Everywhere in the world where there has been calamity, and disorder people have sought to trade items on the black market.

From Sarajevo to Caracas, there is one currency that has been accepted.

Gold, it is now, has been and will always be a form of currency that will be accepted.

But if you are a black market trader, how do you know that the gold being offered is real.

You don’t have time to send it off to a lab for testing.

Here are some ways to know if gold is real during an apocalypse.

It is not recommended only to perform one test but multiple tests to ensure that the gold you are being offered is worth the heart pills you are selling.

Float test

If you drop gold into a cup or bowl of water, it will sink.

Real gold is heavy, and its density will make it impossible to be supported by surface tension.

Fake gold will float.

The exception could be gold plated lead.

Bite it

Biting a piece of real gold will leave tooth marks in the soft metal. If you bite into fake gold, the harder metal underneath will not deform.

It is not recommended as you could potentially damage your tooth.

Use a magnet

Some false gold or gold plated items are made from non-magnetic materials. However, most are not.

Passing a strong magnet over a piece of jewelry will attract any magnetic metals if they have been gold plated.

Gold itself is not magnetic and will not be attracted to the magnet.

Exception: some fakes are also made with

Burn it

Taking a lighter to a piece of jewelry will ruin a fake gold piece or at least leave a black sooty streak on it.

Gold itself has a reasonably high burning temperature and will not blacken or melt with such a small amount of heat coming from a lighter flame.

Some 14k appears to blacken at times just due to impurities, but this is rare.


Bleach will ruin fake gold but usually will not react with real gold.

Look for jeweler markings.

A jeweler’s marking can be a sign that gold is real.

Although, very well done forgeries can also have a jeweler’s stamp.

So a gold seal or jeweler’s mark doesn’t necessarily mean it is real. Still, it is easy to spot fakes if they have stamps such as:

“HGP” – Heavy Gold Plate
“H.G.E.” – Hydrostatic gold electroplating
“GF” – Gold Filled
“GP” – Gold Plated
“G.E.P.” – Gold Electroplating
Real gold will have stamps such as :

European markings indicate purity with decimal numbers.

So a mark that states .86 is 86 percent gold.

Exception “.925” marking is Sterling Silver
In fact, 800, 925 and 950 are all Sterling silver markings.

Metal detector

If you have a metal detector that has low tone or if the numbers can read into low 50’s and 60’s, there is a strong possibility that the item is gold.

Is it a gold or brass coin?

An easy way to spot a fake gold coin is to rub it between your fingers. Brass will leave a distinctive smell.

Gold won’t leave any scent at all but still check it using one of the other methods.

Archimedean method

Put the gold in a cup of water and capture water that spills out and weigh it. Weigh the piece, and if it is 19 times more than the water, it’s gold.

Vinegar Test

Place the gold on a steady surface and put a drop or two of vinegar on it. If the vinegar discolors within a few minutes, then it is fake gold. Real gold is non-reactive.

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