Friday, October 16, 2009


Are you interested in finding some extra money from what you might have already at home?  Look around.  Do you have any old broken or no longer used jewelry lying around or in your jewelry box or on the dresser?  Ear rings, necklaces, old rings, gold dentures.  Does it have any sentimental value?  If it does, don’t try to sell it. You can never put a monetary value on sentiment. But if you have other gold jewelry that you could really live without and would rather have money for it, then you have found hidden treasure just lying around that you might not have known you possessed.

Let me say this first.  I have been in the scrap gold business for approximately 40 years and I learned a long time ago to treat my customers fairly, with dignity, and respect.  Find yourself a jeweler that will treat you this way and you have found a friend in the jewelry business to deal with for years to come.  This is not rocket science, but you can lose money you should have if you don’t know the value of what you have before you try to sell.

Now, what is it worth?  What is a fair price to sell it for?  Two very important questions if you are to make this work for your benefit.

Gold value is determined by carat (% of gold content), by weight (grams), and by the spot gold market, and by what per cent the buyer is willing to pay. 

Carat is the percent of gold an item possesses.  Most gold jewelry is stamped with the carat marking such as    10kt   14kt    18kt    10ktp   14ktp    18ktp
Pure gold consists of  24 carats.  There fore 10kt is 10/24 pure gold.  14kt is 14/24 pure gold  18kt is  18/24 pure gold.  The “p” after the 10, 14, and 18 kt stamp merely means the gold is “plumb” meaning actual carat content.  Before the early 1970s, the government allowed jewelry manufacturers to fudge a bit on the stamped gold content of jewelry. 10kt gold was actually only 9.5kt and 14kt was only 13.5kt gold content.  I tell you this because I don't want you to get upset with the person you will try to sell your gold to thinking that person is trying to cheat you out of some of the money you think you should be paid. Also, some jewelry is stamped with a carat mark followed by “hge” or “ge” or “gf”.  The “hge” or “ge”  means “heavy gold electroplate” or “gold electroplate” and the “gf” means “gold filled”.  These items are merely gold plated or very low percentage gold content and are only worth pennies and you are looking to sell for dollars. Be careful to note what you are trying to sell so you don’t get upset with the purchase offer.  Another thing, most stones in jewelry are just colored glass and must be removed to determine the fair weight of the item to be sold. Any valuable stones, such as diamonds, should be left in the item so the value of the stones can be determined by the jeweler.  Small diamonds are of little value because they are hard to work with and usually do not figure in the value of your item.  5 point diamonds or larger should get you more money for your item when figuring the final selling price.  Some jewelers pay more for diamonds than others.

Now, what is your gold worth?  What is a fair selling price?  First, what is your gold worth.  This is simple mathematics.  Let us use a wedding band that we no longer wear so we don’t really need it and it has no sentimental value to you.  Let’s say it is marked 10kt and it weighs 10 grams. (You need to know the weight of your item in grams. You can buy a relatively cheap gram scale at Wal-Mart, Kmart, or Walgreen or other drug stores. If you know the weight of your gold, it is easier to arrive at its value before you go to sell.)  There are 31.1 grams in one ounce.  Gold is presently selling for approximately $1040.00 per ounce.  Therefore 1 gram of pure gold is worth $1040 divided by 31.1 grams equals  $33.44 per gram.  Now your ring is not 100% pure gold but 10/24 pure gold or 10 divided by 24 equals 41.67% pure gold.  Now to determine the value of your ring-multiply  $33.44 per gram times 10 grams (the weight of your ring) times .4167 (41.67% converted to a decimal equivalent) and this equals $139.34.  How about that?   You found treasure.  Now, what is a fair selling price?  A reputable dealer that has been in business for some time and intends to stay in business by treating his customers with respect, would be willing to pay between 70 to 75% of full gold content value.  If you have a significant weight, perhaps 75 grams or more, you should be able to negotiate a higher percentage than 75%.  Perhaps 80%.  Remember, that person is in business to make a living and has overhead expenses they have to cover in order to stay in business.   Don’t think they are being hard on you to offer you a lower percentage at first.  The selling price is always negotiable.  Get the most you can.  If you are satisfied with the offer, sell and put the money in your pocket and leave with a smile on your face.

Using the figures stated above, you can figure out the value of any gold items you would have.  If you know your gold was manufactured before 1970, use the 9.5 or 13.5 kt value to determine the gold percentage content so you know what it is worth before you go to sell.  You can find spot gold market price at    This is the place I use,  It is current and easy to use.



$1040 DIVIDED BY 31.1 TIMES .4167(10 CARAT) TIMES 10 GRAMS TIMES .75 (75%) EQUALS   $104.50

READ THIS CAREFULLY AT LEAST TWICE OR MORE.  GO TO A REPUTABLE JEWELER TO SELL YOU MATERIAL.  DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT GO TO A FLY-BY-NIGHT BUYER OR YOU WILL NOT GET A FAIR PRICE (TO YOU) FOR YOUR GOLD.  Not to put them down or anything.  They are in business to make a profit just like any other merchant, but you will get a better price from a well-known local jeweler that has been in business for some time and intends to stay in business and wants you for a return customer.

Now, get to looking for that treasure you have lying around your house and go make you some money.  Have fun while you are at it and life will be easier.