What is gold worth?
Gold, silver and platinum have values that vary constantly.
Worldwide demand, as well as social and political situations
effect the metals market.
Your newspaper or internet financial pages
are all good references for daily precious metal prices.

What is a pennyweight?
Prices in the paper or financial news are
usually expressed for ounces of pure metal.
Most jewelry and other items fashioned
from precious metals are less than one ounce and not pure gold.
Most gold buyers will express their buy prices in pennyweights.
A pennyweight (dwt) is 1/20th of an ounce.

What is fineness or purity?
Most jewelry and sterling tableware is not one pure.
It is mixed with other metals to give strength and color hues.
The greater percent of the precious metal,
the finer or more pure the item is said to be.
U.S. gold purity is expressed in karats (k).
The higher the karat, the higher amount of gold the item contains.
18k contains more actual gold than 14k.

What are gold stamps?
United States gold must be stamped to inform the consumer of its fineness.
24k is the highest purity, or an item fashioned without any other metals.
Other common purities of jewelry will be 18k, 14k and 10k in the U.S.
To find the percent of gold in an item, divide the stamped amount by 24.
18k divided by 24k equals .75, or 75 percent gold.
The other 25% of the weight are other metals.
Antique gold items may not hold any gold marks.

What does 750 stamped in a ring mean?
Outside the U.S., stamps are expressed in parts of 1000.
1000 would be pure gold; the same as a U.S. 24k stamp.
750 means 18k gold, or 750 parts out of 1000 are pure gold.

What is an assay?
Gold content can be measured by applying acids to the metal,
or by electronic gold testing tools.
Items are assayed because not all stamps are accurate.
An item stamped 14k item may only assay at 13k or 12k.
Testing will show that the gold meets the “acid test”, or fails.

If I bought my item for $1,000, will I get $1,000?
You paid a retail price that included the design, manufacturer,
employee compensation, rent, utilities, insurance, interest on
inventory and other costs of doing business to make that item
available for you to purchase. You are only selling the precious
metal that can be extracted from the item, which is much less
than the above. Secondly, your item must undergo a process to
extract the pure precious metals, which is in itself a costly process.