Check If Gold Is Real With A Lemon

How To Check If Gold Is Real With A Lemon

When it comes to buying or selling gold items, determining the gold’s authenticity is critical. There are many professional methods to test gold, like electronic testing or acid testing. However, there is also a simple and handy way to check the authenticity of gold at home. You can use a lemon to check if gold is real. Lemon is a citrus fruit and known for its acidic nature. It can react with certain metals that are commonly used in fake gold pieces. The natural acidity of lemon can help you spot counterfeit gold by revealing its true nature.

This article will explain how to check if gold is real with a lemon. It is a step-by-step guide providing instructions to help you understand and perform this test.

How To Check If Gold Is Real With A Lemon?

Checking your gold with a lemon is a simple and handy process. It is one of the best ways to check if gold is real at home. Here’s how to check if gold is real with a lemon:

What Do You Need?

  • Fresh Lemon Or Lemon Juice
  • A Liquid Dropper
  • A Needle
  • Gold In Question
  • Piece Of Clean Cloth

The Procedure of The Lemon Juice Test

How to check if gold is real with a lemon? Well, here’s the procedure to conduct the lemon test:

  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze it into a cup. If you’re using lemon juice, just pour some into a cup.
  • Clean the gold item in question. There should be no dirt or oils on its surface.
  • Choose an inconspicuous spot on your gold item. Make a tiny scratch there with the needle. It’s best to choose a discreet spot like the back of a pendant or the inside of a ring.
  • Fill the liquid dropper with the lemon juice. Put a small drop of lemon juice on the scratch.
  • Wait for a few minutes and look for any reaction or color changes.
  • After a few minutes, rinse your gold item with water. Wipe and clean it with a soft and clean piece of cloth.

Note: To evaluate the results better, you should repeat the procedure on several spots.

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Here are the results of the lemon test:

  • Real gold will not be affected by the lemon juice. It will not show any signs of corrosion or discoloration. Genuine gold retains its lustrous shine and stunning yellow color.
  • If the gold items show any reaction with lemon juice, it might not be real gold. There can be signs of discoloration or tarnishing. Fake gold will likely turn dark.

Tips for Lemon Juice Test

  • A ripe lemon is more acidic because it contains higher amounts of citric acid. It is ideal for testing gold.
  • If you can’t find a liquid dropper, you can squeeze a small drop of lemon directly onto the small scratch on your gold item.
  • If you don’t want any damage to your gold piece, you can dilute the lemon juice with water. Use an equal amount of lemon juice and water. This makes sure that acidity is not too strong.
  • Don’t soak the gold item in lemon juice. Apply a little drop of lemon juice directly to the tiny scratch. This will provide better results.

Why does the Lemon Juice Test work?

Lemon juice is acidic in nature. It contains citric acid that can react with certain metals. Genuine gold is highly resilient. It is resistant to corrosion and tarnishing even when exposed to most acids, including citric acid.

On the other hand, fake gold items are made of some other alloys. These alloys may contain low-quality metals that are vulnerable to the acidity of lemon juice. You will see a noticeable discoloration if the gold isn’t real.

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Gold-plated Items and Lemon Juice Test

If you have suspicions about your gold bars or solid gold jewelry, this test can help confirm whether it is gold-plated or not. Gold-plated items have a thin overlay of gold with a base metal beneath. The metal underneath can react to citric acid. When you make a scratch on a gold-plated item, the metal beneath is revealed. Applying the lemon juice to this scratch can cause discoloration. And you can confirm that your gold item is actually gold-plated.


Although this test is simple and handy, you shouldn’t see it as a conclusive test. The lemon test has some limitations too.

  • Lemon test is not ideal if you want to keep your gold item spotless and scratch-free.
  • This test is suitable for solid gold items, not hollow ones.
  • If your gold items have gemstones, they can be damaged with citric acid.
  • Sometimes, the metal alloy contains metals that do not react to lemon juice.
  • The citric acid in lemon juice can damage lower karats of gold. Prolonged contact can lead to severe damage.
  • The acidity level of the lemon juice can affect the results. If it is mild, you may not see the noticeable results. And if it is strong, your gold piece (Gold-plated) may get damaged.
  • Also, some delicate jewelry pieces are vulnerable to the citric acid in the lemon juice.


Learning how to check if gold is real with a lemon can be useful sometimes. But, it is important to note that the lemon juice test is not foolproof or definitive. This test should be considered as a preliminary screening method only. Although it is a simple and straightforward test, still it is not an accurate way to test your gold.

Based on the reaction of your gold item, you can just make an initial judgment about its authenticity. For better results, you can also use some more advanced techniques to test your gold. For accurate and conclusive results, consult a qualified appraiser to check your gold. A professional appraiser will examine your gold item using proven techniques and methods.

Keep Reading: How to Check If Gold is Real With a Lighter & 18 Other Methods