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How Gold Buyers Determine What Your Gold Is Worth

Gold is hot these days. Prices are reaching all-time highs, which is why it is a great time to sell the gold jewelry, collectable gold coins or gold bullion you’ve accumulated over the years. If you’ve decided to sell your gold and want to get the most for it, you need to understand how the gold evaluation process works.

Get your gold tested

When you take your old jewelry to a gold buyer, the first thing they are going to do is determine the gold’s purity. They will refer to its purity in karats. The more karats in your piece, the higher the concentration of gold (and the higher the value). For example, 24 karat gold is close to 100% pure gold, while 18 karat gold is 75% gold and 25% other metals.

One way to test the purity of your gold employs electricity.  The most common evaluation tool a gold buyer might use is the acid test. When nitric acid comes into contact with copper — which all imitation gold jewelry contains — it turns the metal green. So, if the metal doesn’t turn green, it’s gold. Both are simple and effective tests that can be done in moments.

Another method is called “fire assaying” and it is the gold standard in assessment. All the major refineries and gold mining companies use this method, but the process takes quite a while and requires specialized equipment.

Check the price of gold

Once the purity of the gold has been assessed, the gold buyer will check the price of gold on the open market. Make sure to check the price of gold before you get an appraisal, so that you have an idea of what your gold is worth. The gold buyer will make you an offer based on a combination of things, including the purity of the gold you have and the current price of gold.

Know the gold buyer

Some unscrupulous gold buyers will weigh all your jewelry together and pay you at the lowest karat value. Our staff at West Seattle Coins and Bellevue Rare Coins will sort your valuables when you come in. It takes longer, but it ends up being a better deal for you! Also, there are a lot of online gold buyers these days, but it’s always safer to have your gold appraised in person. Do some research to find a reputable gold buyer that has been around for a while.

You can read more about how our appraisal process works. And then contact us with any questions. But the best way, by far, is to come into one of our three locations. We will evaluate your valuables for free, with no pressure to sell. No tricks, no games. And then you decide whether you want to sell your gold or not.

West Seattle Coins and Bellevue Rare Coins specializes in gold buying and dealing in rare coins. We are a family-owned business that was first established in 1979 and is now located in West Seattle, Bellevue and Lynnwood. We also buy and sell gold, silver, diamonds, currency and jewelry. Visit us first for a free appraisal.


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