How to Calculate Scrap Gold Prices Per Gram

By Jay White

February 11, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

When it comes to scrap gold, you don’t need to go to a metals place to find out the value. It is possible, instead, to calculate the proper “melt value” all on your own. Gold values require three pieces of information to get to this number. The weight, the purity, and the current price of gold. Using these three things, you can get a good idea about the fair price of gold, and enter negotiations for sales all on your own.

1. Measure the weight of your gold:

A gram scale can be purchased at many retail outlets, as well as online stores like Amazon. If you have a kitchen scale, this is a good way to get the measurements you need without having to purchase a new item. Record this weight, which is best when it is in either grams or troy ounces.

2. Determine the Purity of Your Gold:

The purity of your jewelry is often marked on the piece when you purchase it. However, if you cannot find the record of the gold purity of a piece, or if you doubt that the information you are given is correct, online stores like amazon can sell gold testing kits to help you determine this. If you are in the market for gold to resell, this is definitely worth purchasing. It runs around $20, and an investment at this level can potentially save you hundreds in undervalued gold.

3. Calculate your Purity:

The value of gold is equal to the weight in Troy ounces times the percent purity times the price per Troy ounce. The easiest way to make this calculation is to use an online gold calculator. That way, they can translate the weight into the correct units, and the karat value into percent purity for you. Many of these sites also self-update with the daily price of gold, saving you an important research step. The resulting number that you are given on the website is known as the melt value.

4. When you go to sell:

Don’t expect to get the full melt value of your gold, but do ask for most of it. Online auction sites like eBay will give the highest return, most of the time, provided that you give a detailed and accurate description of the item. The lowest rates usually come from the traveling gold buying businesses that set up at fairgrounds. The best in-person buyers are usually coin shops and local jewelers, who are in need of scrap gold for their own work. However, they usually give closer to about 70 percent of the melt value, as they have overhead that they need to cover.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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