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Jul182012

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:

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Reader Comments (2)

Wham!! Just when I thought I new everything there was to know about gold and silver, this blog help me to price these precious metals. Thanks a million!!

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSvetlana Koslov

Wham!! Just when I thought I new everything there was to know about gold and silver, this blog help me to price these precious metals. Thanks a million!!

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSvetlana Koslov

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