What is my Jewelry Worth?
When finding the value of jewelry there are many factors that can increase or decrease the value of your piece. The most important being the precious metal content.
The first thing to do is to use a strong magnifier or a jewelers loupe to view the manufacturers markings on the piece. These markings are called hallmarks. Most often, the purity of the precious metal is stamped directly on the piece in an inconspicuous spot. These markings are usually easily found, but sometimes can take some searching for.
Now that you have found your hallmark, lets discuss what the numbers actually represent.
If your item is a precious metal you will commonly see the actual content of the item. For example: 10K, 14K, 18K. If this is not the case you may see a 3-digit number. This number represents the percentage of gold content of the metal. The most common being 417 (10K), 585 (14K), and 750 (18K). Refer to the guides below for a better understanding of your hallmark.
|8K or 333||33% (.330)||19K or 800||80% (.800)|
|9K or 375||37.5% (.375)||21K or 875||87.5% (.875)|
|10K or 417||41.7% (.417)||22K or 916||91.6% (.916)|
|14K or 585||58.5%(.585)||24K or 990||99% (.916)|
|18K or 750||75% (.750)||24K or 999||99.9% (.999)|
Silver Hallmarks Platinum Hallmarks
|800 or Coin||80% (.800)||850 PT or PLAT||85% (.850)|
|925 or Sterling||92.5% (.925)||900 PT or PLAT||90% (.900)|
|958||95.8% (.958)||950 PT or PLAT||95% (.950)|
|999 or Fine||99.9% (.999)|
|HGE||Heavy Gold Electroplate|
|HGP||Heavy Gold Plate|
|1/20||Percentage of Gold Filled|
Next step is to test your item. Please refer to our guide to testing precious metals by clicking here.
Now that we know the percentage of precious metal, the next step is to weigh the piece using a digital gram scale. Be sure to use a scale that is accurately calibrated and sensitive enough to show a minimum of .1g or less. Once you have an overall weight of the item, take into account anything on the piece that is not gold (stones, clips, pins, etc.). Try and estimate the weight of these items (if not removable) and subtract this estimated weight from the overall weight of the piece.
To accurately know what the item is worth you must first check the current market price using the prices posted above. Another great resource for this is kitco.com. They even offer a free app that is usable on most smartphones (click to download from phone – Android | iPhone) . The value shown is for 1 Troy Oz. of 100% pure. 1 Troy Oz.=31.1 grams.
Once you have your full market value you must multiply the market value by the percentage of purity in the piece. This is the number we found using the hallmark guide above. The fastest way to do this is by using this equation (Market Value) X (Purity%). Now you must divide this answer by 31.1 to find the value per gram. Now take your item and find its gram weight. Multiply the items gram weight by the gram weight value you determined.
If your item is 14K gold and weighs 21.2 grams and the gold market value is $1300 you would determine the value as follows:
1300 X .585 = 760.50 (=1 Troy oz of 14K Gold)
760.5 / 31.1 = 24.45 (=1 gram of 14K Gold)
24.45 X 21.2 = 518.34
The full value of gold would be $518.34