Fine .999 gold is not magnetic, and in fact, pure gold should slightly repeal away from a strong magnet.
Below we will break down scientifically why this is so for gold. As well, pure silver is not magnetic too.
In elements we come across in our daily lives only nickel, cobalt, iron, gadolinium, neodymium, and samarium are highly attracted to magnetics.
The following video embedded below shows tests to see if gold is magnetic using some rare-earth magnets called neodymium magnets, and a water skim sensitivity test to show how various precious metals react to strong magnets.
We begin with a .999 fine gold gram sample. Notice how it moves away from the magnetic field when introduced to it.
Is Gold Magnetic? - (see for yourself at the 1:38 mark)
When materials get placed within magnetic fields, forces of the material's electrons will be affected.
This effect is scientifically known as “Faraday's Law of Magnetic Induction.”
Materials will react quite differently to the presence of external magnetic fields. Each reaction is dependent on the atomic and molecular structure of the material tested, and the overall magnetic field associated with the atoms of the element.
Most elements of the universe can get classified as diamagnetic, paramagnetic or ferromagnetic.
Diamagnetic materials such as pure gold and silver have a weak, negative susceptibility to magnetic fields. Diamagnetic elements like pure gold get slightly repelled by magnetic fields (as seen in the video embedded above), and the content does not retain the magnetic properties when the external field gets taken away. In diamagnetic materials all electrons are paired so there is no net magnetic field or force per atom within. Diamagnetism arises from the realignment of the electron paths under the influence of external magnetic fields. The majority of periodic table elements, including copper, silver, and gold, are classified as diamagnetic.
Paramagnetic materials have small, positive susceptibility to magnetic fields (having a slight attraction to magnets). Although a magnetic field slightly attracts these materials, the content does not retain the magnetic properties when the external magnetic field gets removed. Paramagnetic properties result from some unpaired electrons and the realignment of the electron paths caused by the external magnetic field. Paramagnetic materials include palladium, platinum, rhodium, rhenium, ruthenium, magnesium, molybdenum, lithium, and tantalum.
Ferromagnetic materials have significant, positive susceptibilities to external magnetic fields. They show strong attractions to magnetic fields and can retain magnetic properties after the external magnetic field has gotten removed. Ferromagnetic materials have some unpaired electrons, so their atoms have a net magnetic attraction. They get their strong magnetic properties due to the presence of magnetic domains. When a magnetizing force is applied, the areas become aligned to produce a strong magnetic field within the part. Iron, nickel, and cobalt are examples of ferromagnetic materials.
Is Gold Jewelry Magnetic?
If you are testing 22k, 18k, and 14k gold jewelry items such as necklaces or rings, it is possible that the clasp or other fasteners may have some ferromagnetic materials yet for the most part impure gold jewelry has copper mixed into its less than .999 purity to make it harder and more impervious to warping or wear. But most 22k and the less pure gold jewelry pieces should not be ferromagnetic and therefore not attracted to magnets.
The bottom line here is pure gold is not magnetic at all and an excellent way to test to see if a gold product is real and genuine.
The following video shows a few other noninvasive gold tests for authenticity you can apply at home with limited resources or cost inputs.
How to test Gold?
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