Scrap Your Gold and Silver Jewelry: How to get Maximum Profit and Value

From a Seller's Perspective

Chances are in today's tough economy, you have considered selling your gold and silver jewelry for a cash payoff. While doing this normally equates to instant cash, there are things you must know before hand before you take your valuables to a Recovery Company to get the maximum value for your items and to avoid being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous buyer.

Understanding Gold Weight

To calculate the potential value of your items, it is important to understand how the value of gold and silver are measured. When a buyer calculates the value of your jewelry, he will measure the amount of "grams" in your jewelry.

Gold values you see on stock market reports are derived at a price per "Troy Ounce" of gold. There are exactly 31.1034768 grams of in a Troy Ounce. There are 480 "grains" within each troy ounce for those looking to cash in on gold boullion. Be leery of using gold calculation estimates on a Gold Recover's web page or business as often times these numbers can be rounded to give you the least value for your gold.

Gold is valued per troy ounce, with a troy ounce equaling 31.1 grams. To find your gold value, you must check the current daily stock value of gold per Troy Ounce. You can divide the current value of gold by 31.1 grams to find out how much you can expect to earn per gram. This will also give you an idea of whether or not an offer to purchase your gold by a buyer is fair.

Research the Gold Market

Before you sell your gold, it is important to monitor the current price of gold. A year ago, a buyer could earn over $3000 per troy ounce. The current price of gold today is less than $2000 per troy ounce. At the time this hub was written, gold per troy ounce is $1750.32. This means your gold is worth $56.27 per gram and $3.65 per grain if selling gold bullion.

Gold prices fluctuate considerably over the course of a month. By understanding this fluctuation and monitoring the market, you can wait if possible to cash in your items when the market is a little more generous. During stock market crashes and downturns, the market for gold falls and this can make a huge difference in your profits.

Differences in 10k, 18k, and 24k gold

Prices of gold are based on a 24k gold standard. The lower the karat of gold of your item, the lower the profit you will make. Based on a market value previously established, the price per "karat" varies considerably.

For example, a 5 gram gold necklace in 10k gold at today's value would be worth: $91.10

a 5 gram gold necklace in 18k gold at today's value would be worth: $164.00

a 5 gram gold necklace in 24k gold at today's value would be worth: $200.45

While these calculations explain the "worth" of your gold, you must remember that the Buyer will not offer you this amount as they will keep a percentage for profit.

Determining the Karat Value of Your Jewelry

All true gold jewelry will display its own Karat value somewhere on the piece. The karat value is normally found on the tag of a standard necklace. The value of rings is normally imprinted on the underside of the ring. You can locate the karat value of jewelry with a magnifying glass.

(When a Buyer wears the "eyepiece" to examine jewelry, this is normally what they are looking for.)

The Buyer will test all your jewelry with an acid stone. This does not harm your jewelry. It tells the Buyer the karat value of the piece and lets the Buyer know your piece is authentic.

Jewelry that does not have a karat stamp on it is probably commercial grade and probably has no value.

Value of Silver

The profits of silver are CONSIDERABLY less than profits from Gold. In 2011, the price of a gram of silver is $1.06. Necklaces made of silver are very light and do not offer much profit. The typical weight of an American Silver Dollar is 26 grams giving large silver coins an estimated value of $27.56 minus the Buyer's profit during purchase.

Silver Dollar
Silver Dollar

Get COMPARISONS for maximum value

The amount of profits for any piece of jewelry is set at the discretion of the Buyer. As an experienced, prepared seller of jewelry, the amount of profit collected by Buyers varies by HUNDREDS of dollars by Buyers.

When taking my jewelry to be evaluated, I have taken the same 18k ring to three different Buyers. The first company, a private Mom and Pop store offered me $89 for it. (Thankfully I was an educated seller who knew that this was a VERY underhanded price). A second private company offered me $127. Not bad, but since I knew the gold value of the piece was $187, I continued getting comparison offers. Out of curiosity, I tried a chain Buyer called "Gold King" which had a sign on the door, "Best Gold Prices Offered." I figured it would be worth a shot. To my surprise, the Buyer offered me $156 for the ring and I accepted his offer.

Even if you are in desperate need of cash, it is imperitive that you research the value of your items before hand so you don't sell your valuables at a major loss.

Diamonds and Watches

No matter how valuable your watch is, there is no scrap metal value in it and Buyers will not accept them. Because watches are made of stainless steel and GOLD PLATED, they have no scrap value. Pawn shops rarely accepted watches because they have little used value. Do not expect to make any profit from watches of any brand name.


When taking your scrap gold to a Buyer, it is important to know that the buyer will NOT consider the value of any diamonds, no matter how valuable, in the offer they make you. These buyers may recover the diamonds, but you will not be reimbursed for the value of any stones.

