The true answer to this question is ‘it depends’. There are three main factors into determining the value of your gold jewellery, coins and other items:
The gold market price, more commonly known as the Spot Price, is the baseline for gold prices across the world. This is the price that gold is traded in the investment industry and changes many times a day depending on supply, demand and other factors. The spot price is based on the value of 24ct gold per troy ounce.
The gold contained in most items is usually mixed with other metals. The amount of pure gold in the item is known as the fineness and is what is measured in carats.
Items containing the highest amount of gold are said to be made from fine gold, more commonly called 24ct gold. The fineness of gold items are normally between 9ct to 24ct. Roughly speaking 9ct contains 37.5% of gold, whereas 24ct contains 99% gold. Therefore the higher the fineness, the higher the value of the item per gram.
There have been many items made from gold over the years, some of which are more collectible than others. Your typical high street jewellery is likely worth an amount equivalent to the gold content. However some items from high-end luxury companies, specific coins or items with historical importance likely have a far higher value.
If your item falls into the collectible category, you should get an expert valuation from an industry specialist. If you’re selling high street jewellery, modern coins and even gold teeth, then your item is likely worth an amount equivalent to the amount of gold in the item, commonly referred to as scrap gold.
The value of scrap gold is normally based from the current gold spot price. This price is volatile and changes frequently, many times per day. The amount you receive would depend on the fineness of the item, the weight of the gold content and the current spot price.
When selling scrap gold, you will rarely if ever get offered the gold spot price for your items. The spot price is the value at which gold is traded in the commodity markets and is normally not available when selling scrap gold. Companies offering to pay cash for gold will typically offer a percentage below the scrap price to cover costs such as refining gold, postage and normal business operating costs.
As the gold spot price changes throughout the day, it is extremely difficult for companies to accurately display the prices they pay at any particular point in the day. The prices shown on websites tend to be the current price they are paying customers at that point in time. If you have posted your items, your valuation is normally calculated using the price at the time of valuation and not the time you posted the items. You should also always check the time and date of any gold prices shown on websites to make sure they have been updated recently.
White and rose gold have the same value as the equivalent yellow gold. The colouring of these types of gold comes from the additional metals mixed with gold to produce a different colour.
Gold plated items are made from a base metal other than gold, then coated with a thin layer of gold on top. This makes it extremely difficult to efficiently extract the gold from the item, often making it more expensive than the value of the gold content. The vast majority of scrap gold dealers will not accept gold plated items.
At the end of the day, the amount you receive for selling your items includes other costs that should be taken into account. Many companies will expect you to post your items to them. In the UK, the Royal Mail will only insure gold items sent via Special Delivery, which can cost from £6.50 to £52.00. In addition, some companies may charge you to return your items if you decline their offer, normally including an administration fee on top of postage costs.
Consider the terms and conditions of service and make sure you understand any additional charges that may be incurred.
If you know the fineness and weight of your gold items, note this down before sending your items for a valuation. While most companies operate an authentic service, there are always the minority who may value your items at a lower level of fineness or weight. Although you should be aware that all companies will deduct weight for non-gold decoration such as stones, gemstones, etc.
At Big Gold, we update our prices throughout the day. All of our valuations are based on our latest gold prices at the time of valuation. We also offer completely free valuations for scrap gold, covering the postage costs for sending items to us and also to return. We also do not quibble – if you accept our offers we can pay from 24 hours for bank transfers; if you decline our offer, we simply post your items back to you at no cost to you.