May 17, 2021 0 Comments Gemstones, Gold, Watches

How Much is My Gold Actually Worth? Gold Purity, Gems, And the Vasco Valuation Process

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How much is my ring worth? There’s a diamond set in it, how much is that going to increase the value? I have some 999 bullion on hand, how do we evaluate that? 

These are questions we get a lot at Vasco. Before selling their gold ring or getting a personal gold loan, most customers have one simple question: how much is their gold actually worth? 

The answer? Well, it varies a lot! Plenty of factors play a role, including:

  • Gold purity 
  • Gold quantity 
  • Branding 
  • Inset gemstones
  • Alloy metals

The best way to get an idea about how much your gold is worth is through a free Vasco evaluation. We leverage XRF laser technology and a multi-step process to get you an exact idea of how much your gold ring, jewelry, or bullion is worth. 

But even before that, in this blog, we’d like to give you some pointers about the valuation process and how your final gold value is determined. We’ll walk you through different gold purity measurements, the impact of inset stones, and a range of other factors. First, let’s start with a Vasco client story:

Insert Name had to call off their engagement. It was a tough call, but money was tight, too. This meant that one of his/her first priorities was getting their engagement ring valued and sold at a fair price. “How much do you think this ring will be worth?” Was the first question they asked on a consultation call with Vasco.

 Before using our secure luxury asset shipping network to get the ring in for a full valuation, we asked Insert a few questions: what price did the jewelry store for this ring? What was the karat value of the gold? Did you the ring have any inset gemstones (it had a diamond). Before the actual evaluation, we were able to give her a rough estimate of the ring’s value. Insert used our complimentary shipping option to send it over to us. We then offered a fair purchase price. 

Gold Purity: it’s not all 24K out there 

How pure is your gold jewelry or bullion? This is one of the most important factors when it comes to valuating your gold. 

There are two systems jewellers use when they talk about gold purity and it’s important not to confuse the two. One is the karat system, and the other is the system of millesimal fineness. 

If you’ve tried to purchase or sell gold bullion or jewelry there’s a good chance you’ve come across both measurements. Let’s start with karats:

Pure gold (without any alloys mixed in) is known as 24K (or 24 karats) gold. That’s because 24 out of 24 parts (all of it!) is made up of gold. Pure gold is a deep yellow color. It’s beautiful but it’s soft and fragile, which makes it a poor choice for jewelry. Lower karat values (from 23K down to 8K) denote different levels of alloy mixture. 

Different alloy metals like copper, silver, and palladium, are mixed in with gold for a number of reasons. At higher karat values (with a 22k gold necklace, for instance), the 2 out of 24 parts of copper would be to strengthen the gold and make it durable enough to last as a piece of jewerly. At lower karat values, more than half the piece might be made of alloy metal. The lower the karat, the lower the amount of gold in a given piece. This means lower karat jewelry can be worth half or even ⅓ the value of pure gold. 

The millesimal system

The millesimal system is an alternative that, confusingly, is used right alongside the karat system. Millesimal fineness tells you a piece of gold’s purity in parts per thousand. “Pure” 24K gold is equivalent to 999 in millesimal. The millesimal system is often used for bullion. If you’re wondering about the purity of your bullion, you’ll often see the millesimal value (916, for instance) hallmarked on the bar. It’s possible to convert millesimal purity to karat and vice versa. Here’s a chart showing you how:

  • 999 (Fine gold equivalent to 24 carats, also known as three nines fine)
  • 990 (also known as two nines fine)
  • 916 (equivalent to 22 carats)
  • 833 (equivalent to 20 carats)
  • 750 (equivalent to 18 carats)
  • 625 (equivalent to 15 carats)
  • 585 (equivalent to 14 carats)
  • 417 (equivalent to 10 carats)
  • 375 (equivalent to 9 carats)
  • 333 (equivalent to 8 carats)

Alloy metals: the other stuff that goes in

As you can see here, gold is rarely used in pure form. Sure, it’s beautiful. But it’s extremely soft and easily dented and bent. Most of the “gold” you see in jewelry and, indeed bullion, is an alloy of gold and one or more alloy metals. These range from copper to silver to palladium and others. Alloying gold can improve its physical characteristics, making it harder and more durable. Alloys also impart color – rose gold, for instance, gets its unique tone from a higher proportion of copper. 

Do alloy metals have an impact on your gold ring’s value? Yes and no. Generally, the higher the gold purity, in terms of karats, the more your ring will be worth. This is simply because gold is worth substantially more per gram than most alloy metals.

At Vasco, we use an XRF analyzer machine to identify and categorize the exact gold alloy used in your ring, jewelry, or bullion. 

Brand value matters

Gold, as a precious metal, will always have a certain intrinsic value. But some gold jewelry can significantly more, even if the same amount of gold is used. That’s because brand value matters in the gold space. Reputed jewelers like (Tiffany’s, Chopard, and Harry Winston), well-known for their quality of craftsmanship can command a significant price premium on a given ring or piece of jewelry. If you aren’t already aware of it, it’s a good idea to discover your jewelry’s provenance. Great brand value could translate into a higher selling price. This is something a certificate of authenticity can help assess although many times a stamp on the piece may be enough. At the end of the day, though, nothing beats the trained eye of a Vasco assessor. 

Gems can significantly bump up value 

Do you have a plain gold band or something a bit fancier with inset gems? If your ring has gemstones in it,  chances are that it’ll be worth considerably more. This is especially true when you want to sell a diamond ring or high quality ruby or emerald ring.

Factors like the cut, color, and clarity of a given stone mean that there’s a huge range in terms of gem pricing. 1 carat diamond, for instance, can be valued at anywhere between $180 and $24000!

It can be tough to offer a ballpark estimate of how much a gem will add to the value of your ring. If you’re wondering about your diamond ring value however, here’s a rule of thumb: high quality diamonds, rubies, and emeralds are often worth as much (or more) than their gold setting.

Get your free Vasco gold valuation for a more accurate picture 

Most Vasco clients want to know how much their gold or jewelry is worth in order to get the best possible deal when selling or when taking an asset-based loan.

These can be major financial decisions. At Vasco, we look forward to supporting you every step of the way. The first thing you want to do? Reach out to us today for a free, no-strings gold or luxury asset valuation. We leverage advanced technology like XRF and secure shipping across the country for accurate valuation and your peace of mind. Know exactly what your gold is worth. We’ll offer you a fair purchase price or set you up with a gold loan tailored to meet your needs!