With the current historic highs for the prices of precious metals, many people are looking into selling their unwanted jewelry and other items made from gold, silver and platinum. By learning about the gold markings or hallmarks as they are known in the trade, you will be better equipped to sell your gold. Like everything else, when it comes to precious metals, it is a good idea to know what you have before you try to sell it.
Most jewelry is marked or “stamped” with a hallmark telling the purity of the material. The key word here is most. Some custom made pieces may be signed or not and may or may not have the karat or purity of the material on the piece. Also, sometimes when a ring has been resized or a piece has been repaired, the markings will be removed in the finishing process and not reapplied. So do not assume that because it is not marked it is not precious metal.
Precious metals are bought and sold based on purity and weight. Jewelry is typically made from and marked 9k or .375, 10k or .417, 14k or .585, 18k or .750 or 22k or .917. This will tell you the purity of you piece with 9k being the lowest and 24k being pure gold. Where you find these markings depends on the type of piece you are looking at. Rings are normally marked on the inside of the shank or portion that attaches to the body or head of the ring. Bracelets, necklaces and chains will typically be marked somewhere on or around the clasp area. You will have to look carefully, open the clasp and look at the “male” end that inserts. Earrings are tough because the markings are normally very small, but look on the stem or post. Pendants and charms will be marked on the back or bail (that is the part that the chain goes through)
Whoever you sell your gold to will first look it over for gold markings to determine purity, and then they will weigh the piece. With the spot price of gold and these other two pieces of information, they can calculate the price you can sell your gold for.
Gold comes in many colors, the most common are yellow, rose and white; sometimes you will see all three in a single piece, it is referred to as “Black Hills” or “Tri-Color” gold.
Just because your item is white or silver colored does not mean it is gold. If it is marked.928 or sterling then it is Sterling Silver and if it is marked PLAT or IRD it is platinum. Both of which are precious metals and have value.
So look for those gold markings or hallmarks and remember the higher the number the more you will be able to get when you sell your gold.