Why Is My Gold Chain Slightly Magnetic?

by Ultimate Jewelry Guide
Why Is My Gold Chain Slightly Magnetic?

Gold chains come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be made from a variety of materials, including gold, silver, or platinum. Some people believe that all gold chains are magnetic, but this is not the case.

If your gold chain is slightly magnetic then it means that it contains nickel and/or copper instead of pure 24k gold.

This might be okay if you want something with a lower karat purity but make sure to check for other signs before purchasing an expensive item like this online or from any vendor who doesn’t stand behind what they sell!

The beauty of owning gold chains is that they can be worn with a variety of outfits. They are also made by different artists and designers too which means you get to choose the design, length, and color based on your personal preference.

But with gold, it’s not just the looks that matter.

Gold jewelry is a great investment too. This is because gold is a safe haven for investors. It is one of the most stable forms of currency that has been known to hold its value even during times when other currencies are losing theirs.

So, what does it mean if your gold chain is slightly magnetic? In this post, we’ll discuss what this might mean, why it’s happening and how to spot fake gold chains.

Why Are Gold Chains Slightly Magnetic?

There are many reasons why your gold chain is slightly magnetic. Sometimes, this is because the gold in itself has a certain degree of magnetism due to being mixed with other metals or alloys when it was manufactured.

It can also be caused by small pieces of metal that have gotten attached to the surface during the manufacturing process so they cannot be seen.

How To Test If Your Gold Chain Is Magnetic

The main way to test for magnetism is by using a neodymium magnet. This type of magnet has very strong magnetic forces that can attract metal or alloy pieces with great strength, so it’s important not to touch the gold chain against another metallic object when doing this because you risk losing your piece! If your gold chain sticks strongly to the magnet, it is most likely a fake.

The strongest gold alloys are 18-carat and 22-carat which have magnetic properties of 800 Gauss or more. If your piece has been tested at this level, you can rest assured that it’s 100% real! In order to protect yourself from buying a fake product next time, it’s highly recommended to sell your pieces only in reputable jewelry stores.

If you want the best security guarantee possible when buying gold chains online, choose a piece with an authenticity certificate from one of our partners such as GIA (Gemological Institute of America).

All that said, there are two main reasons why your gold chain might be slightly magnetic:

The Gold Alloy May Contain Magnetic Metals or Alloys

In a perfect situation, pure gold shouldn’t contain any magnetic properties. This means that your piece shouldn’t be attracted to a magnet. However, the gold used to make gold chains has a certain degree of magnetism by default.

This is because the gold alloy sometimes includes other metals and alloys such as silver, copper, nickel, or palladium which can have magnetic properties that influence your piece’s behavior towards magnets.

If you’re wondering why these metals are added to gold, it’s because the manufacturing process requires them.

When making an alloy, different types of metal should be melted together so their properties blend and create a strong product that is better than its individual components.

For example, adding copper to gold makes it more durable since this type of metal doesn’t corrode. This is what you call a metal alloy or “alloy” for short!

There are many types of alloys used to make gold chains and they can vary based on the percentage of each type of metal in your piece. The main ones that influence magnetic properties are:

18-Carat (75% Gold)

The most common alloy used to make gold chains is 18-carat. This means that the piece should contain 75% pure, 18-carat gold and 25% other metals or alloys such as silver, copper, nickel, or palladium.

22-Carat (91.66%)

This type of product has a slightly higher amount of pure gold than 18-carat. This means it has 91.66% of the precious metal and only a fraction fewer alloy metals or alloys added to its surface.

So, that’s why you can still find 22-carat pieces with magnetic properties, even though they’re slightly rarer.

24 Carat (100%)

This type of alloy is even rarer and has a full 100% of gold. This means it doesn’t contain any other metals or alloys on its surface so if you buy one. You can be sure that your piece will never attract magnets!

Your Gold Chain Might Be Fake!

Unfortunately, there’s another way that your gold chain could become slightly magnetic and it has nothing to do with the alloy metals or alloys used in its production.

This other reason is that a fake gold piece might have been manufactured using metal pieces or parts of different products such as watches, cell phones, etc.

These objects are usually made from steel, brass, or iron which have magnetic properties so when they’re melted together with the gold alloy metals and alloys to form a piece of jewelry such as a chain, it might become attracted by magnets.

Although you can’t be 100% sure that your gold chain is fake based on its magnetism alone, you should always check for other hallmarks and characteristics of a real gold piece such as:

  • A stamp on the clasp or on each individual link.

The chain should be 18-carat (75% Gold) if it’s marked without any other numbers, but 22-carat (91.66%) when marked with “22K.”

In addition to its carats, real gold should have an authenticity certificate from a reputable jewelry store.

How to Spot a Fake Gold Chain?

Spotting a fake gold chain isn’t always easy, especially if you are not an expert jeweler. But as a jewelry enthusiast, there are some things to look out for if you want to spot a fake gold chain.

These characteristics are mostly vivid and give away the fact that the chain is not pure 24k gold.

Below are some of them:

Magnetic Test

The magnet test is quick, easy, and accurate. If your gold chain is slightly magnetic, it doesn’t mean you have a fake gold chain but the fact that there are metals other than pure 24k gold in it.

The metal should not be attracted to magnets because real gold isn’t magnetic at all. So, if you own a gold chain and it’s magnetic, take it to your nearest jeweler for inspection.


Gold has a specific weight, which means an ounce of gold would be roughly equivalent to 28 grams. If your gold chain weighs much less than this, then it might be fake. (This depends on the type and size)


With a loupe or magnifying glass, you can closely examine the color of your gold chain. If it is more on the yellowish side and not as bright white as pure 24k gold should be, then chances are it might be fake.


You could also check for density by using a scale that measures grams to carats or by using a tool called the “magic touch”. If you suspect your gold chain is fake, then take it to a professional jeweler and have him test its density. (By tapping on it)

Hallmarks/Gold Markings

Manufacturers put various marks on their products. If you discover that your gold chain has none of these markings, then it might be fake or not made by a well-known company.

However, if you see all the hallmarks/gold markings in place with stamps such as 14k, 18k, 22k, etc., then it might be real.

Additionally, a hallmark stamp should also have the country of origin and purity stamped on them as well.

Acid Test

An acid test is a quick way to see if something is real gold or not. Put some nitric acid on your gold chain and the mark of 24k should be left behind in its original form.

However, this method could also damage your chain so it might only work for smaller items like rings or earrings.

All these characteristics are good things to keep in mind when trying to spot a fake gold chain or if you want to determine whether your 24K gold chain is real or not.


You don’t have to be a scientist or an expert in metal fabrication and jewelry-making to know the difference between gold, silver, platinum, and copper.

However, if you suspect your gold chain is not made from genuine materials because it sticks so much to the magnet – take it for professional testing!

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