It's easy to find amazing bargains left behind in the nooks and crannies of pawnshops. With more than 12,000 pawnshops operating in America, there are plenty of places to look. Most people are on the lookout for forgotten jewelry made from precious metals like gold and silver; however, you can also make a good fortune buying jewelry containing precious stones at ridiculously low prices. In particular, ruby has always been high in value; however, it can be difficult to tell the real from the fake. Here are 3 tests you can try.
The Scratch Test
On the Mohs scale, ruby is considered to be one of the relatively harder precious stones out there, and has a mineral hardness rating of 9. Because of this, ruby is very durable and can tolerate wear well since not many other things can scratch it. In fact, ruby can only be scratched by diamonds, sapphires and other rubies.
Try to dig your fingernail into the ruby or try to scratch the surface with a coin or a knife. Because real ruby is extremely hard, scratching the ruby with any of these things should not leave a scratch at all. If it does leave a scratch, there is no doubt that you're handling a fake. There is no need to further test the ruby.
The Lemon Juice Test
On top of being extremely hard, ruby is also non-porous. Another simple and easy test you can try to see whether the ruby is genuine or not is the lemon juice test. It's really simple. All you have to do is soak the ruby in lemon juice. If the ruby is real, it should remain unaffected and unharmed by the lemon juice; however, if the ruby is fake and made from a glass composite, you should see the ruby begin to fog up in front of your eyes within several minutes.
If you don't have any lemon juice lying around, you can use a jeweler's cleaning compound as well for the test. Once again, if the ruby is real, the jeweler's cleaning compound should not affect the condition or the clarity of the ruby one bit. You should be cautious if the pawnshop owner hesitates or outright refuses to allow you to perform the lemon juice test since it is essentially harmless to authentic rubies.
The Streak Test
Last but not least, try out the streak test, as it is also an easy and simple way of seeing whether or not the ruby is real or fake. All you need is a clean, white porcelain tile. Rub the ruby across the porcelain tile and take a good look at whether any color streak are left behind. Real ruby won't leave any color streaks behind, although it may leave scratches. On the other hand, most fakes will leave a color streak.
Although the absence of a colored streak is not a definite confirmation that the ruby is real, it is a simple test that you can perform right at the pawnshop to determine whether what you're holding onto is authentic or not. Most of the time, if it doesn't leave a streak, it's real because most other lab-made rubies will leave a streak, although technology is always advancing.
Many people have pawned and forgotten or left valuable jewelry at pawnshops. if you know where to look, you'll find a large inventory of bargains just sitting around collecting dust. Make sure to get a written guarantee from the pawnshop owner of the authenticity of the ruby and to get the ruby appraised by a professional as soon as possible.