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

Updated on September 19, 2017

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.

© 2011 Tammy


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