Gold has long been one of the most coveted precious metals on earth. Societies from ancient times through modern day have always put a high value on gold and used the metal for important objects such as currency, jewelry, decorative items, and religious items. In today’s world, gold is still considered a highly precious commodity and it is routinely one of the most valuable precious metals on the world market. In fact, the market value of gold has increased 30 times over since the early 1970s.
Because gold is such a valuable precious metal, there is always a market in which you can sell your gold in any form, whether as gold coins and bullion, gold jewelry, scrap gold, or other gold objects. If you have gold jewelry or coins that you are hoping to sell, it is beneficial for you to know how much your gold might be worth before you try to sell it. This will help you gauge whether you are getting a fair price for your gold and help you avoid gold buyers that may try to take advantage of you.
Determining the exact price of your gold items can be tricky because there are factors other than the market price of gold that help determine the value of an object. However, no matter what type of gold objects you have, you can count on them to at least be worth the market value of the gold from which it is made. This guide will help you get an idea of the value of your gold jewelry, coins, and scrap gold before trying to sell these items.
How to Determine the Karat of Your Gold Items
You should start by determining the karat of your gold items for two reasons. The first reason is so that you can separate your items by karat and determine overall value based on the karat number. The second reason is to make sure that your gold jewelry and items are in fact real gold. Here are a couple of basic things to keep in mind when checking your gold items for the karat:
- If there is no karat number on your item or if it is unreadable, a trusted jewelry buyer can test it for you and determine the karat. It is also possible that these items are gold plated, which can also be easily determined through testing.
- If your gold jewelry was made before 1980, it may be slightly less than the marked karat number. A ring from before 1980 that is marked 14 karat gold is most likely closer to 13 karats. This is because the laws concerning the purity of gold jewelry changed in 1980 to make the markings more accurate. If you cannot tell the karat of your gold jewelry for whatever reason, there are a couple of ways you can test it yourself to determine its karat. Both of the following types of gold testing kits can be purchased for a reasonable price.
- Acid Tests: The gold testing kit for an acid test contains a bottle of acid, typically nitric acid, and a test stone. Different types of acids are available for 10K, 14K, 18K, and 22K to determine the different karats. To test a piece of gold jewelry, rub it against the test stone and put a drop of acid for the karat that you expect it to be on the mark from the stone. If there is no change in the color of the acid, then the piece is the karat of the testing acid. If the acid turns brown in color, then the piece is a lower karat than the testing acid. For example, if 18K acid turns brown on the piece and 14K acid does not change colors, then the piece is 14 karats. If the acid disappears when it touches the surface, the item is not real gold.
- Skey Tests: The Skey test is a safer, easier alternative to acid testing. Gold testers for the Skey test vary in price and are generally more expensive than gold testing kits for the acid test, but they are still affordable. You can test the gold with this method by placing an item on the testing plate and touching it with the probing pen. This test will instantly give you a reading of what karat range the item falls in, or if it is even real gold.
How to Determine the Value of Gold Coins
Gold coins are not valued quite the same as gold jewelry. The value of coins is determined by its numismatic value which factors in the quality of the gold as well as other characteristics such as physical condition, age, and rarity. There are several ways you can get an idea of the value of your gold coins:
- Look Online for Similar Coins: One of the quickest ways to check the value of your gold coins is to do an online search for your type of coin. You can compare what these similar coins have sold for to give you an idea of what you can expect for your coin.
- Check the Blue Book and Red Book: The blue book and red book are commonly used pricing guides for various coins. The blue book contains information on wholesale gold coin prices that are used by most reputable coin dealers. The red book contains pricing information on individual coins and is used to help price rare coins and historic coins.
- Get Appraisals from Coin Dealers: You can take your gold coins to a reputable coin dealer to get an appraisal. It is a good idea to get a few different appraisals to get a better idea of the resale value of your gold coins before making the sale.
Gold Price Equation
To get a better idea of the dollar value of your gold items, you can use the gold price equation. Make sure you follow these steps to get an accurate assessment using this equation:
- Start by looking up the current market price for gold. The market price is constantly changing, so make sure you look online for the current price. The price is given per troy ounce which contains 31.1 grams. Therefore, you can get the current price per gram by dividing the price per troy ounce by 31.1.
- To determine the price estimate for an individual piece, you will need to factor in the karat. Divide the karat number by 24 and multiply this number by the price of gold per gram that you determined in the previous step. This number will give you the cost of gold per gram for that specific karat number.
- Next, you need to multiply the cost of gold per gram for that specific karat by the weight of the gold piece in grams. Weigh your gold piece using a jeweler’s scale, or food scale if you cannot get a jeweler’s scale. Multiply its weight in grams with the cost per gram for its karat number that you determined in the previous step.
- For example: if the current market price of gold is $1500 per troy ounce
- Divide 1500 by 31.1, the number of grams in a troy ounce. The price per gram is $48.23.
- If your jewelry piece is 14K, divide 14 by 24 and multiply this number with the price per gram: 14/24=.5833, 48.23 x .5833=28.13, this makes $28.13 to price per gram for 14K gold.
- Weigh your gold piece and multiply its weight in grams by the price per gram for the karat. If your 14K piece weighs 5 grams, multiply 5 by 28.13. This equals 140.65, which is the estimated price for a 14K gold piece that weighs 5 grams in a market in which gold is valued at $1500 per troy ounce.
Take your Items to a Gold Buyer
Once you have researched the value of your gold coins and jewelry and are ready to sell them, bring them to a reputable gold buyer like PGS Gold & Coin. Our professionals can provide you with accurate appraisals for your gold jewelry and gold coins based on the market for gold, as well as the supply and demand of your specific pieces. We have long been one of the most trusted cash for gold businesses in the Chicago area because we routinely offer top dollar on the spot for gold coins, jewelry, and scrap. Visit one of our PGS Gold & Coin locations or contact us online if you are interested in selling your gold.