Can Gold Jewelry Be Magnetic?
Contrary to popular belief, some gold jewelry actually can be attracted to magnetic fields. This is because gold jewelry often contains small amounts of other metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt and copper which are all naturally magnetic. It's important to note that pure gold (24 Karat) is not magnetic in itself, but it can become slightly magnetic when combined with other metals. For this reason it is possible for some pieces of gold jewelry to be attracted to magnets.
If you have a piece of gold jewelry that seems to be responding to a magnet, try testing it against other metals such as silver or platinum – if it’s only slightly being drawn towards the magnet then it likely contains metal particles which are susceptible to magnetism. If there’s no response at all then your piece is probably made from pure gold or a higher gold alloy such as 10k, 14k or 18k with little or no magnetic metals in their makeup, all of which are very commonly known and used gold karat alloys in jewelry making. Gold jewelry is often alloyed with other metals to improve its strength and durability, so it’s normal for a small amount of magnetic metal to be present in your item, but most pieces should have little to no magnetic response.
However, if you notice that the magnetism is strong then this could indicate a problem with the alloys used in the construction of your jewelry or that it may be gold plated. In this case it’s best to take it to a jeweler for further examination.
It’s useful to know that gold jewelry can be affected by magnets when trying to distinguish between genuine gold items and fake ones – however, this isn't always reliable as some pieces made from non-magnetic, non-gold metals are also able to pass the magnet test. Also, in the case of necklaces and bracelets, sometimes the tiny springs inside of their clasp mechanisms are made out of magnetic metals and may attract the magnet due to this. This doesn't mean that your jewelry isn't made out of real gold. If the chain itself or body and links of the bracelet or necklace are heavily attracted to the magnet, chances are you do not have an authentic gold item and should take it to a jeweler for further investigation.