Gold investing has become an increasingly popular form of investment as the price of the precious metal has increased significantly in the past few years. An increasing number of people are choosing to sell their personal gold jewelry because of the record prices. Knowing how much gold you have is key to getting the right price for your gold jewelry and other scrap gold.
Weighing gold is a lot more difficult than just putting your rings, coins, necklaces or other gold on a scale. This is because all gold is alloyed with other metals. Gold is an extremely malleable metal, and as such bends easily and is difficult to get to hold a shape. To make gold more rigid, coiners and jewelers will mix gold with other metals to form a more brittle product. Gold purity is stated in carats, with 24-carat gold being the purest gold (99.9 percent) most gold jewelry is between 10 and 18 carats.
To determine the weight of your gold, you need to factor out the other metals. You can check your gold for caratage, once you know this you can determine how much gold is in the weight of your gold. For example, if you have a one ounce gold piece that is 22 carats, you’ll need to multiply 1 by 91.67 percent (the gold purity of 22 carats) to get the true weight of your gold. It’s important to use a digital scale to get the most accurate results when weighing gold, so be sure to have one.
Here’s a handy table for determining the purity of different caratages.
- 24 carat 99.9 percent pure
- 22 carat 91.6 percent pure
- 21 carat 87.5 percent pure
- 20 carat 83.3 percent pure
- 18 carat 75.0 percent pure
- 15 carat 62.5 percent pure
- 14 carat 58.5 percent pure
- 10 carat 41.7 percent pure
- 9 carat 37.5 percent pure
- 8 carat 33.3 percent pure
- 1 carat 04.2 percent pure
Most gold products have their caratage stamped somewhere on the product. Concerning coins, you may need to consult a coin manual. Some issues of coins have differing caratages than earlier or later issues.
It may also be useful to learn how to calculate the pennyweight of gold when weighing small objects such as jewelry. A pennyweight is the equivalent of 1/20th of an ounce of gold.
Once you know the gold content and gold weight of your jewelry or coins, you have a better idea of the value of your gold and can obtain better prices for your goods.