All around the world, gold is the go-to metal for wedding bands. Tradition, mostly. But they are also a valuable metal, they can be easily crafted into stunning designs, and come in a number of shades that offer options for both partners to pick a style they like. However, when the topic of the actual value of gold wedding bands is discussed, most people don’t really know.
So how much are gold wedding bands worth? Maybe you’re just curious, maybe a marriage didn’t go as you planned and now it’s tied to bad memories, or maybe it’s tied to great memories of a deceased loved one but doesn’t hold personal value to you as a keepsake. Whatever the reason, there are many reasons you may want to know the actual value of a gold ring.
The Different Karats Of Gold
Before we jump into specifics about the value of gold wedding bands, the first thing to know is that gold in its purest form is too soft a metal to craft any long-lasting jewelry out of. So, despite being highly valuable, you’ll almost never find pure gold rings or any other kind of pure gold jewelry. Gold is combined with other metals to strengthen its structure and make it a viable choice for jewelry.
This means that most wedding bands you’ll find will fall into one of the following categories:
With only 37.5% gold in them, any 9k jewelry isn’t sold as “gold” jewelry, as there is a requirement of at least 10k for any jewelry to be considered “gold”. While it has very little pure gold in it’s makeup, it is the strongest for this very reason, as it has quite a high percentage of other alloys.
14K jewelry has 58.3% gold in their make up. Passing the 10K requirement for “gold” jewelry and having enough other metals in it to make it reliable, 14k jewelry is one of the top choices for wedding rings. It does not scratch as easily as an 18k ring, making it an attractive option for people with active jobs. 14k gold also lends itself to complex ring designs, rings featuring a high number of tiny inlaid diamonds, or rings with larger stones, because of the strength of its composition.
At 75% pure gold, 18k jewelry is another common choice for wedding bands, and a more ‘valuable’ choice at that. Whereas 14k gold is stronger, 18k gold boasts a richer, more intense color. Though it can be shaped into a variety of designs, 18k gold is most often used for simple wedding bands. 18k gold is also heavier than the 14k rings, and as such, people who want a more weighty ring pick 18k gold rings.
While 24k gold is not a good choice for jewelry, 22k gold (with 91.67% gold) can be used to make gold wedding bands, as long as it does not have any complex details. It isn’t strong enough to hold gemstones, either, and is used mainly for plain gold jewelry.
Despite the fact that gold wedding bands can be made out of different karats of gold, most often, they are made of either 14k gold or 18k gold. Which is important to keep in mind as we discuss the value of gold wedding bands.
But you also need to consider if the ring is plated or not.
While generally, the term “pure gold” refers just to 24K gold, you might see 14k or 18k wedding bands advertised as being “pure gold”. In this particular instance, what they mean is that the rings are not plated. Plated rings are often made of a different metal (silver, most commonly) and then plated in gold. Though there are standards as to how thick the gold plating should be, when you buy a plated gold ring, you need to remember that you are not purchasing a ring that is wholly made of gold. However, this also means that plating can save you money. The less actual gold there is in a ring, the less expensive it will be.
Plated gold should look fine, but if you’re looking to sell it, it won’t be worth much of anything.
The Different Colors Of Gold
Both 14k and 18k gold wedding bands can also come in a variety of colors. Gold is usually available in the following ‘shades’:
Yellow gold is made of pure gold mixed with alloy metals such as copper, zinc, and sometimes silver. Whether 14k or 18k, this color is what comes to mind when we usually think of gold.
White gold is made by mixing pure gold and white metals such as nickel, silver and palladium, and it is usually coated with rhodium to allow for a more brilliant and polished white shine. The plating also makes the gold more resistant to scratches.
Rose gold is the result of mixing pure gold with copper (and sometimes silver). The more copper there is, the more ‘rose’ it will be. This will mean that 14k rose gold wedding bands will have a more ‘rose’ hue than 18k rose gold wedding bands.
While ‘black gold’ can be achieved by electroplating or laser-treating gold, it can also be created by mixing gold with metals like cobalt at a 3:1 ratio. Recently popular for its unique look, black gold is a less common, but still viable choice for gold wedding bands.
While there are many shades of gold, the good news is that more often than not, the shade of gold will not have a major impact on the value of the gold wedding band — except in cases where a valuable metal is used in the composition of the gold. As long as the amount of gold remains the same, the price will be based mostly on the karats.
The Value Of Gold Wedding Bands
Having all of this information, we can jump into the question of just how much gold wedding bands are worth. Luckily, it’s simple: as long as we’re just considering the gold wedding band, and not its make or brand, gold wedding bands are worth just as much as the amount of gold it carries.
This means that gold wedding rings can be priced based on 3 factors: karat (purity), weight, and the current price of gold.
Price of Gold: As of August 20, 2022, the price of gold is $1735/ounce.
Purity of Gold: Discussed above, a ring is only worth the percentage of gold in it. 14k gold contains 58% gold and 42% worthless metal alloys, so it’s worth 58% of the pure gold price.
Weight of the Wedding Band: The weight of a wedding band can vary based on the thickness of the ring and size of the finger it’s going on. For that reason, women’s rings tend to be lighter than men’s rings. In general, wedding bands will weight between 3-7 grams.
For calculation purposes, there are 28.3495 grams in one ounce.
14k gold wedding band value
For a 14k gold wedding band weighing 5 grams (0.17637 ounces), the calculation would look like this:
Value = (weight in ounces) * (purity) * (price of gold)
Value = 0.17637 * .5833 * 1735
Value = $178.98
18k gold wedding band value
This calculation is the same, except we use the 75% purity instead of the 58.3% purity:
Value = (weight in ounces) * (purity) * (price of gold)
Value = 0.17637 * .75 * 1735
Value = $229.40
Take the current price per gold ounce if you would like to make an up-to-date calculation, since the price is obviously subject to change depending on the fluctuating price of gold. However, this method is an easy way to determine how much you should pay for your gold wedding band or conversely, how much you should sell your gold wedding band for.
Selling Gold Wedding Bands
While purchasing gold wedding bands is quite easy and straightforward, selling them is not. Whatever the reason you are selling them for, you often don’t have a lot of attractive options in terms where you can sell them. Pawn shops and gold traders may only pay you about 50% of the price of gold, if that.
However, if you are selling them online to a trusted buyer, you’ll find that you can make a lot more for your gold jewelry. At Cash for Gold Mailer, we offer transparent pricing and help our customers understand the actual value of their gold (in articles like this one!). We have another resource to help you calculate the value of your gold too. We’re always open and upfront about what we pay so you can estimate the payout you’ll receive for your gold before even sending us the gold.
Online competitors also just promise you the most for your gold without giving you any facts.
We’ve also made our process extremely simple for your convenience. In fact, you can even sell your gold without leaving your home. We’ll mail an insured package, schedule a FedEx pickup, and handle both offers and payments online. The whole process can even take less than 24 hours!
Whatever prompted you to sell your gold wedding band, having cash in hand is often better than a gold ring that you don’t want or need. And if you are looking to upgrade to a better ring, even better, because you’ll already have a good amount of the money you need towards it!
Ready to get started? Request your free cash for gold mailer now!