For traders in scrap gold, accurately weighing and assessing old gold jewelry, watches, money clips, etc. is essential to a profitable business.
As gold prices have increased, more and more people have become interested in scrap gold. Scrap gold is essentially gold jewelry that is of at least 10 carats and is damaged, worn out, broken or out of fashion. The gold in scrap gold jewelry is often sold, melted down and repurposed. Because of the high price of gold, which recently crossed the $1,300 per ounce mark, there’s a lively trade in buying and selling scrap jewelry.
When buying or selling a piece of scrap gold, knowing the gold content and its weight is vital. Gold jewelry is often made of alloys, that is the gold is combined with other metal. This is done because on its own, gold is soft and very malleable, which makes it difficult for the metal to hold a shape. By mixing gold with other metals, the end result is a harder metal that is better at holding a shape.
When you’re evaluating scrap gold, you’re only interested in the weight of the gold, that’s why when weighing it you’ll need to ascertain the purity of the gold you’re weighing.
Start by gathering your scrap gold. Gold-plated objects are not considered scrap gold because they only have a very thin layer of gold on their surface. Once you’ve got your scrap gold together, separate it by caratage. The cartage of your gold is a measure of its purity. 24-carat gold is 99.9 percent pure gold (completely pure gold is impossible). Most jewelry ranges from 10 to 18 carats. Most gold jewelry is stamped somewhere with a number indicating its caratage. If you’re unsure, scratch kits can be used to ascertain caratage.
Once you’ve got your gold sorted, weigh items from each category on a scale that can weigh light objects, such as jewelry, such as a postage or coin scale.
Write down the weight of each gold piece and its cartage in ounces. If your scale weighs only in grams, divide the weight by 28.35 to get the ounce weight.
Once you’ve finished that, you’ll need to multiply each weight by its purity. Here’s a list of purity by cartage:
22 carat 91.7 percent pure
18 carat 75 percent pure
14 carat 58.3 percent pure
10 carat 41.7 percent pure
Once you’ve multiplied the weight by the purity, you’ll need to find the current price of gold. You can find this in real time online. Multiply the weight of your gold by the spot price and this figure will show you how much your gold is likely to be worth.
Once you’ve got a good idea how much the scrap gold is worth, you’re in a better position to trade the gold on the scrap gold market.