What You Should Know about Karats When You Sell Your Gold Jewelry

Posted on: 24 November 2015

When it comes to gold jewelry, karats are somewhat of a foreign language. While many people know to check the karat rating of a piece, they don't have as much knowledge when it comes to truly understanding what this rating means. However, if you plan to sell your jewelry, being equipped with this knowledge is important if you want to get the most money out of the transaction.

What Are Karats?

On its own, pure gold is a somewhat soft metal. In order to make it more practical for jewelry use and to increase its durability, it has to be mixed with other metals. The ratio between the pure gold and these other metals will denote a piece's karat rating, such as 14K or 20K.

For example, a 14K gold piece is composed of 58.5% pure gold, while a 20K piece is composed of 83.3% gold. Naturally, the higher the level of pure gold, the higher the value of the piece.

Separate by Karats

Given the influence karat ratings have on gold jewelry's value, make sure you know the karat rating of each of your pieces before you sell. The is so important because you don't want the buyer to weigh pieces with different karat ratings together. Failing to understand this could result in you getting less money for your pieces than they are actually worth.

For instance, if you have a mixture of 14K, 18K and 20K pieces that are all weighed together, the weight of the gold will be paid based on 14K pricing. You can find relief in knowing that all reputable buyers will separate your pieces before weighing them. However, there is a small percentage of buyers who may try to weigh all your piece together. You can help avoid this by only dealing with reputable buyers.

Condition Trumps Karats

Unless you're selling your jewelry to a buyer who specializes in resell, the condition of the piece will have little, if any, influence on its overall value. In most cases, karat rating trumps condition. Particularly when it comes to inexperienced sellers, there is a misconception that the jewelry needs to be in tip-top shape.

The reality is that most of these pieces will be melted down and used for something else. An 18K bracelet will have the same value in excellent or poor condition. The only time condition becomes a real factor is if the piece has very deep scratches or gouges in it.

When it comes to selling your gold, knowing the karat rating and only working with reputable dealers is the best way to protect yourself and get the most money from your sell. Contact an establishment like The Jewelry Buyer to get started.