Calculating The Value Of Scrap Gold

By Tony Orzano


I have been asked many times how do you calculate the value of scrap gold? The spot price for gold (price traded on the stock market) is a poor indicator of the real value of your scrap gold (the price quoted is for pure gold - 24 Karat). What is scrap gold? Any gold that is not wanted. You might have some jewelry pieces you have not worn for a long time and do not want anymore; these can be urned into cash.

Before you sell your gold, make sure you know how much actual gold you have and what it is worth. You must separate your gold into karat groups: 10k, 14k, 18k, 22k and 24k. Make sure the items are stamped with only these marks - if there are any other marks after the k, like s or p then you have gold plated – not real - gold.

To find the value of each group you must use the gram scale. Gold is measured in Troy ounces. One troy ounce equals 31.1 grams.

First, get the updated price per ounce for gold; divide the price by 31.1 to get the rate for 1 gram of pure (24k) gold. Example: $1,000 per oz _ 31.1 = $32.15 per gram for pure gold. But what about for other purities? The 'k' value indicates the ratio of gold in the alloy, Divide this by 24 to get the ratio:


·  10k: 10/24 = 0.4167 41.67% gold content

·  14k: 14/24 = 0.5833 58.33% gold content

·  18k: 18/24 = 0.7500 75.00% gold content

·  22k: 22/24 = 0.9167 91.67% gold content

·  24k 24/24 = 1.0000 100.00% gold content


Example: If today's gold rate was $1,000 per ounce, the following

would be the value of the gold in 10 grams of each of the five karat groups:


·  10k: 0.4167 X $32.15 X 10 = $133.95

·  14k: 0.5833 X $32.15 X 10 = $187.53

·  18k: 0.7500 X $32.15 X 10 = $241.12

·  22k: 0.9167 X $32.15 X 10 = $294.49

·  24k: 1.0000 X $32.15 X 10 = $321.50


Most people will use grams for calculating, but scrap dealers will use the pennyweight system to confuse you. There are 20 pennyweight in a troy ounce. Just substitute 20 for the 31.1 to calculate pennyweight in the previous formulas. Keep in mind scrap dealers will not give you the full value. They usually will try to get you for 30-40% of the price. If you go in with your gold separated by karat weight and have already done the calculations, then you may get between 50-70% of price. You will never get more than that from anyone unless it is pure 24K gold, and then you will usually get 90-95% of price. They calculate the smelting and processing fees in the quote. Remember if you have an antique jewelry piece or coin, it might be worth more because of rarity, and the value would be more than the gold it contains.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: Bring your gold to a reputable dealer. Avoid the-fly-by night operations with ads such as: 'We are here at so-and-so hotel for one week only...If you want the best price we are the only ones that can give the best result for your gold" - BALONEY! Seller beware.


via Monongahela Rockhound News 02-2010, El Gambrisino, 02-2013, via Rocky Mountain Federation News—Mar 2013