, it will not change colors when exposed to vinegar. If the gold piece changes colors, it is not real gold. Gold plate will turn black when exposed to vinegar.

Step 4

the gold piece, cool water, it, a water bottle
Ignacio Lopez/Demand Media

Run the gold piece under cool water or spray it with a water bottle to remove the vinegar.

Step 5

the gold piece, the clean cloth, it
Ignacio Lopez/Demand Media

Rub the gold piece with the clean cloth to dry it.

About the Author

Rachel Terry has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brigham Young University. She has been a freelance writer since 1998, authoring literary study guides, as well as articles and essays.