Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Identifying solid gold vs gold fill


I just inherited a large quantity of old jewelry. There are quite a
number of gold chains in the collection. I’m wondering how to
determine if they are solid gold (they very well could be) or gold
fill, and what the karat of the gold is?

Also, I’m wondering how difficult it is to cast a gold alloy? I have
been doing cuttlefish bone casting with silver with fairly good
success. Is doing the same with gold much different?

I could send the lot to Rio for refining, of course, but I’d rather
play with the stuff myself if I can.

Pam East


Hi Pam,

Most gold filled jewelry will have a stamp similar to or identical

“14GF” or “1/10 14KGF”

any stamp that is labeled:

14K, 14KP, 14Kt, 585 (with euro stamp), 18K, 18Kt, 750 (with euro
22K, 22kt,

should be “gold”. Usually, “58.5, 14K” is around 55% pure, most gold
jewelry is underkarated. Contact the JVC for articles that they have
given on their yearly tests.

Pure gold content:

14K= 58.5%
18K= 75%
22K= 91.66%

As far as cuttlefish or delft clay casting, you will not be able
to/not want to use any solder in your castings. This provides cold
joints and bad porosity. Almost all chains are solder centered an
therfore not usable.

Another way to determine the gold content is with acid testing.
Kassoy as well as many other manufacturers sell acid testing kits.

Finally, if you have any items that you REALLY want to test, sedn
them to the Penn. Gem Lab. They can
determine to the thousandth of a percentage the karatage of any metal


Kennon Young