If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best gold testers are, then I’d recommend Key Gold Tester as the best.
So you need to know the purity of a gold sample or you want to make sure that gold ring you bought is really gold, but you don’t have the time to get it professionally tested. You want an electronic gold tester that will deliver on all of your needs but don’t know where to start looking.
We get it, we’ve been there, and we’re here to help.
The Top 5 Best Gold Testers for 2023 are:
Here are the gold testers we’ll be reviewing:
- Best Electric High-End Gold Tester- Alfa Mirage GKS-300
- Best Electric Mid-Range – Kee Gold Tester
- Best Electric Low-End – ET-18 Mizar
- Best Acid Gold Tester – 6 Gold Testing Acid Kit
- Best Magnet Gold Tester – Highlandhawker N52 Neodymium Test Magnet
What type of Gold Tester should I Choose?
There are three types of gold testers you can use. Each one will do a different type of test on the gold to help you check out the quality and to see if the gold is real. The three main types of testers include magnet, acid, and electric. But which one is the right one for your testing needs?
1. The Magnet Gold Tester
Gold, though it is a metal, is not magnetic. The magnet tester allows you to figure out whether there is gold in the product. You need to have a stronger than normal magnet for this one to work.
When you use a magnetic tester, the fake gold will find itself attracted to the magnet. This one is a little harder to use because you may have something like a solid gold bracelet with fake gold in the clasp. With a magnet tester, the clasp should be attracted to the magnet.
2. The Acid Tester
The acid tester is used to help determine how much gold is inside the metal with a use of a special acid. This acid is strong enough to help distinguish gold from the other base metals that may be present.
This works because there is a focus on the idea that gold is a noble metal that is not going to change through acid, oxidation, and corrosion. This one is effective to figure out whether there is gold present, but could potentially cause issues with the other metals there and may damage the jewelry.
3. The Electronic Gold Tester
The electric tester works to check the validity of the gold with other important information. It can do this quickly. For example, it is able to tell you the ratio of gold inside the chunk you want to test.
If you think that there are other metals inside the gold chunk too, this tester will let you know how much is gold and how much is something else. It is also a good way to test the karat level of the gold.
Using an electric tester is simple. It will apply an electrical charge. From there it will examine the resistance level and complete the right testing to display the outcome on the screen. Many will also let you check other metals as well. This type is reliable, non-destructive, and safe to use with instant results.
Which Type of Tester is Best?
The electric tester is often the best one. It allows you to test if there is any gold in the product without ruining the product.
Since many gold products have some other metals in them, this is a good method to see how much of the product is gold, without ruining any of it like the acid tester.
The magnet tester may struggle if there are any other metals within the product because those will be attracted to the magnet, even if the gold is not and it is difficult to tell how much of each is to blame.
How Reliable are electronic gold testers?
If you are looking to invest in a gold tester or test kit, you need to be assured that your money will be put to good use. Reliability is what separates run-of-the-mill testing devices from superb electronic gold testers. When you are on the hunt for a gold tester, you really need to think in terms of how long this tester give you accurate results.
Most electronic gold testers are battery-powered, so they last as long as you change the batteries.
However, all gold tester’s battery management features are not built equally.
Some utilize lead-acid batteries, which are prone to corrosion after years of use and can render your gold tester useless.
Other devices may use state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries – which are rechargeable, corrosion-free and offers the highest energy density among all batteries.
Are Electronic Gold Testers Accurate?
So you found a reliable gold testing device. That’s great! Now you’re ready to get to work at testing your gold’s purity, but you’ve thought of another question: “How accurate is this tester?”
All devices should include a manufacturer data sheet that lists the relative accuracy of the gold tester. This figure should be displayed in terms of Karats – you want a small number here because a relative accuracy of 24K is like saying you woke up alive this morning (duh)!
The most desirable figure is a 1 Karat test accuracy, as anything lower is impractical for our purposes.
What Other Features Should I Look For?
Depending on your level of interest, many other electronic gold tester features will prove beneficial to you. This is one area you may need to develop a list of what you wish to accomplish with your gold tester and shop accordingly. However, a few of the most popular features people tend to shop for are the following:
Number of Tests the Device Can Make
If you are testing a high volume of gold samples, or you are a life-time hobbyist, the number of tests that your device can make is crucial. This feature tends to scale in importance with device pricing, so there is a middle ground where cost eventually outweighs the benefits.
