How to Identify Genuine 22k Gold Jewelry

How to Identify Genuine 22k Gold Jewelry

Gold has been a popular choice for jewelry for centuries due to its beauty and value. However, not all gold jewelry is created equal, and it can be challenging to determine the authenticity of a piece. If you're looking to purchase or identify genuine 22k gold jewelry, there are a few things to keep in mind. In this article, we'll discuss how to identify genuine 22k gold jewelry.

Understanding Gold Purity

Gold is measured in karats, with 24k being the purest form of gold. However, pure gold is too soft to be used in jewelry, so it is alloyed with other metals to increase its durability. 22k gold is an alloy of 91.67% pure gold and 8.33% other metals such as silver, copper, or zinc. When buying or identifying 22k gold jewelry, it's essential to know what to look for to ensure you're getting the real deal.

Inspect the Hallmark

The hallmark on a piece of jewelry can provide a lot of information about its authenticity. In the United States, the hallmark on gold jewelry indicates the karat weight of the gold, with 22k gold being stamped with "22k" or "916." It's important to note that not all countries require hallmarks on gold jewelry, so if you're purchasing gold jewelry from abroad, it's essential to do your research to understand the hallmarking system in that country.

Check the Color

22k gold has a distinct warm, yellow color due to its high gold content. If a piece of jewelry is overly bright or has a greenish tint, it may not be genuine 22k gold. Additionally, if the jewelry is two-toned or has a different color than traditional gold, it may be a gold-plated piece, which means it is not genuine 22k gold.

Test for Magnetism

Gold is not magnetic, so if a piece of jewelry is attracted to a magnet, it's likely not genuine 22k gold. However, this test should be used as a preliminary test only, as other metals used in the alloy could make the piece slightly magnetic.

Acid Testing

Acid testing is a reliable way to determine the purity of gold. A small sample of the metal is taken and placed in a solution of nitric acid. If the acid dissolves the metal, it's not gold. If the metal does not dissolve, it is gold. The karat weight of the gold can be determined by comparing the reaction to a set of known reactions for different karat weights.


When it comes to identifying genuine 22k gold jewelry, it's essential to look for a hallmark, check the color, test for magnetism, and use acid testing to determine the purity of the gold. However, it's important to note that these tests should be used in conjunction with each other to ensure accurate results. If you're unsure about the authenticity of a piece of gold jewelry, it's best to have it evaluated by a reputable jeweler or appraiser. By following these tips, you can ensure that you're getting genuine 22k gold jewelry that will last a lifetime.