How to Tell How Much Scrap Gold Is Worth

Selling unwanted gold jewelry as scrap gold is a way to put a few extra bucks in your pocket. If you have pieces of gold jewelry you are considering selling, you may want to get an idea of what they are worth. You need a few pieces of information and basic calculator math to find what your scrap gold is worth. Armed with that information, you'll know if the buyer is offering you a fair price.

Step 1

Collect your gold jewelry and examine it under a magnifying glass for karat markings. Most gold jewelry is marked as 10-, 14- or 18-karat gold. Ten-karat gold is 41.67 percent pure gold, 14 karat is 56.33 percent pure and 18 karat is 75 percent pure. If your gold has a different karat count, divide the figure by 24 to get the percentage of pure gold. Sort the jewelry by karat count. Place your 10-, 14-, 18- and other karat gold in separate groups. Weigh each group of karat gold on a gram scale. Record the gram weight of each group.

Step 2

Go online to one of the many websites that track gold prices and find out today’s gold market price. The market price is for 1 troy ounce of pure 24-karat gold. Most websites can convert the price per troy ounce into the market price per gram of pure gold. If you can find only a market price quote per troy ounce, convert that figure into a price per gram. Divide the market price per troy ounce by 31.1035 to get the market price per gram. There are 31.1035 grams in a troy ounce.

Step 3

Adjust the market price per gram of pure gold to the karat count of your jewelry. For 10-karat gold, multiply the market price per gram by 0.4167 to get the current value per gram of 10-karat gold. For 14-karat gold, multiply the market price per gram by 0.5633. For 18-karat gold, multiply the market price by 0.75. For example, if the current market price of pure gold was $50.63 per gram and you had 18-karat jewelry, multiply $50.63 by 0.75 to get a $37.97 value per gram for 18-karat gold.

Step 4

Multiply the gram weight of each karat gold group by the value per gram for that karat count to find the worth of that group. For example, if you had 50 grams of 18-karat gold and the current value of 18-karat gold was $37.97 per gram, multiply 50 by $37.97 to get a value figure of $1,898.50 for your 50 grams of 18-karat jewelry. Add up the values of your different karat gold groupings to find the total scrap worth of your jewelry. Shop around when you sell your gold. Gold buyers won’t give you the full market value for your karat gold jewelry, but the percentage of market price they offer may vary from one buyer to another.

Items you will need

  • Magnifying glass
  • Calculator
  • Gram scale

Tip

  • Remove any jewelry marked gold plated, GP, gold filled or GF. These are all plated pieces that have no scrap value.

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About the Author

Herb Kirchhoff has more than three decades of hands-on experience as an avid garden hobbyist and home handyman. Since retiring from the news business in 2008, Kirchhoff takes care of a 12-acre rural Michigan lakefront property and applies his experience to his vegetable and flower gardens and home repair and renovation projects.

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