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[HAPS-L] Myth? Gold test for anemia.

I received this question from a student:


I have a question that perhaps you would know about.

I have heard that an old fashion way to tell if one is anemic is to slide something gold (a ring for example) on your face.  If you are low in iron it will leave a mark where you swipe the ring.  I struggle to keep my iron at acceptable levels and when I swipe gold on my face it leaves a black mark as if I used a sharpie.*  We did an experiment at work with another co-worker to test this statement.  She knows that her iron is fine.  When she swiped the same ring on her face there is no mark.  There must be something about it,  but I am not sure what is going on there or what is reacting and why.  Have you heard of this and can you tell me why it happens.



Robert L. Leopard

Instructor of Biology

Monroe Community College




*emphasis mine.