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Scrap Gold and Silver


Scrap Gold and silver... this is relatively simple...


Collect your gold and silver, separate the gold by the purity... 10kt, 14kt , 18kt, 22kt as best you can. If you are not sure, that is ok, we will need to test it anyway to ensure the purity level is correct and as marked.


Sometimes jewelry is marked 14kt but when we test it, that’s when it turns out to be less than 14kt. This is almost always due to the manufacturer using one purity of gold for the end pieces, and another purity of chain, i.e. the chain is 10kt but the end clips and clasps are marked 14kt, with the end clips being the only marked component everyone assumes the entire piece to be 14kt.


We occasionally see pieces that were marked after they were sold; this is a pitiful attempt to deceive the person to whom they are trying to sell it.  These pieces, modified to deceive are counterfeits, and are treated just like counterfeit money. So if you’re trying to pass counterfeits off as being something they are not, please go elsewhere.


NOTE: all counterfeits are confiscated and turned over to the Secret Service for follow up. You will be given a receipt, but you will not be paid for the material. You will need to go to the Secret Service office to retrieve your material. We maintain a video record of all transactions, and anyone trying to pass counterfeits of any kind will have to deal with the Secret Service.


If you're unlucky enough to have a counterfeit and did not know it when you got it, you will not be in any trouble whatsoever, but you will have to talk to the agent and explain where you got it from so they can trace its origin and put a stop to the thieves trying to rob people.


We also support and participate with the NCIC, Numismatic Crime Information Center, and check all of our material to determine if it is listed as stolen, and if so we will turn it in to the authorities.


OK, so on to the acid test:


Each piece of gold whether marked or not, will be tested (note if it isn't marked it is most likely not gold, the exceptions are pieces made before 1850 or custom pieces made outside the US and YES almost all foreign pieces are  marked)


The first thing we do is to use the magnet test.


The magnet test is simple, Neither gold nor silver is magnetic. If the metal reacts to the force of the magnet being pased close to the material it means that there is something else in the metal  made of Iron.


As Iron is not use in Gold or Silver products except for pins, posts and springs,any reaction will cause us to suspect that the material is not pure.


Once we pass the magnet test, the first thing we do is to scratch a couple of lines across the stone (made of natural glass) and then test the metal by applying a drop of acid (Nitric and Muriatic) of different strengths to determine what purity of gold, the piece may be.


If marked, I will start with the acid for one level less than the mark indicated, then the acid with the same strength as the piece is marked, and then the strength of the level above the marked purity. This allow me to see that it does, in fact, dissolve at the higher levels, and hold at the lesser levels and assess the time it takes for the marked level to dissolve (the faster it dissolves the less pure it is)


With most acid kits, the bottles are marked with color coded top, these are the representative color we use and they seem standard from our observations. While there may be other color codes, if you see any different you may want to ask.


  • Yellow is 10 KT

  • Green is 14KT

  • Red is 18KT

  • Blue / Gray is 22KT

  • Black is Platinum

  • Sliver acid is very dark in color and has a White top.


Make sure the tests are done in front of you not behind a counter or where you cannot see the test results, we mention this is for obvious reasons.


Once the purity is confirmed, the material is weighed in grams or pennyweights.


The conversion = one ounce is equal to 31.1 grams, or 20 pennyweights One penny weight = 1.555 grams


Most people use  Grams as they are more accurate, some use the penny weight method, we do not as you may lose some of your material weight when the pennyweight is less that .50, it may be rounded down


Example... 13 grams equals 8.3601 pennyweights but you’re only paid for 8 pennyweights or 12.44 grams, and with 14 kt gold in the $24.00 per gram range you just lost $10.00... Not much you say, but when you do it 100 times a day it’s a thousand dollars in someone else's pocket.


Also be on the lookout for folks that adjust for the stones, it take 5 Carets to equal 1 gram so a couple of large stones can seem like a lot of weight but most of the time they’re not. Always remove the stones before you sell your gold or silver to avoid guestimation.


While we’re talking about stones, some folks think that diamonds are rare and expensive; in reality, only diamonds of excellent quality over a Carat are rare. The little baguettes and 2 point round stones may only be worth a dollar and only when removed without any damage, this almost never happens, they chip, crack, have flaws and imperfections that you just cannot see without a jewelers loop.


NC Coppers and Kris Kringle's Coins does not buy these stones as they are hard to identify with any accuracy, and they have little resale value.


A word on silver…


Silver has become so cheap that Jewelry which weighs nothing but a few grams will be for the most part not worth selling. A hand full of ladies dainty sterling silver neck chains weight only a couple of grams each and that’s less than a dollar for each one. So unless the silver has some weight like several ounces hold them until you collect enough to pay for your gas to take them somewhere to be sold.


Sterling Silver flatware has the weight, but if you didn't sell it 3 years ago when the market made it worth over a thousand, then selling it now for $450.00 doesn’t make sense unless you really need the money. Just to save you asking, it may be two years before we see those numbers again and maybe not even then.


I tell all my customers, if you don't need the money, don't sell it unless you’re just trying to be rid of it because you’re tired of looking at it.


In Summation, bring in the material, we will look at it and give you a rough estimate for no cost at all, if you then want to sell it we will begin to weigh and test for the purity so we can get an accurate number and finalise the sale.


If you want to shop around to see who might give you a few cents more per grams please feel free to do so. you will not hurt our feelings. We have given many people the prices that we will buy their materials for. They go away, and check with other shops and then almost all of them come back, either in an hour or two later or even a week or two later, to sell their material.


You can save some trouble by checking with the other folks first, and then bring it to us, we almost always beat the other guys, in point of fact, I have never been told we pay too little when folks check with other buyers and we can pay CASH! No checks, no promises, no IOU’s, no nonsense.


On a final note, rarely do we see terribly abused gold coin,s but it has happened, they are almost all 21.6 caret or 90% gold these we buy for weight, as they have to be melted, and cannot be resold as coins.


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