1) All appraisers don't appraise gold at the same per-gram rate and
2) Appraisers add their own subjective interpretation of the "antique value" of a piece.
This is very difficult to understand, but it has parallels in costume jewelry. Some people use one book plus knowledge of the market in their area to establish a sales price; others use another price guide plus their own idea of the local market to establish price. That's why you see some common costume jewelry pieces at radically different prices in the same market.
With gold jewelry, the bottom line (what you can sell a piece to a refiner or gold dealer for) is simple. Even though an appraiser may value a piece at $40 per gram, reflecting what you would have to pay for a comparable new piece in a retail store, gold always has a "scrap" price that relates only to the actual gold value in the piece. If your jewelry weighs 20 grams and the current scrap price for that karat is $6 a gram, you know your jewelry is worth at least $120 because you could sell it to a scrap gold buyer for that amount. (Even small towns have people, often in jewelry stores, who buy gold at scrap.) It may be worth more than scrap because of its desirability to a potential buyer, but the floor price is the scrap value.
I always caution people to be very careful in interpreting fine jewelry appraisals. An appraisal (at least one by a gemologist), reflects what you would pay for a similar piece today in a retail jewelry store. It has nothing to do with what you can sell the item for (unless you own a jewelry store, of course). It is extremely rare in my market that someone is willing to pay the full appraised price for a piece of antique fine jewelry. If you can find a retail customer for this specific piece in question, you might be able to get somewhere around half the appraised value. If you sell to a dealer who will resell it, you would probably be offered the scrap value of the gold plus a bit extra, depending on the desirability and rarity of the item." Carol Hearn 8/02/97
This additional information is supplied by SPARKLES Website http://www.sparklz.com
SIMPLE FORMULAS for DETERMINING APPROXIMATE SCRAP GOLD VALUES
14K Formula: Spot Gold X 58.3% divided by 31.1 grams = $value per gram
10K etc. Spot Gold X 41.6% divided by 31.1 grams = $value per gram.
9K etc. Spot Gold X 37.5% divided by 31.1 grams = $value per gram
18K etc. Spot Gold X 75% divided by 31.1 grams = $value per gram
You can get SPOT GOLD prices from TV financial new services, Kitco Spot Gold Page, newspaper, telephone recording at the coin dealers office or gold buyers office. Do not get Spot Gold confused with Gold Futures.
Gold is weighed in either Grams or Pennyweights.There are 31.1 grams to a troy ounce. This is not the same ounce as your postal scale . There are 20 pennyweights in a troy ounce. Be sure you understand which is being used, and adjust the formula accordingly.
These additional factors will affect the amount at which you can sell used gold jewelry:
1) If it is truly "scrap", ie not usable to anybody for anything, you can sell to a scrap gold dealer (often a jewelry store, coin dealer, or pawn shop.....look in the yellow pages) for something below the dollar value given above, because (A) the dealer needs a little profit when he sells it to the refiner, (B) the refiner needs a little profit. Dealers usually offer, for scrap, within the range of 50% to 80%. A note should be made here that many dealers deduct an additional percentage for chains or other jewelry which may contain a larger percentage of solder, for class rings which are often weighted with cement, and rings with unusually large, heavy glass or synthethic stones that add weight but not value.
2) If you are selling to a jewelry dealer, and the piece is usable, but not terrible saleable (because it is out of fashion or boring, or not well made, and doesn't have an antique or vintage value) you may get anywhere from slightly below actual dollar value above, to something above the dollar value. This is based on the judgement of saleability by the dealer.
3) If you are selling to a jewelry dealer, or antique dealer, a piece which is a desirable or collectible antique or has good vintage value, the value will depend largely upon that dealer's view of its saleability in their particular market. As stated above, by Carol Hearn, most often these pieces sell for considerably less than their retail appraised value no matter in what market they are sold to the retail buyer (for example, antique shop, antique show, pawn shop). This is one of the characteristics which makes antique fine jewelry an excellent value for the consumer.
Some of this information applies in general to used fine jewelry set with various stones, enamel, etc, however, these guidelines are meant basically for simple gold pieces of relatively recent vintage. Obviously valuable stones will increase the amount a dealer is willing to pay for a piece of jewelry.
If you have good, collectible, vintage fine jewelry that you do not wish to retain, you might consider contacting Janet Gaynor of this website, or others who deal in fine jewelry as well as costume jewelry.
ABOUT BUILDING A
How to start building an inventory of loose rhinestones for doing replacement.
Thoughts and facts about gold, buying/selling, antique values. Including spot gold formulas
ABOUT GOLD CARE
Watch out for the hot tub & the swimming pool!. Avoiding damage & loss to your fine gold & diamond jewelry.
Kinds of ivory, including elephant, mammoth and more. Examples & links. Ivory substitutes. Some guides to separation from other materials.
Definition of Cameo, Intaglio, Reverse Intaglio. Common & unusual materials used in cameos and how to identify them. Factors which affect pricing of cameos.
REPAIR VS CAMOUFLAGE
Definition of Repair, Camouflage, Normal Wear, Marriages, Collage, and a Guide to a Rating system for Costume Jewelry.
RESOURCES & MISC.
Costume Jewelry Newsletters, Cufflink Newsletter. Costume Jewelry Book Reviews. Patent Numbers. Storage Tips.
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