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Assaying gold filled items


#1

How do you verify if gold filled items are authentic and true

Hi folks. I am paying an arm and a leg for leverbacks that I could
get much cheaper straight from the factory in china. But i am
concerned of how one tests or ensures that gold filled is indeed gold
filled and not plated. Anyone have suggestions?


#2

Plating you can polish off, gold fill won’t change color. I’d use a
slightly abrasive sandpaper.


#3

If it comes from China, assume it is fraudulent.


#4

You insure that gold-filled is really gold filled by buying from
reputable sources such as Stuller, and NOT buying from random
internet, etsy, or eBay sources. Of course, you can always have a
piece weighed, melted, and assayed, taking into account the total
weight and expected karatage of the gold section, for an accurate
reading. Sadly, I would expect this to cost a couple of hundred
dollars or so per piece you check, so unless you are buying boxcar
loads, it is probably not worth it.


#5

If it comes from China don’t buy it. ANY and ALL items that even
though clearly marked- from. 925, to 18kt, even some ridiculously
cheap “on sale” sterling casting grain that I had tested with XRF
equipment have been 100% fake. I was leary of a seemingly great deal
i got on a special order for a client on some heavy link chain
supposedly of fine silver. When it arrived it was far heavier than
comparable unfinished chain which was my first clue! It prompted me
to have it tested ( along with the other items in that same order).
Each and every piece was not what it was supposed to be. I did get
my money back - which surprised me. Subsequently I reported the
company and incident to the FTC, and a few other consumer and trade
agencies. It is virtually impossible to get ANY help from the Chinese
govt. “regulating” agencies and no real legal recourse is in place
from the Chinese govt. ( one would think they condone it as nothing
is ever done, even on large lots of precious metal fraud). My advice
is always to buy from reputable dealers anywhere other than China.
Particularly avoid buying products from on-line auction sites:
though many are mailed from the US, they originate in China ( as the
seller is listed as being in China with postage calculated from there
and when your parcel arrives it has a NY postmark on it. This should
be reported to the on-line auction site immediately- before the
seller disappears ). They are a part of a network that moves junk
findings and metals, counterfeit Tiffany& Co. NY jewelry, and other
name brand manufacturers lines as well. I have even had things tested
for students who bought from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads that were
also fake- turned out the stock originated in China ! If you really
want to deal with the factory in China you mention ask them to send
you samples for assay-If legitimate they will at least send some
product for you to test…but chances are you won’t get a reply at
all. Also in your letter ask if they will be willing to sign a
contract that basically says the goods they will potentially supply
you on an ongoing basis will be true to assay markings and fineness,
which in the event they send any materials that are not as marked
dissolve the contract and you will not be liable for payment on the
mis-represented goods. Further that you are not bound to return the
items and in the case they want them back they must pay all costs,
taxes, duties, etc. in the form of a RMA label/ post-paid label
prior to your shipping them back. If you really want to get technical
you could include some language in the initial agreement that
provides for their reimbursement of your costs related to missing
promised deadlines, lost business as a result of their " issuance for
sale or resale" of misrepresented goods, and other clear-cut language
that lets the company you are looking at dealing with that you are
not playing around and want to protect yourself from fraud and lost
or delayed business as a result of their deception… But in the end
it is far easier to go with a company that you have investigated
first ( JBT is just one resource, BBB another though less industry
specific) and is not based in China. Thailand has some very reputable
wholesalers. Depending on the quantities you buy you may be able to
work out comparable deals 9 price matching, etc. ) with US companies
provided your order meets their minimum for “x” discount, and the
difference in actual bottom line cost is close to the overseas
businesses price. In most cases you will find the US wholesale
manufacturers willing to meet the price you were quoted for similar
products…Oh and a note about leverbacks, when shopping around look
for products that don’t have a spring in the mechanism…( some are
sold as “Secura” brand leverbacks) this allows for the leverback to
be soldered without it falling apart !!!.. rer