Your neighborhood

Gold and Jewelry Store

for over 25 years

1314 Williamson Street

Madison, WI


OPEN Tue - Sat

9:30AM to 5:00PM

Check out our diamonds!

1.12ct Round Brilliant Diamond

.99ct Tiffany Solitaire

Engagement Ring with a 1.64ct Center Stone

1.17tcw Hearts On Fire Ring

LeVian Diamond Ring

Tiffany Diamond Eternity Band

Shay Pave Set Diamond Earrings

Harry Winston Diamond Band

Rick's Olde Blog


Welcome to 'The Blog'

Hi!  I'm Ricardo Paoli, Owner and Operator of Rick's Olde Gold.  I've been doing business with my friends and neighbors in the heart of Madison's storied Willy Street Neighborhood for over 20 years.

My business is buying and selling gold, silver, jewelry, sculptures, musical instruments, and whatever else my neighbors happen to bring through my door.  Sometimes, if they can't fit it in the door, I buy it anyway.

As you can imagine, I've amassed some pretty cool stuff (and some pretty cool stories) over the last twenty years.  The purpose of this blog is to tell you about it.  Thanks for reading, and stop by the store anytime.

-Ricardo Paoli, Owner


How to Price Gold and Silver

How much is your gold, silver, or platinum worth?  With just a postal scale and a calculator, you can figure it out from the comfort of your own home!

First, find the market price for gold in the ticker at the top of this website, the financial section of your newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, or on websites like kitco or monex. Gold is priced per troy ounce (toz), which is slightly different from the ounce on a postal scale.  Since most jewelry items weigh a fraction of an ounce, most real jewelers, dealers and buyers use the pennyweight as the comparison unit.

Most gold jewelry is not 100% pure and needs to go through the processes of being melted and assayed, and then reformed into tradable gold. When discussing gold jewelry the term “karat” is often used. Karat (kt) refers to the purity of the gold.  Jewelry will almost always be marked with a small hallmark (“10kt”, “14kt” etc).  U.S. Gold jewelry and scrap gold is usually 10kt, 14kt, or 18kt. Jewelry from Asia, Africa and India is usually between 18kt to 24kt. 24kt is 100% pure gold, 10kt is 41%, 14kt is 58%, 18kt is 75% pure gol,d and so on. Sometimes the item will be marked with a number indicating the purity of gold: .417 for 10kt, .585 for 14kt, .750 for 18kt, etc.  Items marked 1/20th 10kt GF or 10kt GF or any kt “GF”, GP or HGE are just gold plated and do not contain enough gold to be of value. If an item is not marked, the item is probably just gold plated. If an item is gold, the maker usually wants to advertise it with a mark.  If the item is marked .925, it indicates that the item is sterling silver. The other hallmark for silver is “Sterling”.

Once you have weighed your item and multiplied it by it by its percentage purity, you have determined its value.  When you go sell to a dealer, you will only get a percentage of that value.  The difference pays for the dealer’s profit margin, carrying costs, refining costs, dealers volume of business, and the volume you are selling. The dealer also incurs risk in that the kt stamp on gold jewelry is not accurate.

To get the best price, it’s a good idea to shop around.  Typical honest dealer purchase prices of scrap jewelry are 50-70% of the melt value.  At Rick's Olde Gold, we pay up to 80% for jewelry items depending upon quantity and purity of the items.  For gold coins and ingot, we are now paying up to 90%, and even more on very large batches ($20K+).  Come on in for a personalized quote!

Troy Ounce Conversions

1 toz = 20 dwt

1 toz = 31.1 g

1 oz = 28 g

1 dwt = 1.555 g

Gold Suffixes and Percents

8K = 333 = 33.3%

9K = 375 = 37.5%

10K = 417 = 41.7%

14K = 585 = 58.5%

18K = 750 = 75.0%

22K = 916 = 91.6%

24K = 999 = 100%

Silver Suffixes and Percents

.800 = 80.0%

.830 = 83.0%

Sterling = .925 = 92.5%

Platinum Suffixes and Percents

.900 = 90.0%

.950 = 95.0%

Other Hallmarks

G.F. = Gold Filled

G.P. = Gold Plated

H.G.E. = Heavy Gold Electric Plate

This information also readily available at the Rick's Olde Gold counter:


Keep it local

When selling scrap gold jewelry, it is highly recommended to do business with a reputable firm in the community who is accountable for their business practices. Local dealers must abide by local laws designed to protect you. The “here today – gone tomorrow” crowd is not. For example, if you change your mind for any reason, local jewelers will hold new purchases for 2 to 3 weeks and may be willing (but are not required to) sell your jewelry back to you at or near cost. Also just having the ability to say YES, NO, or “Let’s talk about it” is nice. You can’t do that if you mail your gold to the “national” buyers. If you are going to mail your gold to a firm outside of the area be sure it is in an insured or registered package that you can track, and be sure you can get your merchandise back if the price isn’t right. A minimal amount of research on the Internet reveals that almost all such companies pay very little for your gold and silver. (Those ads aren’t cheap! Neither is that short term rent space!) Also they never have to look you in the eye again. But there is usually no reason to send your gold out of town if you are armed with their best prices. Many local shops will be more competitive.


Junk or Gem: Vintage Packers Football

The first installment of Junk or Gem aired this week on NBC 15 Morning News.  I got a chance to appraise this signed 1967 Packers football from the Ice Bowl.

Do you have any items lying around the house that you think might have some value?  Curious?  Bring 'em on down to the shop for a free appraisal.  Maybe you, too, will be saying, "Rick has given a better price than what I thought it was!"


Junk or Gem: Vase & Boxing Tickets

It was great to be back on NBC 15 Morning News with another episode of Junk or Gem!  This week, I took a look at a Vase and some vinage Tunney-Dempsey Boxing Tickets brought in by NBC 15 Morning News viewers.  You might be suprised at how much one of them is worth.  Christine Bellport sure was! Do you have any items around the house that you think might have some value?  Curious?  Bring 'em on down to the shop for a free appraisal.  Just like Christine Bellport at the end of the segment, maybe you, too, will be saying, "[I] made a good profit on that!  I had no idea it would be worth ($$$) and above!"

Thanks again to Tim Elliott and NBC 15 Morning News for stopping by the shop!