Man Made Gold Nuggets Vs. Real and Natural Ones
Since the Middle Ages, gold has been the standard for currency and economic monetary value.
With its rarity and universal appeal, it is no wonder that it has rose over time has a material for
jewelry and other precious items. In recent years as the economic crisis struck the global
market, the prices for gold have soared. Now, more and more people are opting to sell their gold
in order to make ends meet. However, with this resurgence in popularity of gold nuggets and
gold nugget jewelry, how can one tell the difference between authentic gold and man-made
For starters, authentic gold and man-made gold are both “real” in the sense that both contain (or
should contain) actual gold. One of them is created by mother nature and the other one has
been processed by man. Man-made gold nuggets are usually made from lower grade alloys.
The alloys are melted and then either cast or manipulated into shapes that resemble authentic
gold nuggets. They are then tumbled with sand and rocks to replicate the wear and finish of
natural gold. Finally, they are plated in gold to give them the right color. At first glance a novice
buyer may be fooled into purchasing these nuggets as they appear to have the same color and
shape. Now, fake nuggets are even being made of real gold.
So, why would someone go through the trouble to make real gold into a “fake” gold nugget?
Money! Less than 1% of gold found today is left in its natural form-mostly because that gold is
found in very small sizes, or chemically leached from host rock. Only a fraction of that 1% is
large enough to qualify as a collector grade nugget. And, the larger a gold nugget is, the more it
is worth. Large gold nuggets can command prices of over 5 times their actual gold value by
weight-meaning an unscrupulous dealer can turn a $1500 1 ounce bullion coin into a $7500
Upon further review a buyer can tell its authenticity based on the following factors:
1. Weight: Real gold is always heavier in the hand than other metals regardless of
2. Cast: Gold nuggets are all unique in shape. No two gold nuggets will ever look
alike under a magnifying glass. Even under a 2X magnifying glass, differences can be
seen in two seemingly similar looking gold nuggets.
3. Softness: Real gold is softer than most other metals. To test the nugget, drag it
across a mirror, if it doesn’t leave a mark, than may be real. In extreme cases, take a
small hammer and punch to the nugget or bite into it. Real gold, easily flattens and
misshapes under pressure .
4. Surface color discrepancies: copper nuggets are considered to be the most
realistic looking amongst all the “fake” gold nuggets circulating in the market. They are
created by melting copper into a nugget shape and then plated with 24k gold by a
professional. It looks like real, but its plating will wear off over time.
5. Magnets and Gold: Gold is not a magnetic metal, so hold your nugget to a
magnet and if it sticks-it may be a fake.
Internet and mail order sellers often take advantage of the fact that they don’t have to meet up
with their customer when it comes to selling their nuggets. By the time the man-made nugget
arrives, it is usually too late for the fooled customer to receive their money back or track down
As seen from above, while there are many home tests that can be done to distinguish between
a real gold nugget and a man-made one, the best way for a buyer to protect themselves is to
consult an experienced gold collector before making any purchases. A gold collector will have
all the tools necessary to test a gold nugget without ruining the piece, as well as the knowledge
gathered from years of experience. If distance or traveling is an issue, many professional gold
collectors even have the ability to tell the authenticity of the gold nugget by just looking at a high
grade picture or video. At the end of the day, buying and selling of gold can be an amazing
source of extra income but can also be a risky investment without the proper guidance.
For more information visit us at http://www.alaskajewelry.com