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bars of gold

One of the first steps you’ll encounter when selling or pawning your jewelry is the shop is going to test that your gold is, well, gold.

So, how exactly do pawn shops test your gold? 

There are a number of tests to make sure that a piece of jewelry is real gold and not just plated or painted.

You will likely see the authenticator do these tests, but you can also do them at home before bringing jewelry to the shop to ensure that what you’re trying to sell is the real deal.

Visual Inspection

The first thing the pawn shop will do is a visual inspection. Real gold jewelry will have a stamp indicating the fineness or karat of the gold, anything under 10K isn’t considered to be real gold. Of course, these stamps often wear off due to use, and some counterfeit jewelry has a fake stamp, so the visual inspection is not the be-all, end-all. Another aspect of the visual inspection is to see if there are any parts that have been worn off to show another metal underneath, this checks to see if the jewelry is obviously plated.

Magnet Test

Real gold isn’t magnetic, so you will likely see the authenticator using a magnet to see if the jewelry is magnetic. If it moves toward the magnet, that’s a clear indicator that the jewelry isn’t real gold. Counterfeit jewelry can be made with non-magnetic metals, so there will also be more testing done.

Density Test

Real gold is one of the densest materials, so you can test your jewelry for density to test for gold.

First, weighing the jewelry in grams. You can then do a water density test.

If you fill a clear container with water, measure exactly how high the water is (you can try a plastic cup and sharpie). Add your jewelry to the container and measure the displacement in millimeters. Density calculated in mass (g) divided by volume displacement (ml).

So, if your mass was 29 g and your water displacement was 2 ml, you’d have a relative density of 14.5 g/ml, and 14K gold has a relative density of 12.9 to 14.6 g/ml, so 14.5 g/ml would likely confirm authentic gold.

  • 14K: 12.9 to 14.6 g/ml
  • 18K yellow: 15.2 to 15.9 g/ml
  • 18K white: 14.7 to 16.9 g/ml
  • 22K: 17.7 to 17.8 g/ml

There are many other tests a pawn shop authenticator may do using chemicals and acid, but these three are tests you can do at home that are pretty clear indicators of real gold.

The tests for silver are a little different, but not by a lot. Silver is also a non-magnetic precious metal, and a visual test to see about wear and plating is also a valid approach. You can also test for density with silver, where the average density is 10.8 g/ml. You can also test silver as a conductor. If you have silver jewelry, try putting an ice cube directly on it, the ice cube should start to melt almost immediately as energy runs through it.

Watches are the one piece of men’s fine fashion where you are encouraged to go all out.

In a world where plain-coloured suits and modest ties are dominating board rooms, watches are the place to show off.

While watches are expensive, some of the best, most eye-catching pieces can be found at your local pawn shop.

If you love the flash of a great watch, check out these pieces. They rank as some of the most expensive watches ever made.

7. Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263 Oyster Albino- $4 million

As the most expensive Rolex ever sold, the Daytona Oyster Albino had a run of just four watches.

The watch features unique white chronograph sundials.

For a company that is synonymous with fancy watches, this piece remains its most expensive and possibly most notable watch.

6. Louis Moinet Meteoris– $4.6 million

Just like the Rolex Daytona, there were only four versions of this watch made, and for good reason: the watch contains an actual moon rock.

Each of the pieces are truly unique for what’s hidden inside. These pieces are really out of this world!

5. Hublot Big Bang– $5 million

With 1280 diamonds, the Hublot Big Bang is a total lesson in luxury.

Each diamond is cut by the same jeweler in New York to ensure complete consistency.

The entire piece is a seamless band and watch of diamonds that takes lavishness to a whole new level.

4. Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in Stainless Steel- $11 Million

Patek luxury watches are known for their extravagance but they made a big splash with the Philippe 1518 because of its casing.

Instead of rose or yellow gold, this piece features a stainless steel casing.

Only four were made, which is another reason for its high price tag.

3. Jacob & Co. Billionaire Watch- $18 Million

While not worth billions itself, this watch is expensive enough to only be afforded by the ultra-wealthy.

Made with 230 collective carats of diamonds, each emerald cut, this piece has a skeleton face that is as striking as its diamond band.

2. Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication– $24 Million

Created exclusively for Henry Graves Jr., the famous banker and watch collector, the Supercomplication is named for its 24 complications.

It also features a perpetual calendar, minute repeater with Westminster chimes, times for sunrise and sunset, and a celestial chart based on the night sky above Graves’ New York home.

1. Chopard 201-Carat Watch- $25 Million

201 refers to the total number of carat diamonds on this watch, which includes a 15-carat pink diamond, a 12-carat blue diamond, and an 11-carat white diamond – 163 carats of white and yellow diamonds make up the rest.

Edmonton Pawn Shop

Do you love watches and other collectibles? Pop on in to our shop to take a peek at the unique and exciting watches we have for sale.

A piece of jewellery can elevate an outfit, taking it from plain to flashy, luxurious or sophisticated. One of the most elegant and versatile pieces of jewellery is the pearl necklace. Most would agree that pearls are beautiful, classic and timeless, but what many people don’t realize is that not all pearls are the same. There are actually many varieties of pearls with different looks, sizes and value, catering to almost every taste. No matter what your sense of style is or how you want to elevate your look, there is a string of pearls out there to suit you.

Akoya Pearls

When most people think of pearl jewellery, it is the classic akoya pearl that enters their mind. Akoya pearls, a type of saltwater pearl, are known for being highly lustrous and nearly perfectly round. It’s the natural roundness of the akoya pearl that makes it such a popular choice for jewellery, as the uniform beads create a classic and quietly elegant look. The akoya pearl is typically available in shades of white and grey, with some subtle green and pink undertones.

