How To Tell If An Elgin Pocket Watch Is Gold?




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You are an Elgin pocket watch owner but don’t know whether it is gold or not, right? Then, you may ask how to tell if an Elgin pocket watch is gold? Well, in this circumstance, you must gather crucial information about the Elgin pocket watch. 

Tell If An Elgin Pocket Watch Is Gold

Testing the stamp, exploring the skin, going to a professional jeweler, using a metal verifier, applying a spectrometer, etc., can be some possible ways to test for the real gold on your Elgin pocket watch. 

Here is a related article that might interest you on How Do I Identify My Elgin Pocket Watch And Its Value? 

However, this article will briefly describe these ways and some pro tips while working with these ways. 

So, let’s start to explore. 

How To Tell If An Elgin Pocket Watch Is Gold?

Sometimes, it may be difficult to identify the original gold on your Elgan pocket watch. Some experts suggest seeing some markings such as 10k, 14k, or 18k placed at the rear of the watch. Obviously, you have to detach the rear cover. 

However, after noticing such kind of sign, you can determine whether it is gold. But this is not the only way to detect it. You can use some other crucial ways that are mentioned below to detect whether the Elgin pocket watch is gold or not. 

What Is The Elgin Pocket Watch?

The Elgin pocket watch is a product of the Elgin national watch company. Though the watch was initially created as an ordinary product, it has an excellent reputation nowadays. 

Interestingly, the first Elgin pocket watch was created in 1867. And The watch is still popular among stylish people because of its unique functionalities. Most importantly, you can easily repair it even if you are not a professional. 

The price range of the Elgin pocket watch starts from 200$ up to 5000$. 

How To Detect Whether An Elgin Watch Is Gold?

Now, let’s explore some tips that will let you know whether an Elgin watch is gold or not. 

See The Hallmark 

Hallmark on gold jewelry is a sign that will help you to determine whether it is gold or not. Thus, you can easily identify your Elgin watch in this way. 

How To Detect Whether An Elgin Watch Is Gold

For this purpose, you must open the watch’s rear back. After opening, you will see the content and manufacturer of the watch with some signs and marks. You may see a three-digit number on the hallmark. The number represents the purity and fineness of the gold. 

However, you may face some difficulties in this way. For example, an old watch may not contain such kind of markings. Now, what should you do? Well, just jump to the following methods. 

You may notice 14k, 18k, and other marks as an identifier of gold. At the same time, you can see these marks as decimal numbers. 0.585 or such kind of number can be presented on the stamp. 

Try Magnet Test 

We all know that gold is not magnetic. So, it is not a bad idea to test the metal of your Elgan pocket watch with a magnet. 

If your watch comes from pure gold, the magnet will not attract it. But fake metal can be attracted by the magnet. 

However, the magnet test is a primary measurement. You may not get precise data about the metal of your watch in this way. 

Know Some Crucial Terms 

There are some crucial terms that you must bear in mind before purchasing an Elgin gold pocket watch. Among them, “rolled gold plate,” “rolled gold,” and many more are usual. These terms mean the watch comes with gold-filled, not pure gold. 

A gold-filled case can also be identified with the representative number of years stated on the case. You will notice “Guaranteed 20 years” or related terms on the watch case. 

By seeing these signs and terms, you can easily identify whether your Elgin watch is gold or not. Remember that gold and gold-filled are not the same thing. So, be aware before purchasing your desired watch. 

Check With Acid 

Acid is a useful thing to test the originality of gold. And the testing process is too easy. You can do it at home. For this purpose, you have to collect Nitric acid. 

However, to do this test, you have to rub the metal of your watch with a black stone. After a few moments, you will notice a mark on your watch. Now, you need to apply the acid to the created spot. 

If the metal is not gold, it will be dissolved. If you see the metal of your watch has not changed, you can determine that it is gold. 

Test With Vinegar 

Testing with vinegar is a meaningful method. You will be able to identify your watch in this way fearlessly. And you will get the exact identification undoubtedly. 

You should drop a little amount of vinegar on the metal of your Elgin pocket watch. Consider using vinegar on the back side of the watch. This crucial consideration will help you to get the exact result quickly. 

However, now you have to investigate the color of the metal. If the watch’s color changes after using the vinegar, it is not gold. But when there is no change in the color, it is surely gold. 

Assess With Spectrometer

Detect Whether An Elgin Watch Is Gold

A spectrometer is a great thing to identify the metal. It will give you the exact information about the metal by using the X-ray method. So, this way is more trusted and safe. 

In this method, the x-ray will be sent by the machine. And the spectrometer will get radiation. Then, it will read the radiation and deliver the exact metal information. So easy, right? 

You can use this method fearlessly. It will not harm your Elgan pocket watch at all. 

Go To A Jeweler 

After getting hallmarks, you may still be confused about the metal of your pocket watch. In this case, you can pay a visit a professional jeweler. The jeweler uses many ways to test the metal, so your watch can be tested easily.  

Sometimes, a jeweler can refer you to a specialist. It is because he can’t identify the actual metal of your watch. In this case, you should go to a specialist to test your pocket watch’s gold. 

On the contrary, the jeweler can give you an idea about the carat of the watch. A higher carat means the Elgin pocket watch is more valuable. 

Another post that will interest you is about How To Wind A Pocket Watch With And Without A Key?

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Does Elgin Make Real Gold Watches?

Obviously, it makes real gold watches. And the company is highly renewed for its gold watches. 

Are Elgin Watches Expensive?

The overall price of the Elgin pocket watch can be a little bit high. The highest price of the Elgin pocket watch is about 5300$. But the price is not an issue for a stylish person. The gorgeousness of the watch can charm anyone. 

When Did Elgin Stop Making Pocket Watches?

The Elgin National Watch Company stopped to manufacture the pocket watch in 1964. Before this period, the company was the largest watch manufacturer in the world. 


By moving forward with the described methods, you will be able to get the answer to how to tell if an Elgin pocket watch is gold? So, if you want to be safe from deception, never hesitate to apply the mentioned ways on your Elgin pocket watch. 

Indeed, the whole watch never comes from gold. The watch may have various parts such as frame, case, crown, base, etc. Typically, the case, crown, or bracelets can be made of gold. 

I hope now you are fully capable of identifying the exact Elgin gold pocket watch. Notably, be careful while applying the mentioned methods on your watch. 

Good luck! 

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