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The gold ring test on cheek for iron deficiency

Updated February 21, 2017

Iron is a component of haemoglobin, the oxygen carrying part of red blood cells. Without enough iron, the body does not get enough oxygen causing a person with low iron to feel continuously exhausted. Iron deficiency, a type of anaemia, is usually treated by increasing the amount of iron a person consumes.

About the Gold Test

Using gold jewellery, such as a gold ring to test for iron deficiency is an old wives' tale. According to the story, rubbing a gold ring on the outside of your cheek will help you detect if you are anaemic. A dark line indicates that you are anaemic; no line indicates that you are not iron deficient.

Accuracy of the Test

Although rubbing a gold ring on the check may leave a black line, there is no scientific research that shows that this means the person has anaemia. There are several hypotheses as to what causes the black line, including a reaction with cosmetics or lotions on the skin, the person's individual skin chemistry, and other metals adhered to the gold ring or dirt on the ring.

Accurate Anemia Tests

Do not rely on the gold ring test if you feel you may be iron deficient; doctors do not use gold rings to test for anaemia. However, if you have symptoms of anaemia, do call your doctor. The only accurate way to determine if you have anaemia is to get a blood test.

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About the Author

Lynn Anders has more than 15 years of professional experience working as a zookeeper, wildlife/environmental/conservation educator and in nonprofit pet rescue. Writing since 2007, her work has appeared on various websites, covering pet-related, environmental, financial and parenting topics. Anders has a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies and biology from California State University, Sacramento.