Most electronic testers are fabricated with high-quality components and materials to offer a long device life. As such, you can most likely get hundreds, if not thousands, of test results from a single gold tester.
Ease of Use
Let’s face it, sometimes technology is frustrating. You want a gold tester that offers a simple user interface that is nearly intuitive. It becomes a significant deal-breaker with top-notch gold testers, as they often include additional features that you may not ever need.
Visibility of test results also plays a crucial role in the device’s ease of use because how can you feel confident in a test result that you cannot even see? Most modern testers use state-of-the-art screens or high-visibility LED’s to display test results. Your vision should also be considered here; how easy is it for you to read text on other electronic gadgets?
Is It Travel Friendly?
Modern testers come in all shapes and sizes. They are often custom-tailored for specific applications – be it in the lab or out on the road. There is nothing more frustrating than finding a gold tester that meets all of your checklist requirements only to receive it in the mail and realize that you cannot take it to your local jewelry dealer.
If you need a travel-ready gold tester, you need to shop accordingly. While there are many travel-friendly options for gold testers, many testers rely on the use of liquid solutions to display your gold’s purity. This can make-or-break a gold tester’s reliability – so remember, shop accordingly.
Here are my picks for the best gold testers.
The Alfa Mirage GKS-300 is a top-tier gold tester that bolsters a price tag that may have you tossing and turning in your sleep. However, the GKS-300 provides industry-leading features that you cannot pass up if you can afford it.
This gold tester works by measuring the specific gravity of the gold. The gold purity is displayed on the device’s Vacuum Fluorescent Display screen within a custom measurement time (5 modes). No longer will you have to destroy your gold with acids or leave unsightly scratches on its surface to determine its purity.
The features of this gold tester are many, so it may prove beneficial to list them:
- 9K to 24K resolution (for gold, white gold, silver, and even platinum)
- 5 Mode measurement time
- Calculative Error Index (SG)
- One year warranty
- Doubles as a scale with a 0.001g to 300g measurement range and a Densimeter
If you are into scrapping gold, the GKS-300 has an additional feature that may be a major selling point. The device allows you to load it down with around 300g worth of scrap to perform an average purity calculation. This feature will give you the best approximation of gold content in your scrap, so that you will never be taken advantage of by gold buyers again.
- A multi-use measurement tool that can fulfill all your gold testing needs
- A high degree of accuracy when testing high purity golds
- Can perform an average purity calculation for multiple samples of gold
- Hefty price tag
- Customer service may prove to be an issue since it is manufactured in Japan.
- Users may not require all of its advanced features.
The M-509GM Key Gold Tester may require an 18 Karat gold sample for calibration, but that does not mean it is any less efficient than other testers on this list. Calibration is as easy as setting a piece of known 18K on the meter and using the tester’s tuning knob to adjust the meter’s needle until it is in an acceptable range.
This particular gold tester utilizes the testing materials’ natural electrical characteristics to display its gold content. Every metal has its own electrical qualities, and gold is a leading conductor among silver and copper. This fact makes testing gold electrically a breeze.
After calibration, this gold testing meter can quickly become your new go-to because it is developed with an on-the-go user in mind. Although it is battery-powered, the device uses such a small amount of energy that the battery life extends for up to 6 months. The M-509GM’s cable testers are also some of the best we have seen and can take a severe beating.
The M-509GM can measure up to 24 Karats and can determine some other common metal alloys across the market. It is an ideal tester for people that are on the go and want a high degree of accuracy with their readings. This gold tester offers a superb testing ability due to its credible component sourcing and a friendly user interface.
- Simple User Interface
- High-quality components
- Rugged product design that can withstand high-level abuse
- Long battery life
- Need a known 18 Karat gold sample to calibrate
Are you searching for electronic gold testing equipment but can’t afford any of the top-of-the-line options? The ET-18 Mizar offers a few features that we love, and we’re sure that you will too!
The ET-18 Mizar tests the conductivity of your gold sample with the aid of a solution and electrolyte. All you have to do is squeeze a few drops of the solution onto the ET-18’s well and then another three drops of the electrolyte. Once this liquid is suspended, you take your gold sample and clip it to the device’s alligator clip. Then voila! Your test results will be shown on the device within 2 seconds.
