Fake gold scam

Gambia-fake-gold-scamMany tourists look to buy gold in Gambia, as gold is locally mined and therefore relatively cheap. Albert Market in Banjul is a popular place to shop for gold, silver and other local souvenirs. However, local traders are taking advantage of tourists looking for a good deal on gold without enough knowledge to distinguish genuine pure gold from gold plated copper or lead.

There are a few ways to test if the jewelry you are looking to buy in Gambia (or anywhere else) is made of real gold:

  • Gold is not (or hardly) magnetic. The easiest way to test whether the gold you’re about to buy from a Gambian street vendor is real, is to use a magnet. If the jewelry or coins sticks to the magnet, it’s safe to assume that it’s not the real deal. Genuine gold shouldn’t hold on to the magnet.
  • Gold doesn’t oxidize. If you can see green or black deposits on the jewelry, chances are it’s some kind of adulterated gold. Another way of testing this is by polishing the gold with a cloth. When pieces of gold come off, it’s not genuine gold.
  • Take a look at the color, some fake gold is extremely yellow, which makes it easy to recognize. Not all counterfeit gold is that obvious, but most of it is more yellow and shines brighter than genuine gold.
  • Real gold jewelry won’t get scuffed. If you see necklaces or rings that are slightly damaged, you can assume they’re not made of pure gold.

Gambia-scam-fake-goldBuying gold on a street market is always tricky business if you’re not an expert in recognizing real gold, even with the tips mentioned above. And the same motto that you’ll find everywhere in this site applies to buying gold jewelry in Gambia: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Find experiences from real victims or post your own story in our Banjul and Gambia Tourist Scams Forum.

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