plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
How to differentiate tungsten ring from gold
August 26, 2010
I bought a ring. So I want to check that ring is made out of real gold not Tungsten. please tell me a method to differentiate tungsten and gold.
buyer - Sri Lanka
First of two simultaneous responses -- August 27, 2010
Gold is yellow and soft, tungsten gray and hard.Neil Bell
Red Sky Plating
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Second of two simultaneous responses -- August 29, 2010
I assume that the ring is gold coloured ie. plated if it is tungsten.
The density of gold and tungsten are too close for an easy comparison, particularly as the gold will be alloyed.
The technical answer is to use an X-ray fluorescence spectrophotometer (XRF) but unless you know a friendly plating shop, you may not have access to this.
There are two clues that may help.
Tungsten is extremely hard. If there is a hallmark stamped on the ring, it is a fair guess that it is gold.
Secondly, although tungsten is less expensive than gold, it is very difficult to work. It is unlikely that the material saving would be worth the cost of manufacture.