Gold parties combine fun with business. Typically hosted at family members', friends' or acquaintances' homes, these informal events bring together people who want to sell their old gold jewelry. Sometime between the treats, drinks and jokes, a party organizer will make offers to buy attendees' gold. Of course, everyone who brings unwanted jewelry to such a party wants to sell it for as much as possible. If you're invited to such a party, here are some ways you can prepare beforehand to get the best offer for your old gold jewelry.
Separate Your Old Jewelry by Karat
As Joshua Jones explains, jewelry usually isn't made from pure gold, because the metal is too soft to be used alone in jewelry. Instead, it's combined with other metals to create a gold-based alloy.
Karats measure how much gold is in an alloy, with one karat equaling 1/24 pure gold. Thus, a piece of 12-karat gold jewelry is 12/24, or 50 percent, pure gold. In the United States, 4Facets.com says that 14-karat gold is the most common gold alloy used for jewelry, and anything less than 10 karats can't legally be sold as gold jewelry.
To determine how many karats your gold jewelry is, look for a hallmark. A hallmark is a little inscription that identifies how much gold is in a piece. If your jewelry was purchased in the U.S., you should find a two-digit number, probably 18, 14 or 10. This is the number of karats. If your jewelry came from outside the U.S., the hallmark may instead be a three-digit number. This is the percentage of gold, to the nearest tenth of a percent. For example, "583" would be 58.3 percent gold, which is the same as 14 karats.
Look Up the Going Per-Karat, Per-Gram Price for Gold
Anyone who offers to buy gold from you will base their offer on the market value for scrap gold. Market values are broken down by karats. According to GoldCalc.com, at the time of writing
- 24-karat scrap gold was selling for $38.38 per gram
- 18-karat scrap gold was selling for $28.78 per gram
- 14-karat scrap gold was selling for $22.39 per gram
When looking up the current prices, you should look for per-gram prices instead of troy-ounce rates. Your jewelry weighs a few grams, not several troy ounces.
Don't expect the party planner to make you an offer equal to the current market rates. After all, buying gold is a business for them. They'll need to be able to sell your jewelry to a recycling company for more than they paid in order to make a profit. Knowing the current per-karat, per-gram market rate for the type of gold you have, however, will help you determine how good the offer you receive is.
If your gold jewelry doesn't all have the same number of karats, ask for a separate offer for each purity level. For example, if you have both 18- and 14-karat gold jewelry, ask the party planner to give you two separate offers so the more-valuable jewelry isn't lumped in with the less-pure pieces. Since you've separated them out by karat already, it should be easy for the party planner to give you multiple offers.
Ask to Keep Your Gemstones
Typically offers to buy gold are for gold only. If your gold jewelry also has gemstones, ask to either keep those or request a separate offer for them. Gemstones might not be worth much when they aren't set in a piece of jewelry, but you might be able to get a little extra money for them.
If you're headed to a gold party, do your homework before you go. Following these suggestions will ensure you don't just have a great time at the party, but that you also get a good offer for your old gold jewelry.
For more information, talk with gold jewelers and buyers, such as those at Rocky Mountain Gold & Silver Exchange.