Tip #2: Know Your Mass


Welcome to part 2 in our 4-part guide to selling your gold. In our last tip, we said “Know Your Value“. To do that more effectively, and to approximate the market value of your gold, you need to know the mass of gold you have.

You should remember that weight and mass are not the same thing. More importantly, unless you have gold bullion (24K / 99.99% Fine Gold) your jeweller probably added elements such as silver, copper, nickel, and other metals to work with the gold (and to pay less for the final creation). That’s okay because these metals give jewellery strength and a pleasing tone. Pure gold is very soft and almost never used for jewellery.

There are three steps to Know Your Mass:

First, how are you measuring it?

You need to know what kind of scale you are using so that you can accurately price out however much old you have. The standard measurement for jewellery is the Troy ounce (ozt for short), or  roughly 31.1 grams. By comparison, the imperial ounce (what you see day-to-day), is 28 grams. Here’s where it gets fun: each Troy Ounce is broken into twenty pennyweights (dwt for short).

Second, how fine is your gold?

Once you know the mass of your gold, all you need to do is factor in the fineness (purity) of the gold. On a 24-part scale, the purity is referred to as the Karat. Pure gold, or gold of 99.99% fineness is therefore 24 Karat gold. Depending on its country of origin gold jewellery will typically varies from roughly 8 Karat to 22 Karat. In other words, 33.3% to 91.67% gold. In Toronto, most of the jewellery you will find is either 10 Karat, 14 Karat, or 18 Karat. In other words, 41.6%, 58.33% and 75.00%.

Here is a breakdown of the most common karats for gold jewellery.

  • 8k Gold Jewellery – 8k/24k – 33.3% Pure Gold Marked 8k/333
  • 9k Gold Jewellery – 9k/24k – 37.5% Pure Gold Marked 9k/375
  • 10k Gold Jewellery – 10k/24k – 41.7% Pure Gold Marked 10k/416
  • 14k Gold Jewellery – 14k/24k – 58.3% Pure Gold Marked 14k/585
  • 18k Gold Jewellery – 18k/24k – 75.0% Pure Gold Marked 18k/750
  • 20k Gold Jewellery – 20k/24k – 83.3% Pure Gold Marked 20k/833
  • 21k Gold Jewellery – 21k/24k – 87.5% Pure Gold Marked 21k/875
  • 22k Gold Jewellery – 22k/24k – 91.7% Pure Gold Marked 22k/916

To determine the value of your gold, you need to separate it by purity. The easiest way is by Karat. Once you’ve done that, follow the example below to get an idea of your golds value.

Example: You go to your Toronto Gold Buyer with 20 grams of 14 Karat Gold.

Lets break this down:
20 grams – the weight of the gold you are looking to sell
14k – the purity of your gold, which can be calcualted as 14/24, 58.3% or 0.583 pure.
$2000 CAD per Troy Ounce – the spot price that will be used in this example for simplicity.

  1. First, we find the price of gold for a pure gram. That is done by calculating the spot price of gold ($2000) and dividing it by the amont of grams in a troy oz (31.1)

$2000/31.1 = $64.31 per gram of fine gold (24k)

2. We then multiply that number by the purity of your gold, in this case, 0.583

$64.31 * 0.583 = $37.49

3. Then, we multiply that number by the weight of your gold. In this case, 20 grams.

$37.49 * 20 = $749.80

This is your theoretical raw market value. Remember, your buyer still needs to make a profit, cover the costs of running their business, refining the gold, advertising, emplyoees, rent, etc

4. A 20% margin for theoretical market value would make sense, so in this example:
$749.80 x 0.80 = $599.84.

So if you got offered $300 for your 20g of 14k gold – you would know thats a bad offer. If you got offered anywhere in the range of $600 –  it would be pretty fair when you take into account all the costs associated.

Third, how honest is your gold buyer?

With that in mind, do not be alarmed if your gold buyer deducts for the weight of stones in your pieces that are not made of a precious metal(you can always request to keep them). This common practise is part of the world you enter to know your mass. Most gold buyers expertise is in gold, not in the stones.

Another point is that you should not be surprised if many pieces of jewellery contain slightly less than the designated purity of gold. There are several ways to test for purity of gold such as the acid test, the mass spectrometer, and the fire assay. These are ordered in increasing accuracy, complexity, and cost. We will discuss these more in future tips.

On to part #3 – Know Your Buyer

Have a question?
Looking to find out the value of your gold jewellery? Want to know the best place to sell your gold coins or where to sell your gold bullion?
Check out our best gold buyers in Toronto, Contact us or call 1(800)644-7313


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