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  1. #1
    DADSTIMESHOP
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    Default How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold??

    I know the markings on the inside lid I can look up.. but there are so many.. How do you no which is which.. and how can you tell if you have a Gold Filled or a solid gold case.. Also how can you tell if the case you have that is gold filled or Rolled gold which Karat it is? Also I always see the serial numbers on the inside lid? where do you look that number up.. is there an online data base.. like for the movements? I was thinking of buying a gold tester.. would this be wise? or are all cases usally the same??

    Thanks
    James

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    Generally if there is a warrantee period it is gold filled. This apples even it the warrantee is permanent. If it is solid precious metal it will usually say Guaranteed US Assay. For lower than 14 carat it will say this even when it does not say gold. I don;t know of US plated cases but European ones will have a number followed by "microns". A micron is a thousandth of a millimeter and is the estimated thickness of the plating.

    So far I know of no data base for case serial numbers. I know at least one US case maker who often put serial numbers on the case to match the movement.

    My experience is that marks are relaible. I have never used a tester but the people I know have a lot of skill in this. It is not easy and it of use mostly for unmarked items like watch chains.

    For cases, it is usually possible to tell by feel.
    [edit=474=1176374445]addition[/edit]

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    The only way that I am aware of to tell by feel if a case is solid gold or gold filled is to hold two comparable cases ( one gold filled and the other solid gold) for a few minutes in your hand to warm them up. After you put them on table for minute or two the one that cools off quicker is gold filled.

    James
    Unless you know what you are doing, testing a case can leave undesiriable damage.
    ,Shugurts Price Guide has pictures of many of the symbols used for solid gold and gold filled. Periodically this Board has discussed this issue and possibly someone can find an old thread.

    With Hampden watches whether the anchor used as part of their symbol is raised or not can be an indicator of gold filled vs solid gold. That being said they are many exceptions. Also Hampden cases that are marked Special are gold filled and for later Howard watches J Boss cases are gold filled.

    By becoming knowledgable you can protect yourself.
    Bob

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    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    No, gold has a special "feel" to it, plus the bend/rigid factor

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    I agree wth Jon. After you handle enough of these cases you can tell solid gold by the feel of it.

    Tom

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    What Jon and Tom said.

    Don

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    No matter how you hold it, look at it or whatever, nothing gets by the ACID TEST. It is a simple process that every jeweler uses to confirm the ct of very rare or expensive items. It is a very simple test and done right (use the sharp edge of the cover on the FINE stone that comes with any acid test kit ) NEVER NEVER put the acid on ant part of the watch. Dnoe propoerly no damage or evidence of the test can be detected. Many PW's are marked 14K 18K and are nothing more than heavy gold plate I test every PW if in doubt.

    Ron
    [edit=5976=1176493835][/edit]

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    and many a fine case has been ruined by the acid test and/or filing a groove to check for the cases content!

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    The slate - acid test will give you the gold content of the surface material, but not the interior (unless you damage to the case). In this test, the case is rubbed over a piece of slate leaving a small amount of gold behind. This is treated with nitric acid and timed to see how long it takes to dissolve. If it does not dissolve, it is tested with aqua regia and timed. This time is compared with standard gold samples that come with the kit.

    Great damage is done when people file into the interior to see if the gold goes all the way through. There is no excuse or need for this.

    Ron is correct for the surface.
    Jon is correct for the interior.

    Don

  10. #10
    Technical Admin Tom McIntyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    I would think that the impedance gold testers should work, in principle. I have no experience with them. Does anyone know how well they work?

    You should be able to measure the acoustic impedance also to get information, but it would take a bit of development to get a consistent set of values for calibration.
    Tom McIntyre Click me.
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    you won't have anything to laugh at when you're old.
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    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Don
    The slate - acid test will give you the gold content of the surface material, but not the interior (unless you damage to the case). In this test, the case is rubbed over a piece of slate leaving a small amount of gold behind. This is treated with nitric acid and timed to see how long it takes to dissolve. If it does not dissolve, it is tested with aqua regia and timed. This time is compared with standard gold samples that come with the kit.

    Great damage is done when people file into the interior to see if the gold goes all the way through. There is no excuse or need for this.

    Ron is correct for the surface.
    Jon is correct for the interior.

    Don
    Intereior--heck, I have seen many a GF blazer case filed on the outside!


  12. #12

    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    Intereior--heck, I have seen many a GF blazer case filed on the outside!

    You Betcha!!!
    Or the tell tale 'spots' on the inside of the back, or curvette......

    EVEN WHEN MARKED GOLD FILLED
    .......
    Chapter 17 North Carolina
    http://www.nawcc-carolina17.org/default.htm
    Chapter 149 Early American Watch Club .. Home of Russ Snyder Illinois CD database and Henry Burgell Serial number Look-up ... excellent research resources!
    http://www.nawcc-ch149.com/ http://www.nawcc-ch149.com/pw_dbresearch.html
    Chapter 149 Mentor List http://www.nawcc-ch149.com/mentor.html

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    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    a total disregard for these wonderful objects .

    I have seen huge acid marks in plain view (inside, outside), file marks or cuts with a knife everywhere--so, if gold they got scrapped; if not gold they care less! ......................Just another day in the life of a scrapper!

  14. #14
    DADSTIMESHOP
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    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    Holy smokes I would never want to scrape on any of my watches!! I was thinking more about the electronic ones.. and also the color does that have something to do with it... may I should just post them up here when I can't figure them out.. you guys do a lot better than. me...

    Thanks for all the wonderful knowledge you guys have!!!

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to tell from Gold Plate, Gold filled or Solid Gold?? (RE: DADSTIMESHOP)

    I am sorry to all the watchmakers out there but I am very disapointed that they took it upon themselves to mark up the inside of watches. I have a couple that are defaced by the scratching performed on them.
    Sorry but thats my beef and I am sticking to it .

    [edit=5965=1176921335][/edit]
    [edit=5965=1176921342][/edit]

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