The purity of your gold matters a lot when it comes to determining the value. 18k gold is unique in that it contains some alloys which protect it against wear and tear, but it isn’t as high-quality as investment-grade 24k gold (often bars or coins). So while most jewelry is 14k gold, some special items like wedding bands or items worn on special occasions may be made of 18k gold to give it that extra luster.
When you send in a pack to Cash for Gold Mailer, we’ll explain the purity and weight of the items you have, how we price it, and how much we can offer. For more detailed information on gold purity, check out our article What is Gold Purity and How is it Measured?
18k (karat) gold is made of 75% gold and 25% metal alloys. That’s calculated by dividing 18 into 24 (the karat value of pure gold), to get your 75%. The alloys are essentially worthless, meaning your 18k pieces are worth 75% of the exact same piece if it were 24k (100%) gold.
18k gold jewelry is the highest purity that is recommended for personal use, as the higher the purity the more susceptible it is to wear and tear. Learn why 14k is sometimes preferred to 18k for everyday gold jewelry. But if some of the gold you have is 18k, it’s worth more (80% more than 10k gold, for example), so its value can add up very fast.
Let’s say you have an old wedding band that weighs 8 grams, and it’s 18k gold. Companies (including Cash for Gold Mailer) won’t pay you for 8 grams of gold. They’ll pay you 8 grams multiplied by .75 (75%) – the purity of 18k gold. So, in reality your 8 gram gold ring is actually 6 grams of gold.
If the price of gold is $2,000/ounce. 8 grams is equivalent to .282192 ounces (gold is frequently priced in ounces, so doing a unit conversion here is helpful). Here is the formula for calculating the value of gold:
Formula: (weight)*(purity)*(price of gold) = value
This would make the inherent value of an 18k gold ring weighing 8 grams:
(.282192)*(.75)*(2000) = $423.29
Not too bad for a ring that is probably laying in your cabinet collecting dust. If you have a few pieces of gold, it can quickly add up to significant value! Learn more about the likely value of a gold wedding ring.
Most gold, silver, and platinum jewelry is priced based on the intrinsic value of the metal contained in each piece. Some older pieces can have a collectible value, but in the overwhelming majority of cases, the rise in gold prices over the past couple decades skyrocketed the intrinsic value past the collectible value.
So except for very rare instances, we’d be purchasing your gold for its “melt value” – the value of gold after it’s melted down, the alloys are removed, and it can be recast as pure gold.
Most jewelry has the purity imprinted on it somewhere. Search for a small impression on the inside your jewelry, with a stamp of a 10, 12, 14, 18, 20, 22, or 24 being the most common (representing the different purities of gold). That tiny number represents the number of karats in the gold piece. So if you find a small “18” on the inside of your ring or the backside of a necklace, for example, odds are pretty good that it’s 18k gold.
If you can’t find (or read) the imprint on the gold, then it’s not quite so easy. You’ll need to perform a chemical test to determine the purity with any confidence. There are at-home testing kits you can purchase to measure the purity of your gold, or you can see some alternative ways to see if your gold is real (and what its purity is).
You can also take it to a local pawn shop or gold buyer to test for you. They’ll let you know the results of the test (hopefully they’ll be honest about it), and then of course make you an offer for your gold.
At Cash for Gold Mailer, we use an advanced chemical analyzer that accurately weighs your gold to several decimal places, as well as calculates its purity with absolute precision. If you send your gold in to us, we’ll test it for you, let you know the purity and amount of gold you have, and provide a no obligation offer to purchase your gold.
Do you have some 18k gold to sell, or gold you’d like tested to consider selling? Request a free, fully-insured mailer from Cash for Gold Mailer to get a no-obligation offer for your gold and jewelry. Request a free mailer now!