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls typically come from oysters that yield several pearls at a time, meaning one of their most appealing characteristics is their lower price; but lower price doesn’t mean poor quality. Freshwater pearls are just as beautiful as any other pearl. Freshwater pearls do tend to be smaller and asymmetrical, so the look is more fun and trendy, and not typically classic. Though available naturally in a variety of shades of white and grey, freshwater pearls are often given artificial colour treatments to make them available in fun, statement hues like pink or purple.

Tahitian Pearls

A favorite amongst fashionistas, Tahitian pearls are bold and exotic with their large size, shimmering, satiny surface and deep, rich colours. Some of the most famous Tahitian pearls are the black variety. These are the darkest naturally occurring pearls in the world, but they also give off a stunning iridescent shimmer, offering hypnotizing glimpses of deep greens and blues. Tahitian pearls are also available in a variety of other colours, including white and gold. If you are looking to truly make a statement, the Tahitian pearl is the way to go.

South Sea Pearls

South Sea pearls are among the rarest in the world, as they have a very limited growth period and natural region. They are also some of the largest pearls in the world, and come in a variety of shapes, though truly round ones are less common.

South Sea pearls are typically available in white and gold, and they are noted for their soft, subtle shine. Because of their rarity, they come at a higher price point than most other varieties of pearls. They are the perfect choice for someone who values jewellery that is unique without being over the top, and timeless without being boring. They are a truly elegant choice.

Whether your style is classic, sophisticated, bold, trendy or somewhere in between, there is a pearl out there that is a perfect fit for you.

If you’re looking for a meaningful piece of jewellery, why not pick out a beautiful piece from our pawn shop with your partner’s birthstone? Birthstones are a great way to show someone that you are thinking of them because each birthstone has its own meaning that is special. There are many different interpretations of the meanings and some months have two are three stones. Here is a quick guide to the most common birthstones and meanings by month.


A garnet is a deep blood red stone. These beauties will keep the wearer safe during travel. Garnets are a great alternative to rubies as they are often less expensive.


Amethysts are a beautiful purple colour. They are said to give the wearer courage and to strengthen relationships.


March’s birthstone is aquamarine. These blue-green stones are the colour of the sea and are said to help people make friends.


It’s true what they say, diamonds really are a girl’s best friend! This classic and popular stone means – you guessed it – everlasting love.


Emeralds have a beautiful deep-green colour and have several meanings. Fertility, rebirth, wisdom and patience are all qualities represented by this semi-precious gem.


June’s birthstone is the pearl. Purity and chastity surround this treasure of the sea. Natural pearls come in all different colours and shapes and the trick to discovering whether or not you have a real pearl is to run it lightly on your teeth; a  real pearl will feel gritty.


The red ruby is full of passion and love. Rubies, emeralds and sapphires are wonderful alternatives to diamonds for engagement rings.


August’s birthstone is one of the only gems to come in only one colour: olive green. While the peridot stone may have varying tones, but they are always this green. The peridot represents strength.


Most recently made popular by Princess Diana and her daughter-in-law Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, the sapphire is a beautiful blue stone that is supposed to give the wearer wisdom.


The often milky white stone, the opal, gives flashes of iridescent colours and is a beautiful stone set off by yellow gold. It means faithfulness and confidence and is a beautiful addition to anyone’s jewellery box.


One of the hardest gems, topaz can be colourless, red, blue, green, brown… Its hardness is what distinguishes it from other stones. Each colour has a different meaning, the most common golden topaz meaning confidence and stamina.


This beautiful blue stone, turquoise, is relatively inexpensive as it is widely available. Is protects the wearer and may give a stronger connection to the spirit world.

Jewellery Edmonton

Are you shopping for a meaningful gift? Come in and take a look at our jewellery selection – it varies day to day.

Loan Star is a high quality pawn shop located in Edmonton, Alberta, proud to serve Edmonton and surrounding areas.


So you’re thinking of popping the question, but don’t have the ring yet…? Luckily Loan Star Jewellery & Loans have jewellery experts on site that have decades of experience in not only buying and selling gold in Edmonton, but also choosing the perfect ring to give your one and only.

When you know it’s time to buy the ring start doing some recon work: what types of jewellery does she wear? What shape of stone would she prefer? Does she like diamonds? What types of metal does she wear every day? You can also enlist the help of her close friends and ask these questions. You will want to choose something that suits her style and her vision of the perfect ring.

When we talk about shape, we mean shape of the stone. Diamonds are the most popular stone for an engagement ring, but tastes and trends have evolved to now include coloured diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and amethysts. The shapes that are more popular are round and princess (or square), but other shapes include:

  • Oval
  • Pear
  • Emerald
  • Asscher
  • Radiant
  • Cushion
  • Marquise

Find out what shape she would prefer and start your ring search there.

Engagement rings are generally available in a couple of different types of metal: gold (yellow, white and rose) and platinum. Make sure that the colour of metal you choose is something she wears already on a regular basis. Platinum is more expensive but a lot heartier than gold. 14K and 10K gold is harder and less malleable than 18K or 24K gold, and also less expensive.

The old “two months’ salary” rule is just that – tired and old. Spend what you can afford to get a great ring. Diamonds are expensive, there’s no way around that. But the great thing about making a visit to our Edmonton Pawn Shop is we can offer you a great deal on a beautiful piece of jewellery.

Come down to our pawn shop in Edmonton and see our great jewellery selection, or call for more information.

This was a great establishment! Very clean! Staff were extremely helpful and friendly. If I ever need a pawn shop again, this is the place I will go.

- Suzanne
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