What Does 14-Karat Gold Contain?
14K gold is made of pure gold mixed with other metals to form an alloy. The reason such alloys are used is that pure gold is very soft and items made of it bend and wear out easily.
Usually, the additional metals used in 14K gold are copper, zinc, nickel, and silver.
What Determines the Value of 14K Gold?
The value of 14-karat gold depends on the amount of pure gold in the alloy.
This means that in order to determine how much an item made of 14K gold is worth (when sold for scrap gold), you need to find out its weight and, considering the alloy’s purity, figure out the amount of pure gold in it.
Once you know how much pure gold you have, you can use current gold market prices to value it.
How Much Pure Gold Is in 14-Karat Gold Jewelry?
Let’s see how you can determine the amount of pure gold in a 14K gold item:
Weigh the Gold
Put your 14K gold on a scale. Don’t forget to remove any items that are not made of gold – for example, if you are weighing a piece of jewelry with gemstones, you don’t want to include their weight.
Many jewelers use troy ounces and pennyweights to weigh gold (1 troy ounce = 20 pennyweights), so if you weigh your gold in grams or ounces, you might find these conversion rules useful:
1 gram = 0.03215 troy ounces
1 gram = 0.64301 dwt (pennyweights)
1 ounce = 0.91146 troy ounces
1 ounce = 18.22917 dwt (pennyweights)
Calculate the Amount of Pure Gold
Now that you know how much your 14K gold items weigh, you can figure out how much pure gold they contain.
14-karat gold contains 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts other metals.
This means that 58.3% of this alloy is gold (14/24 x 100). So, you just need to multiply the weight of your 14K gold pieces by this percentage to find how much pure gold they contain.
For example, if you have 5 grams of 14K gold, then it should contain 2.915 grams pure gold (5 x 58.3%).
What Is the Value of Your 14K Gold?
The value of your 14K gold depends on how much buyers are willing to pay for it.
Here, we are only discussing the value of 14K gold items when sold as scrap gold. However, retail prices for new jewelry depend on more than just the amount of pure gold in it; factors such as the piece’s design and brand also come into play.
One way to estimate the value of a 14K gold item is to look at gold market prices. Another way is to check what gold dealers pay per ounce or gram of gold.
Market Price of Gold
The current market price of gold can be found from a variety of sources online, and this rate fluctuates from day to day.
You should not assume that you would be able to get the same price if you sold your gold to a dealer. These buyers usually pay about 70%-80% of the gold market price you can see quoted on international exchanges.
Gold Dealer Quotes
Gold dealers buy jewelry and other items to sell them for scrap gold to refineries or to melt them down themselves before reselling the extracted gold.
To get a realistic picture of how much money you can get for your 14K gold, look up the prices quoted by a number of dealers.
As already mentioned, you should expect dealers to pay for jewelry sold as scrap gold about 20% less per gram of pure gold than its market price.
Can You Get More Money for Your 14K Gold?
The above guidelines will be relevant to you if you are going to sell your 14K gold as scrap gold.
If, however, your gold pieces have antique value, unique design, or are valuable collectibles, you could try selling them at an online auction to see if you would get more money.
Another option is to offer your 14K gold jewelry to a jewelry store, which might either pay you in cash or give you store credit.