The ET-18 Mizar has 4 test ranges indicated by the LED’s on the front of the device. The following are those test ranges:
- <10K (Not gold)
- <14K (10 Karat or better)
- <18K (14 Karat or better)
- >18K (18 Karat or better)
As long as you don’t need accurate results for a purity higher than 18 Karat, the ET-18 should suit all of your gold testing needs. It utilizes a non-destructive testing method that will expose under-karating and offers relative accuracy. The tester is pocket-sized and runs off a single 9V battery so that you can take it with you on your next venture!
- 2 second testing time
- Gold plate and solid gold differentiation
- 1 year warranty
- 20K, 22K and 24K golds cannot be determined precisely
- Other gold testers can avoid a 3-step testing process
An age-old method to test gold content is the acid test. The 6 Gold Testing Acid Kit is included here due to the undying popularity of this testing method and its simple and accurate testing procedure.
The kit includes six vials of either hydrochloric or nitric acids, which can pose a safety concern if you are not careful in handling the liquids. These acids let you test for 10K up to 22K gold, and if that isn’t enough, Platinum and Silver can be tested too. Each vial of liquid is labeled 10K, 12K, Platinum, etc., so that you know which vial to select as you are testing.
This gold testing method works by dissolving fake and other undesirable metals within your sample. Each bottle contains acid that reacts with a specific Karat so that you can start at 10K and work on up. As Karats increase, the acidic solution that can dissolve the gold will have to be more concentrated. Therefore, it is crucial that you start with the 10K acid when you are testing your gold.
The acid test provides a tried-and-true method to test the quality of your gold. Although it may be one of the most popular ways of testing, its downfall is that the procedure can be inherently corrosive.
- Can test for Platinum and Silver
- Will damage any metals that are not strong enough to endure the acid
- Only tests 10K – 18K Karat gold
- Disposing of the acidic solution can prove problematic
As an enthusiast, you are probably aware of gold’s magnetic properties. This entry may have you scratching your head, wondering why we included a magnetic testing solution. Well – this isn’t your typical every-day fridge magnet – this is a Rare Earth Neodymium magnet. Let’s check out its features.
Despite its name, neodymium is an abundant metal found within the Earth’s crust and is the strongest magnet that you can find. As such, ferrous metals will be exposed to a much stronger magnetic field. The force between the neodymium magnet and metal will be increased nearly four-fold as compared to other ceramic and ALNICO magnets.
But what does this mean for you?
Using the Highlander Rare Earth N52 Neodymium magnet will allow you to find whether your gold has other metallic elements in its composition. Iron, Cobalt, and Nickel are all metals that are interactive with magnets, so if these metals are within your gold sample, they will stick to the neodymium-magnet. Testing with a neodymium magnet is a great way to approximate gold content.
However, testing with the Highlander Rare Earth N52 or other neodymium magnets is not the be-all-end-all of testing gold. For one, you cannot know whether your sample is 12K as opposed to 14K as either will likely be attracted to the magnet in the same manner. Some counterfeited pieces include silver within its makeup, which is a Non-Ferrous metal just like gold.
If you do decide to use the Highlander Rare Earth N52 for your gold testing needs, be sure to keep it away from your electronics and debit/credit cards. It is the world’s strongest magnet type and has the strength to render your cellphone and debit cards completely useless.
- The best gold tester in terms of mobility
- Simple – its a magnet
- Reliability for the rest of your life
- It does not allow you to know Karat grade accurately.
- Will destroy electronics and debit/credit cards within proximity
All of these gold testers will prove themselves to meet all of your testing needs. However, my favorite is the Key Gold Tester.
This device has an advantage over the other testers on this list due to its selling point, ease of use, and long battery life.
The Key Gold Tester is sourced from some of the very best components that the market offers. This enables the device to provide you with precise test results, time and time again. Customers have proved its reliability from around the globe because it is so easy to use. The Key Gold Tester is small yet rugged and ready to see the world from your pocket.
All in all, we hope that this article can assist you in all of your gold tester shopping needs. If you have any other questions, leave us a comment so that we can be in touch!