In the last few years the sale of gold jewelry has been consistently making headlines over this issue of underkarating. What’s happening is that, despite federal laws to the contrary, many merchants are advertising and promoting sales of gold at a much higher karat level than the buyer is actually receiving.

These fraudulent transactions are occurring mostly in discount stores and regular retail stores which have taken on gold sales as an extra income provider. And provide they do. Many investigators have found that retailers who promote 14K and 18K are actually selling gold that is below 10K – the minimum below which a metal may NOT be described as gold. Unfortunately, underkarating is widespread.

How do you protect yourself against the kind of fraud? It’s difficult because any gold must be tested, 1) by an assay examination which is the most accurate, or 2) using the nitric acid scratch test described earlier, or 3) using an electronic old tester which gives an L.C.D. indication of gold content. The electronic tester – which costs in excess of $300 – can also verify platinum and silver.

In the absence of the above three tests, deal with a reputable jeweler and absolutely…