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## How to Calculate the Value of Your Scrap Gold

The value of gold jewelry is generally based on two factors; the value of gold and the artistic value of jewelry. These two factors combined make up the total value of a piece of gold jewelry.

When a person buys gold jewelry in a department store or a jeweler, they often pay two or three times more than the price of gold. For example, a bracelet may contain $50 worth of metal, but it sells for $150. In contrast, when you sell your broken or unwanted gold, you only get paid for the precious metal, not for the artistic value of the jewelry. This is because the typical precious metals dealer buys the jewelry for scrap, and it will soon be melted down into gold bars.

Gold is a commodity traded on commodity markets. The price of gold is set by supply and demand with millions of people buying a selling gold. Looking at the London PM Fix price, you can see that the price of gold is at an all-time high. In 1976, a troy ounce of bullion sold for as little as $150.

The commodity maintained its value of around $400 an ounce for two decades, until the turn of the century when gold prices began to soar; from $400 to well over $1,400 an ounce in 2011. If you’re holding onto old or broken jewelry at the bottom of your jewelry box, there’s never been a better time to sell.

**Step 1**

The first step in calculating the value of your scrap metal is to find the current value of gold. You can simply google the phrase “spot gold”. You will find that Kitco has the information you are looking for.

**2nd step**

You will need to sort your items according to their purity. Put your 10k in one pile, your 14k in another pile, and so on. You can usually find marks on the inside of rings, on the clasp of necklaces and bracelets, on the posts of earrings, etc.

What do the different markings on my jewelry mean?

Real Gold – 8K, 9K, 10K, 14K, 14KP, 18K, 22K, 24K, .585, .417, .750

Gold Plated – Marked 1/20 12K GF, HGE, EP, Avon, Monet, or no marking

24 karat gold is pure, while all other varieties contain some percentage of base metals mixed into the alloy. To calculate the purity, divide the marking by 24. For example, a bracelet marked 14k has a purity of 14/24 or 58.5%. A ring marked 10k has a purity of 10/24 or 41.7%.

**Step 3**

Now you know the price of gold and the purity of your jewelry. The next step is to find the weight of your jewelry. You will want to use a kitchen scale or an electronic scale to weigh your jewelry. You will need to convert the weight to troy ounces to calculate the value. There are 31.1 grams per troy oz and 1.1 regular ounces per troy oz. (Don’t worry, there are examples at the end of this article)

**Step 4**

A final factor that plays a role is the percentage of value you can actually get. If you were a refiner with a smelter and a customer order list for gold bullion, you could sell yourself gold at 100% of spot value. If you are a precious metals trader who works with refiners, you can sell your gold for around 95% of its spot value. However, as a consumer, you should expect to receive between 20% and 65% of the cash value.

Your local pawnshop and some of the big online buyers will try to pay as little as 20% of the cash value. Your typical online gold buyer will typically pay 50% of the cash value. Some of the best online buyers will pay up to 65% of cash value. You definitely want to get a personal referral to get the best price!

**Step 5**

The last step is to do the math. Let’s do some examples.

You have a 10k class ring weighing 17 grams and today’s spot price is $1425 per troy ounce.

$1425 * 10,000/24,000 * 17/31.1 * 65% is $295

You have a set of 22k earrings weighing 0.1 oz on your kitchen scale and the spot price is $1465 per troy oz.

$1465 * 22000/24000 * 0.1/1.1 * 50% = $61

Got a 14k herringbone necklace weighing 0.6oz and the cash price is $1385

$1385 * 14000/24000 * 0.6/1.1 * 55% is $242

You have a 24 karat gold charm weighing 8 grams and the gold price is $1412 per ounce

$1412 * 24000/24000 * 8/31.1 * 60% is $218

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