Beware of These Scams by Gold Recovery Companies and Dealers:

There is nothing an unscrupulous gold recovery agent dislikes more than an educated consumer. Not all of them lack morals, but many try to take advantage of customers to make a bigger profit. In all, these companies make money by giving you LESS of what your gold is worth. Here are some common scams to avoid:

- Unscrupulous dealers will try to round down the Karat value of your item to make more profit. If an agent tells you your 14 karat gold is actually only 13 karats, this is a sign they are trying to scam you. Ask the agent to see the exact formula they used to determine the value of your items before agreeing to payment. If they refuse to show it to you, they may have manipulated the numbers.

- If you have calculated the value of your gold and the agent knows you have done this, many will try to convince you that your calculations are wrong. Unethical dealers will try to confuse customers that they used the wrong system of conversion or they miscalculated the value. If you are sure you are right, it is best to take your gold and silver elsewhere to get another quote. Many consumers doubt their knowledge and will agree to the sale because the agent has intimidated them with their "superior knowledge."

Whether you calculate the value of your gold by Troy Ounce or by the lesser accepted method of Pennyweight measurements- the value of your gold will be the same!!

- Avoid cashing in gold and silver by mail or over the internet. You will not be able to see if the agent tests your gold and you will not be privy to seeing the method of how the value of your lot is calculated.

- The day you go to a recovery agent to exchange your treasures for cash, check on the current posted price of gold. It is best to print out the value and take it with you. This will tell you if the agent you present your items to is offering you the correct value. This price changes daily and sometimes by the hour. Unethical agents will use a deflated value and give you less than what you deserve. You can be sure that recovery agents save their stash of purchased gold and cash it in when values are at their highest.

Other Things to Consider

The decision to cash in your jewelry is a personal and sometimes painful sacrifice. If you are in dire straights and looking to cash in any piece of jewelry that is meaningful to you, consider taking it to a reputable Pawn Shop instead of scraping it. Many Pawn Shops will hold your item and give you a loan based on the value of the item. This will give you the option to buy your jewelry back at a later time.

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Comments 27 comments

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

I read this too late. The only gold I have left is a cap on my tooth (old school molar)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

LOL WD.. stay tuned cause I am working on a hub on how to find gold.. thanks for stopping by. You crack me up!


KitschKat profile image

KitschKat 4 years ago from Somewhere in Great Britain

I thought there were around 31 grams in a troy ounce?


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Ktschkat,

That is close. The exact measurement is 1 Gram = 0.03215074657 Troy Ounce so I rounded up to 33 for the sake of making things easier to get an estimate. Thanks for checking it!


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Hello Tammy,

Great hub with really useful information. I remember when I first went to the USA in 79' gold was $500 an ounce. So as a store of value it has done pretty well over that period.

Voted up useful and interesting.

We could exchange links? My hub on extracting cash from the gold in old technology and cell phones.

A one stop shop for all things gold sales related. I will link this hub to my hub.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Awesome! I will add your link. Thank you for that and thank you for reading!


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Thanks Tammy,

You are more than welcome and thanks for adding my link and for reading.

I know there are many people that need this kind of information. Especially in these tough times. Great hub.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I'm sure many people are taking advantage of the high prices to sell their gold jewelry. Wish I could do that but the only gold I have is in my teeth. Voting this Up and Interesting.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Tammy,

Thanks for publishing this Hub. Let's hope many people read it before selling their gold.

Have you read recent news stories about buying and selling silver? I know some people who are investing in silver now.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for reading alocisin! If you ever go to estate sales or thrift stores, always take a magnifying glass. If you see a gold necklace or other jewelry, the karat value will be listed near the clasp. I appreciate your visit!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Daisy Mariposa,

Gold values are usually stable but there seems to be spikes in the value of silver. It is probably a worthwhile investment. Thanks for stopping by!


Express10 profile image

Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

Thanks for this very useful hub. I learned a lot about gold that I didn't know.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for your visit Express10! It is worth a great deal if you can find a good buyer.


SallyTX profile image

SallyTX 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

Great, detailed information! Voted up & useful! ;D


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Sally TX!


fakesilver 4 years ago

who the hell is sally?


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

See the above comment fakesilver.


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Hi Tammy,

just been going through a rewrite on my gold hub. Traffic steady. How it going with this one.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

This one does really well on Google. I don't get much Hubpages traffic to begin with. It could probably use an update and some tweaking. :)


nickwin profile image

nickwin 4 years ago from Renton, Washington

I was actually just thinking I needed to look into this. Thanks for the information at just the right time!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks nickwin! I hope this will help you in some way. :)


monicamelendez profile image

monicamelendez 4 years ago from Salt Lake City

Very interesting stuff. I had no idea that there were thing many things to think about when selling precious metals!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Wow! Very cool hub!! I didn't know all this about gold and I'm sure a lot of people are thinking about this in the bum economy. It's always good to avoid scams, too, so that information is great. Thanks for sharing this well-done hub!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks so much for reading CClitgirl!


am301986 profile image

am301986 4 years ago from New Delhi

Great hub, valuable and informative. Thanks for sharing.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for stopping by am301986.


pranksters 3 years ago

hey that was a great hub! i have been buying and selling gold for years in thrift stores, garage sales, kijiji, craigslist ect... i just posted a hub about how to profit from buying and selling gold. i wanted to check out other peoples views on gold. very informative and accurate work here!

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