Figure Out How Much Your Scrap Gold Is Worth

If you have a bunch of broken gold chains and necklaces and want to try selling them to a jewelry store, it’s important to know how much they’re worth first. Here’s how to calculate their value like the pros do.

1. Weigh it with a gram scale.
2. Get today’s price of gold from a place like Kitco.
3. Divide that price by 31.1 to get the gram weight. (The price of gold is listed in troy ounces, which is 31.1 grams)
4. Divide the karat by 24
5. Multiply the result of step 4 by the result of step 3 by the result of step 1.
6. Congrats! Now you know how much your piece of gold is worth if it was melted down.

Armed with this information you’ll be a lot better equipped to get a good price when you comparison shop selling your gold at several different jewelry stores.

Edit Your Comment

1. MDSasquatch says:

Math on a Friday, argh

2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

Where was this pre-Cash 4 Gold?

3. Hoot says:

I wonder if there are any Legos made of gold out there.

• dolemite says:

That could be a goldmine.

• Hoot says:

Nothing is too good for the children of the insanely rich!

4. Reading Rainbow says:

This is confusing the way it’s worded. Why not just tell them to do this.

Price * Mass (grams) * karat / 746.4

• DanRydell says:

Because then people wouldn’t understand why the calculations were done that way. Breaking it down into steps shows you why you did each calculation. Though I think it’s sad that people can’t figure this out on their own.

• MrEvil says:

I actually prefer the formula. Alot easier to plug in variables.

5. wrjohnston91283 says:

Keep in mind that this is the value of the gold, at the prevailing market rates for bullion. You’ll never get this rate from a buyer. An ounce of random gold jewelry will be less than an 1 ounce gold coin. Kitco is currently discounting their buy price for scrap 24K gold by 9% (and you have to be in precious metal business to sell to them, no individuals).

• Pax says:

Yes, but if someone offers you only 10% of what that calculation comes to? You KNOW you’r ebeing scammed.

But if someone offers you 60% or 70% of that amount? Then you can at least consider it a reasonable, if lower than you might like, offer.

6. microcars says:

“it’s important to know how much they’re worth fist. “

not familiar with that unit of measure.

7. YouDidWhatNow? says:

The term “scrap gold” just kills me…gold is never “scrap” – which is a term generally analogous to junk you may as well just throw away. The Cash for Gold guys invented that term to try to get people to think of gold as something they don’t want around anymore…like it’s a nuisance to have a gold necklace you don’t intend to wear again.

• Blueskylaw says:

Excellent point.

• Rose says:

Scrap is a term used to describe recyclable materials left over from product consumption, so yes, the broken, irreparable jewelry brought in to my store was, in fact, scrap.

8. NumberSix says:

I live in a country where many of its citizens have scrap gold.

America FTW!

• Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

In Soviet Russia…..something does something to YOU.

9. Incredulous1 says:

An easier way to figure this out is this:

Price you paid – 90%

• infopubs says:

Unless you bought the jewelry at a tourist destination. Then the formula is

Price you paid – 99%

10. Sean says:

I wonder what the price would be for a gold coin in standard sizes like a “Maple Leaf”.

• pgh9fan1 says:
11. agtwork says:

Most of the jewelry stores around here weigh people’s gold by pennyweight (dwt)

12. Rose says:

…when you comparison shop selling your gold at several different jewelry stores…

…then you’ll be able to see which store will give you the highest amount, without purchasing an accurate gram scale and wasting time with a complicated formula that may have no bearing on the prices offered by the refiner that the jewelry store in question favors.

The cash value of an item is what you can get for it, after all.

13. MrDrew says:

I work for a wholesale jeweler, and here’s a few things I can tell you about what happens when you sell your gold.

When you sell your gold to a jewelry / pawn shop, they usually sell your gold to a wholesale jeweler. The wholesale jeweler buys gold from many dealers and in turn sells all their gold to a smelter. The smelter will melt down the gold and trade it directly on the various gold exchanges.

When the smelter melts down gold they’ll pay the wholesale jewelers 97% – 98% of its market value as the melting process results in a 2% – 3% waste. The wholesale jeweler makes a little bit of money when buying from retail dealers… but not much… we’re talking around 5%. So, retail jewelers get 92% market “spot” value when they SELL your gold. Retail jewelers usually need to make around 20% – 30% profit on your gold. In effect, your can reasonably expect around 60% – 70% of market “spot” price for your gold.

You may be asking “why can’t I just sell to the smelter directly?” That would get you the most value for your money… but most smelters won’t even talk to you unless you are sending them 5lbs – 10lbs of gold PER WEEK! That is the same reason most retail jewelers sell their gold to a wholesale dealer… their volume of gold just isn’t enough to deal directly with the smelter.