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Nitric acid discoloring gold?

Should nitric acid discolor 10k yellow gold?

Jay Gaelen

Should nitric acid discolor 10k yellow gold?

Well since 10K gold is more alloy then gold I think I would keep it
away from anything acidic.

Hi Jay,

We use nitric acid to determine whether or not a piece is gold,
usually applying a drop or two after scratching with a sharp scribe.
Not-gold reacts with green fizz. Sometimes a brownish stain is left
by the acid, even on solid gold. It seems to happen mostly when
testing lower karat gold. It is easily polished off.

Is this an accurate test, y’all? It seems to work pretty well, as
far as I know.

Julia Newton
Zombie Bench Jeweler who can’t sleep on Christmas Eve

Should nitric acid discolor 10k yellow gold?

Very dilute acid might not, but anything concentrated enough for
metal testing will leave a dark stain on 10K, and usually on 14K as
well, though it forms more slowly on 14K. The stain may even get
some greenish tinges (to the acid drop, if not the metal) on 10K.
Yellow gold seems to react a bit more than white, though this varies
a lot from piece to piece.