Expert Gold and Silver Valuation for Sale, Consignment or Collateral Loan
Elements & Minerals
Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium are minerals- inorganic substances occurring in nature, with homogeneous chemical composition, definite physical properties and crystalline form. All four are rare (exist in limited amounts on earth) and cannot be manufactured or lab grown. Unlike most minerals, Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium consist of a single chemical element* and thus are elements by themselves.
Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium* are classified as precious metals due to their rarity, recyclability, and their utilization in industry processes, currency minting and adornment manufacturing. Another determining worth factor is their growing desirability as investment commodities.
*Chemical Elements are the naturally occurring fundamental building blocks of all natural substances and cannot be decomposed or broken down into simpler substances via chemical means. Each element consists of one kind of atoms and defined by its Atomic Number signifying the unique number of protons it possesses. (Palladium PD Atomic Number 46, Silver AG Atomic Number 47, Platinum PT Atomic Number 78 and Gold AU Atomic Number 79.
**(see iridium and rhodium)
Gold Purity & Hallmarks
Gold purity is measured in karats, with 24 karats being 24/24ths gold, or pure gold. A 14K gold item contains 14/24ths or 58.33% gold. The minimum allowable quality for karat gold is 9 karats.
Silver Purity & Hallmarks
In the USA the minimum purity for a metal to be called “Silver” is 90% (thus frequently stamped 900). Silver jewelry and silverware are traditionally made from sterling silver (standard silver), an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper that is typically stamped with the hallmark 925. Sterling silver jewelry is often plated with a thin coat of .999 fine silver to give the item a shiny finish. This process is called “flashing”. Silver jewelry can also be plated with rhodium (for a bright, shiny look) or gold.
Platinum & Palladium Purity and Hallmarks
Platinum finds use in jewelry usually as 95% alloy (Plat 950) and a 90% alloy with 10% Iridium known as IridPlat (Irid10% Plat). Palladium is the newest member of the precious metal family to be used in Jewelry (Hallmarks officially introduced in July 2009). It is usually used as a 95% pure alloy. (950)
Jewelry or Scrap?
New jewelry retail pricing reflects not only the cost of materials and manufacturing but also branding and marketing costs, and both wholesale and retail markups. When the True Market Value of Jewelry is being evaluated for resale purposes, the main focus is identifying an added value that is greater than the cost of components, and justifies the investment in time and resources needed to realize it or In other words, Is it Jewelry or Scrap. In many cases the valuation determining factors end up being based on the worth of the precious metals and stones the jewelry is made of.
Precious Metal Definitions
Jewelry is an accessory, ornament or adornment that is worn primarily to decorate and enhance the visual appearance of the wearer, to symbolize a union, affiliation or special achievements and/or as a status symbol. Some jewelry items do serve a functional purpose as well, (clasp, hairpin, buckles, and cufflinks to name a few), Precious metals (gold, silver and platinum), diamonds, precious and semi -precious stones are common design elements in both contemporary and antique jewelry pieces.
Precious Metal Scrap
Any article comprised of precious metal and suitable for reprocessing can be regarded as precious metal scrap. The term scrap may indicate the item’s being discarded or otherwise lacking any added value other than the quantity and purity of precious metal in contains.
The term Bullion refers to a refined and stamped weight of precious metal (gold, silver, platinum, and palladium) in the form of ingots, bars, or coins. Unlike currency, bullion is strictly valued by its purity and weight, and must be at least 99.5% pure.