With gold prices higher than ever, and an economy that is still in poor shape, it’s no surprise that people are unloading their scrap gold and wanting to know about scrap gold prices.
What is scrap gold?
Few of us will have more than a few hundred dollars worth of scrap gold in our homes, but when times are tough, any extra income helps.Scrap gold is typically things like broken gold chains and bracelets, unwanted pendants, single earrings, gold fillings and crowns from old dental work and so on.
So how do you calculate the value of your scrap gold? And what price can you expect to get?
Follow this five-step process and you won’t go far wrong. Best of all, when you approach a scrap gold buyer, you’ll know what to expect and won’t be ripped off.
Step One: Convert today’s price of gold from ounces to grams.
While the price of gold is generally quoted in Troy ounces, the selling and buying of scrap gold is usually conducted in grams.
To convert from the price per ounce to to the price per gram simply divide by 31.1.
So if today’s gold price is $1,000 per ounce – for example – the price per gram is 1,000/31.1, which equals $32.15 per gram.
Step Two: Divide your scrap gold into piles with the same karat number.
You may need a magnifying glass, but if you look closely on each item of gold you own, you will find one of the following karat numbers: 10K, 14K or 18K.
The pure gold content will vary according to the karat number, with 18 karat gold containing more pure gold than 14 karat gold, and so on.
Step Three: Weigh the groups of gold by karat number.
As an example, if you have one pile of 14 karat gold, put it on the scales and weigh it. If you have a jeweler’s scales, that’s perfect. If not, scales used for weighing letters for the mail will give you a reasonably accurate result.
Let’s assume you have 10 grams of 14 karat gold.
Step Four: Calculate the gold value of each pile, separately.
Remember, you can’t just multiply the weight of your 14 karat gold by the day’s price of gold per gram, because 14 karat gold is not pure gold.
Here is the formula to follow (with the number 24 representing 24 karat, or pure gold).
Using our example above, 14 karat gold:
14K = 14/24 = 0.5833
In other words, 14 karat gold is worth a little over half the value of pure gold.
For 10 karat gold the formula would be:
10K = 10/24 = 0.4167
Step Five: Do the final calculation to arrive at the value of your scrap gold.
Sticking with the same example, we have a pure gold value at $32.15 per gram, a 14 karat gold value of 32.15 x 0.5833, and a weight of 10 grams.
So we have 32.15 x 0.5833 x 10 = 187.53
And that’s it. In that pile, you have $187.53 in scrap gold.
When you get to the dealer.
First, don’t expect them to take your word for it. They’ll do their own weighing and measuring, and they’ll make sure all your gold really is solid gold, and not just plated.
And they won’t give you 100% of the value, either. They have to make a living and will take anywhere between 10% and 20% of the value as their commission.
But if you do your own calculations in advance, you’ll at least know what to expect and walk away from any dealer who appears to be ripping you off.