Is Gold Magnetic? | SEE FOR YOURSELF

Fine .999 gold is not magnetic, and in fact, pure gold should slightly repel away from a strong magnet.

Below we will break down scientifically why this is so for real gold. Likewise, pure silver is a non-magnetic metal as well.

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 piece of jewelry items, such as necklaces, rings or gold chains, it is possible that the clasp or other fasteners may have some ferromagnetic materials. Yet, for the most part impure gold jewelry has a cheaper metal (usually 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.

In other words, if your gold jewelry, coins or other pieces have ferromagnetic properties, they might have steel cores, for instance, plated with gold. 

The bottom line here is pure gold bullion, based on the gold price per ounce, like what is sold here at SD Bullion, 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. 

These tests, however, should only be trusted when identifying fake gold, such as fake gold coins. To certify you have a genuine gold piece, take it to a trusted dealer or jeweler for further investigation.

You can also do the same testing on silver products

How to test Gold?

How to avoid buying fake silver or gold?

  1. Use a neodymium magnet, such as in the first video of this article. They are not really expensive, and even small neodymium magnets are still strong enough to identify fake gold or silver in cheap and small pieces of jewelry. Remember, real gold or silver are diamagnetic, which means they should repel the magnet, not attract it. 
  2. Use a magnifying glass to look for hallmarks, which are distinctive characteristics on gold, silver and even platinum items, made by the manufacturer to certify their products' purity. You can usually find these markings on the inside of a ring or by the clasp of a necklace. On bullion products, you can generally find the mint's mark on the obverse of a coin, round or bar. 
  3. Use a counterfeit coins detector when buying bullion coins. Although a bit steep on the price, these devices, such as Sigma Metalytics Scanner, will help you identify most common counterfeits.
  4. The most important tip, though, is to buy precious metal products from a reputable seller, whether a bullion dealer or jeweler. SD Bullion has been in business for more than 8 years now, earning an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau throughout this time and proudly enjoying over 50,000 positive reviews from our customers. Make sure to check our products available for sale at the moment.
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James Anderson
James Anderson
Content Director

A bullion buyer years before the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, James Anderson is a grounded precious metals researcher, content creator, and physical investment grade bullion professional. He has authored several Gold