THE TRUTH ABOUT GOLD
Learn before you sell.
What are my gold jewelry and
diamonds really worth?
Most scrap gold dealers like to keep their calculations a secret. They don't want you to know how much they'll pay for your gold and they certainly don't want you comparing their prices to that of their competitors. They assume, wrongly, that you won't take the time to figure out what your gold is really worth, when in fact it's really not that hard to figure out.
Separate your gold by karat fineness
Start by separating your gold by karat fineness (i.e. 10k, 14k or 18k). Most gold jewelry will have a mark or stamp indicating the amount of gold contained in the alloy used. Look for marks such as 8K or 333 (33.3% gold), 9K or 375 (37.5% gold), 10K or 417 (41.7% gold), 14K or 585 (58.5% gold), 18K or 750, or even 21K or 22K for higher gold content pieces. It should be noted, especially on higher karat jewelry, that the purity is not always consistent with the stamped mark. Especially in the case of 21K jewelry, the purity is frequently as low as 75% gold.
Marks such as GF or gold filled, GP or gold plated, RGP or rolled gold plated, EP or electroplated, HE or heavy gold plated, or fractions such as 1/10 or 1/20, indicate that the piece is not gold but rather includes gold only on the outside with a different base metal underneath. These items have extremely little gold content.
Weigh your gold
Next you'll need to weigh each of the groups using an accurate scale that will weigh in ounces, pennyweights (DWT) or Troy Ounces (ozt). Once you've weighed each group you're going to want to convert your number in pennyweights. One pennyweight is equal to 1/20 of a troy ounce. For smaller quantities of gold, the pennyweight is the measurement used by the majority of scrap gold dealers. To convert from grams to DWT, multiply your number by .64301. To convert troy ounces into pennyweights, divide by 20.
Determine the daily price for gold>
Check the front page of our web site, or do a google search for "spot price gold" to determine the daily spot price for gold. The price will fluctuate daily and even hourly based on demand.
Breaking down the spot price
Now comes the "secret" part. Since you're jewelry is not refined, or pure 24K gold, there is a cost associated with the refining process that must be reflected. Generally, the cost of refining gold is going to run at anywhere from 1% to 2% depending upon the refiner and the volume. So the first step in our formula is to multiply the spot price by the average 98.5% to account for the average refining fees.
Revised Spot Price = Spot Price * .985
Next we need to break down the revised spot price for one ounce of refined 24K gold, when sold in 100 ounce groups, into a price per DWT or pennyweight. We need to do this for each of the different karat fineness piles. To do this, theoretically, we should be able to multiple the fineness by the spot price and then divide by twenty as their are twenty DWT to an ounce. Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple.
When gold jewelry is melted down, or refined, the fineness is rarely if ever exactly as the pieces are marked. In the case of 14K gold for example, while it should be 58.5% pure, it's more often then not closer to 53%. A difference of around 10%. Furthermore, there's often as much as a .5% to 1% loss during the refining process which needs to be accounted for. So, here's a simple formula per karat fineness that addresses the first issue and breaks the price down to DWT, the second issue we'll address in a moment:
18K DWT Price = (Revised Spot Price * .675)/20
14K DWT Price = (Revised Spot Price * .530)/20
10K DWT Price = (Revised Spot Price * .375)/20
Now we can multiple your DWT price by the weight of each of your groups to arrive at a value for each pile. To account for the loss during the refining process, and to account for the weight of any stones in your jewelry, we can then multiple the resulting number by 98% to arrive at a relatively true approximation of the value of your gold jewelry:
My jewelry is worth = (DWT Price * DWT) * .98
What can I expect to be paid?
Now that you know the true value of your gold, the question becomes, what can you expect to be paid for it? Since it's likely that you have nowhere near the volume necessary to refine the gold, you'll need to sell it to a dealer or to a refiner who will collect it with other lots for later melting. Since businesses are in business to make a profit, you're going to need to factor in a reasonable percentage to account for the businesses overhead and profit. On average, in this industry, 20% is considered a reasonable number. You will find however, that the percentage may vary greatly. Some national gold buyers and hotel buyers with very high overhead are, rather logically, going to pay much less. On average, ASE Metal Recovery will pay around 18% less to cover our overhead and profits.
For more information on what we buy or what we pay, please follow the links in the menu on the left. Click here to schedule an appointment, or call us at 518-368-5011.