Is Gold Magnetic?

Gold is a metal that is found in nature. It is one of the most valuable metals in the world because it doesn’t corrode, and it has a very low reactivity to other elements. Gold also has a very low melting point, meaning it can be turned into a liquid relatively easily.

One of the most common questions about gold is whether it is magnetic or not.

Can You Make Gold Magnetic?

The answer to this question is a little complicated. Gold is not naturally magnetic, but different alloys of gold can be made to be magnetic.  For example, white gold is usually an alloy of gold containing nickel and zinc. Nickel is a popular magnetic metal with ferromagnetic properties, which means white gold can be magnetic. However, pure gold is not magnetic. This means that if you have a piece of jewelry that is made from pure, real gold, it will not be attracted to a magnet. If you have a piece of jewelry that is made from an alloy of gold, it may or may not be attracted to a magnet.

How to Tell if Gold is Real

One way to tell if an object is made from real gold is to see if it is attracted to a magnet.  If an object is attracted to a magnet, it is likely made from an alloy of gold that includes some other metals like nickel, or it could be a gold or silver plated piece of jewelry made up of other base metals like copper, zinc, or nickel. If an object is not attracted to a magnet, it is likely made up of alloys without magnetic properties or pure gold, which is naturally non-magnetic. However, there are other ways to test whether an object is made from gold or not, so you should always consult an expert if you have any questions about the authenticity of your gold jewelry. 

Why Would Jewelers Add Other Metals to Gold?

Because pure gold is a soft and malleable metal, jewelers will often mix other precious metals with the material to make their jewelry harder, more durable, and less likely to bend and scratch. Jewelers may also mix in other metals such as copper, platinum, or nickel to give a piece of jewelry a different color.

Why Can Some Metal Detectors Find Gold?

Since pure gold is not magnetic, you may wonder how it’s possible for a metal detector to find it. First off, not every metal detector type can find gold. If your metal detector of choice runs at lower frequencies, it may not detect gold because of its low conductivity. On the other hand, metal detectors with a high frequency may be able to find gold–gold has better conductivity with high-frequency waves. Although they are definitely the most expensive, multi-frequency and PI-type metal detectors are the most effective at finding gold.

Gold Guys are Your Precious Metals Experts

Now that we’ve explored a little bit about gold and that it is not magnetic, you might want to start testing whether your old jewelry and coins are made of pure gold. Interested in selling your gold online? Explore what types of gold we buy. If you have other questions about gold or other precious metals, give us a call, send us an email, or fill out our online contact form.