Gold Value Information
Gold has been a desperately sought after precious metal for thousands of years. From the aristocracy in Paris to the Sultans who ruled from magnificent palaces in Turkey; gold has always been used as a symbol of power and status. Rarely was it possessed by people of ‘lower classes.’
Times have changed over the centuries. Now, anyone can have access to gold coins, jewelry, and sometimes even bullions. Some people collect gold, while others choose to sell it and make some extra cash. Selling gold isn’t just a matter of walking up to a counter and exchanging a piece of gold for money. There are several factors to keep in mind.
Gold Karat Weight
A karat is simply a measure of how pure a sample of gold is. The weight itself does not influence the final determined price. Pure gold is too soft to make jewelry, and so it is usually mixed with one of several alloys, which could include silver, copper, or zinc. These alloys, of course, add their own weight to the piece, and because of this, the weight is not used to measure the price.
The price of gold also fluctuates daily depending on the market, and is based on the purity, design, and construction of the gold. A piece that contains a higher purity of gold will emit a brighter yellow color. This will, in turn, raise the value of the jewelry.
Gold comes in several values including 10k gold, 14k gold, 18k gold, and 24k gold. 24 karat gold is the most pure and therefore the most expensive. In most instances, gold is stamped to reflect its purity. Measurements such as 12 karat gold are not acceptable to use in the manufacturing of jewelry. 18kt gold, however, is one of the most widely accepted measurements for jewelry. It is perhaps the best to use for jewelry and ring settings as the color is rich and this percentage of gold is very strong and durable.
The following chart will demonstrate the differences between the different karats and how they are combined with other alloys. This will show you how the karat gold price is determined:
Karats Purity Other Added Metals
24kt gold 100.00% 0.000%
24kt gold 100.00% 0.000%
22kt gold 91.60% 0.084%
18kt gold 75.00% 0.125%
14kt gold 58.5% 41.500%
10kt gold 41.7% 58.300%
It is plain to see the difference in the amount of gold and other metals that are added between 10k and 14k gold as well as 14k and 18k gold. The higher the percentage of other metals added, the lower the purity of the gold itself.
There are a few different methods that can be used to test gold for its purity. One of the most common ways is by using nitric acid. This is impractical and dangerous for the average, untrained person to attempt, as nitric acid can cause severe burns and even death if used improperly. There is also expensive electronic equipment that can be used to verify the purity of the gold karat. This method, however, is not readily available to the public. The most convenient and cost effective way to determine the value of gold is to take your items to a certified and reputable appraiser. These appraisers can determine if your jewelry is 18 karat gold, 22 karat gold, or 24 karat gold.
Because of the sophistication and rapid advancement of technology, there are more and more instances of counterfeit coins, or gold that has been passed on as being more pure than it actually is. This is why a reputable appraiser is your best bet. Normally, they will provide paperwork and proof of the worth and karats of the gold piece.
As mentioned earlier, the price of gold is directly affected by the rise and fall of the market on a daily basis. If you were to take in a gold item today in return for cash, the amount you receive is considered the spot price. Loosely translated, this means that if you brought in a piece of jewelry manufactured with 14kt gold, the amount of cash you receive will be paid based on the daily rate for an ounce of pure gold. Since 14kt gold is only just over half pure, the additional metals will be of no consequence. The same applies with 22 karat gold and 24 karat gold. Since both of these contain a higher percentage of pure gold, you would be entitled to a higher cash payment.
This can still be a little confusing for some people. For example, if a piece of 18kt gold jewelry has been appraised at $500, then the average person would expect to receive $500 cash if they sell it. This is a common misconception as there are other factors besides the daily rate of gold to consider. Gold is never purchased at the market price. This is because many buyers are subject to certain charges, such as broker fees. Other merchants may have high overhead costs to take care of. Some of this money goes to pay the salary of employees, bills, and even advertising costs. Companies who purchase jewelry are in the business to make money, and this cannot be accomplished if they offer consumers the full market price for every piece of jewelry that is brought in. It is also important to remember that there is a difference between karats and carats. Karats are used to measure gold and carats are used to measure gems, particularly diamonds.
Consumers can easily keep watch on the rising and falling of the value of gold by perusing the stock pages in the local newspaper, or by following the changes on tickers in various television channels.