I’M TELLING YOU, THAT’S SOLID GOLD, IT BELONGED TO MY…….
Really!!! Anyone care to guess just how may times we hear that at Prescott Valley Pawn.
What is “Solid Gold” anyway? How do you tell if it’s real or fake and why am I offered a lot less than gold sells for on the commodity markets?….. All of these are very good and worthwhile questions I’ll try to answer.
First of all, look inside a gold ring or on the clasp of a bracelet or chain and there should be a mark if it’s purported to be “real” gold like “10K”, “14K”, or maybe “18K. Gold when it’s cast by a goldsmith is mixed with base metals to give it some hardness, and it can also give it color, white or yellow gold for instance. If you don’t mix it, it’ll be too soft to wear and will bend easily. Did you ever watch a pirate movie and see the pirate bite a “gold” coin? He was supposed to be satisfying himself of the gold content of the coin by feeling how easily he could bite into it.
Pure or 100% gold (which you never see) is labeled 24K (in case you do see it). The “K” stands for “Karat” which is different than the “Carat” used in diamonds (we’ll discuss that some other time). The 10K, 14K, and 18K are percentages of gold used in the alloy of the item marked. For example, an item marked 10K, is really 10/24th gold or 41.6% pure gold. 14K is 14/24ths, or 58.5% and 18K is 18/24ths or 75% pure gold by weight. So if your bracelet weights a full ounce and gold is selling at $1200 an ounce how much is it really worth.
Lets say it’s marked 14K and it tests out at 14K or 58.5% gold content. Now if you own your own smelter and can assay the gold down to it’s pure form for free and can sell it for free on the New York Board of Trade (it’s like owning a seat on the New York Stock exchange), here’s the math; $1200 X 58.5% = $702. That’s what the gold is really worth in the bracelet.
How come you get offered a lot less than the $702 for it? Well, we’re back to owning a smelter and a seat on the New York Board of trade, plus transportation costs and then everyone, and I do mean everyone has to get their cut before the deal is finished.
Next time…..How to spot a fake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!