Before gathering all the gold jewelry, scraps, pieces or teeth and rushing to the sell them at, it’s important to know just how much gold you have. First and foremost, larger amounts get better returns than small ones because of shipping and refining expenses.

Know your percentages:

Most gold is mixed with an alloy to harden it and make the ultimate item more durable. Start by sorting out your items by type – gold, platinum, silver – and fineness, the percentage of gold opposed to other blended metals (beware of fraudulently marked jewelry).

While some pieces may have a fineness mark as well, gold is often times marked with a karat purity mark instead. Pure gold is 24 karat and fineness is found by dividing the karat by 24, e.g. 18K divided by 24K = 750 fine gold, or 75 percent fineness. (Disclaimer: Marks such as 18K H.G.E., 18K G.E. or 1/20 14K GF are not gold, but are gold plated.)


GOLD Fineness Purity Notes
999 24 karat “carat” in UK
958.3 23 karat Often used in Eastern jewelry
916 22 karat Prevalent in the East & Mid-east
750 18 karat Standard in Europe
583 14 karat May be marked“585” in US
500 12 karat Half gold, half alloys
10 karat 10 karat Often used in class rings, etc.
375 9 carat Not legally “gold” in US
PLATINUM 999 “three nines” Purest platinum
995 Most common for bullion
950 Most common for jewelry
900 “one nine” Also common in jewelry
Platinum is often also marked with notation of its alloy
SILVER 999.9 ultra-fine Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
999 “three nines” Used in bullion bars
958 Britannia silver
950 French “1st Standard”
925 Sterling silver
925 gold color “Vermeil”, gold plated silver
900 “one nine” USA coin silver
1 g 0.32 ozt 0.63 dwt 0.352 avoirdupois ounce

Chart by Nancy Stacy, GG, ASA, Master Gemologist Appraiser

So now you have piles of precious metals and sub-piles of fineness. Now, it’s time to weigh your piles to calculate the approximate value of each pile based on the current spot price of gold.


Know the weight:

Precious metals are weighed in Troy ounces (ozt), which is about 1.10 times the weight of a “regular” ounce and equal to about 31.1 grams or 20 pennyweights (dwt). Weighing your precious metals in grams on a food scale or a digital scale is most convenient. Once you have weighed each group of metal of the same fineness, you can figure the fine gold content by looking up today’s “spot price” on, and referencing the chart above.