If you're looking for a way to bring in some quick cash for bills or whatever you need, your jewelry box may hold the answer. It's easier than ever to sell your gold through online auction sites, pawn shops and jewelry stores, but first you should know what it's worth. To calculate how much cash you can get for your scrap, you just need to weigh it and work a couple of basic equations.
Items you will need
- Digital programmable kitchen scale
Sort through your gold jewelry to separate it into categories before attempting to sell it. Place the 14 karat pieces in one pile and the 18 karat ones in another. The gold content of each piece of jewelry should be stamped in a concealed area like the underside of a ring, or on the clasp of a bracelet or necklace. Place any gold with mounted stones into a third pile.
Remove any stones from your gold before selling it to ensure that you get the total value of the piece in return. Use a pair of pliers to pry out each stone and set them aside. These stones can also be sold to a jeweler or mounted in new jewelry. Do not worry about damaging the gold as you remove the stones as you will be paid as much for it whether it is in perfect condition or not.
Set your digital kitchen scale to grams and weigh the 14 karat jewelry first. Pennyweight is the standard measurement used to weigh and value gold and other precious metals. There are 20 pennyweight in every ounce and 1.552 grams in every pennyweight. Divide the weight of your gold in grams by 1.552 to find its equivalent in pennyweight. Since 14 karat gold in only 58.3 percent gold, multiply the total pennyweight by .583. The result is the amount of pure gold in your jewelry.
Weigh your 18 karat gold next and find its total in grams. Multiply the gram weight by 1.552 to find the weight in pennyweight. Since 18 karat jewelry contains 75 percent gold, multiply the pennyweight by .75 to find the pennyweight of the gold content.
Look up the current market value or spot price of pure gold online; most stock market or gold-buying sites will have the current price. Divide the market price by 20 to determine how much gold is worth per pennyweight. For example, if pure gold is currently valued at $1,500 per Troy ounce, it should be worth $75 per pennyweight. Use this formula to determine the value of your gold based on its pennyweight as calculated in steps 3 and 4.
- You can expect any gold buyer to take a percentage of the true market value for profit. This percentage ranges from 10 to 20 percent and may vary dramatically, so shop around.
- If you have gold that is unmarked or damaged to the point that you can't tell if it is 14 or 18k, consider buying a gold tester kit. The kit comes with the chemicals necessary to determine what you are dealing with and to erase any doubt from the equation.
- Never hand over gold to be weighed and valued by a buyer without first taking your own measurement and making your own estimate. Doing so leaves you open for fraud and underpayment.
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