The Value of Gold Jewelry

Our company is known and respected for our tremendous experience and jewelry knowledge. We’re able to deal with everything from a single gold ring to a vast collection of fine jewelry. We buy tens of thousands of items every year, which helps us get even better every day. We want you to understand why our company is SO different from the competition and why selling with us is the best way to get the most money out of your merchandise. Our goal here is to help you understand how we determine the value of gold jewelry and what you can do, even at home, to better understand how valuable items are priced.

Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Chanel books

Value of Gold Jewelry
Find the Marking

After your items arrive in our laboratory, the first thing our experts do is check your jewelry for markings/stamps and sort it accordingly. Some items may show no stamp, which can mean that either the jewelry was worn for so long that the marking wore out, or the goldsmith chose to not mark the jewelry in the first place.

This first step to finding the value of gold jewelry can be easily done at home by yourself as well.

Unbranded Gold Jewelry

Wedding band shank marked 14k ARTCARVED

Unbranded jewelry or jewelry made for the mass market is usually marked with a stamp indicating the item’s gold purity. In the US, 10K gold, 14K gold, and 18K gold are the most common gold alloys. The value of this type of gold jewelry is mostly based on the gold price with a premium for diamonds or gemstones. Unbranded gold jewelry is very common and can be found in every American household. Big jewelry chains like Fred Meyers, Kay, and Shane have been flooding the mass market with beautiful jewelry for decades.

More: Sell Gold Jewelry

Branded Gold Jewelry

Cartier 18K 750 gold stamp

Branded jewelry is usually easy to identify since most designers clearly mark their pieces. The hard part is proving the authenticity, as there are some really good-quality fakes on the market. We’ve seen fake Cartier bangles made of solid 18K gold and top-quality diamonds along with faked papers, a box, and a receipt. It’s our job to prove an item’s authenticity, and we’re really good at that. Branded jewelry is still extremely popular, as people like buying famous brands. Finding the value can be challenging for first-time sellers.

More: Sell Fine Jewelry

Fine Jewelry

1.14ct diamond weight stamped in gold ring

Fine jewelry may be marked with information about diamonds or colored stones. Some manufacturers stamp carat or even color or clarity information along with a serial number. Information like that can be used to get an initial idea about the item. Unfortunately, some companies are even stamping the weight of a worthless cubic zirconia to make people believe they own something valuable. True quality is usually very easy to distinguish from cheaply made jewelry made in Asia.

More: Sell Diamond Jewelry

Scrap Jewelry

wedding band with broken ring shank

The value of broken gold jewelry is based on the market gold value and weight. To calculate the value, all you need to do is find the stamp indicating the item’s gold purity and weigh the item. Then you can use our gold calculator, which makes doing the math even easier. The value of gold increased significantly over the last 10 years, which is why selling became very fruitful for owners of damaged or broken gold jewelry. Do not underestimate your gold jewelry, as it may be worth WAY more than you think.

More: Sell Scrap Gold

Value of Gold Jewelry
The Authenticity Check

Our company runs a very well-equipped laboratory. We have XRF gold-testing machines and microscopes along with 1000+ books in our own library, the heart of the laboratory. We’ll perform different tests depending on the item. While we handle fine jewelry and coins only with cotton gloves, scrap gold may be scratched to be tested. Our team has tested millions of pieces over the years, and just a quick look at an item is usually enough to know which testing method will be best for a piece. The authenticity check is undoubtedly the most important step in finding the value of gold jewelry. If a piece stamped 18K 750 CARTIER (indicating it’s made of solid 18K gold) turns out to be made of brass, it can’t be valuable at all. It’s our team’s job to determine authenticity, and we are very good at that as well!

XRF Test

gold bracelet being tested with a precious metal testing machine

The XRF testing machine is extremely important for us. This $50,000 machine makes it possible to test gold merchandise without causing any damage, as the X-rays are able to penetrate the surface to measure the gold’s purity.

Acid Test

acid test performed on an 18k gold ring

Our XRF testing machine takes about 30 seconds to test one item, while multiple items can be tested with acid within 30 seconds. An acid test will only be used for scrap gold.


Loupe, books, and tweezers used to find value of gold jewelry

Most important is our library of 1000+ books! Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Bvlgari jewelry can often only be authenticated using our vast collection of jewelry literature.


Pandora gold bracelet tested with a magnet

Gold is a diamagnetic metal, which is why a magnet will be slightly repelled but never attracted to real gold jewelry. This is a test that anybody can perform at home. Clasps, pins, and posts CAN show magnetism.

Smell It


The smell test is a real test you can use to get an idea of whether an item is made of solid gold or not. Solid gold jewelry will collect scents like perfume or skin odors, but it will never smell like metal. Try it!

Does it feel & look right?

gold colored ring with corrosion showing off copper

Using your common sense will help you to determine if a piece is valuable. Gold never reacts with oxygen, which means that an item made of gold will never rust or tarnish. Green spots indicate copper, not gold. Gold is also heavy, so ask yourself: does the piece feel heavy? Using your common sense is more helpful than you might think.

Value of Gold Jewelry
Determine The Value

We walked you through the basics of finding the value of gold jewelry. For many items, it’s possible to do the math right at home and get at least a rough idea of your item’s value. Calculating the value of scrap gold jewelry is especially easy. You can use our gold calculator to calculate the value based on the current scrap gold price.

Unbranded Jewelry

The value of unbranded gold jewelry will be based on the current gold price plus a premium for diamonds and gemstones if present and of decent size and quality.

Branded Jewelry

The value of branded gold jewelry is usually way above the current gold price and based on rarity, demand, and condition. Big brands like Tiffany and Cartier are top sellers.

Fine Jewelry

The value of fine gold jewelry is usually based on the current gold price plus a premium for diamonds and gemstones AND a premium for rarity, condition, and design.

Value of Gold Jewelry
Insider Tips

The management of has tremendous knowledge when it comes to gold jewelry prices. We know the obstacles people have to deal with if they’re planning to sell gold. What’s most important is the outcome: getting paid a very high price. Make sure you get paid well by following these simple rules:

Do NOT trust any appraiser! We know so many examples of appraisers who just want to charge you a fee of $50–$100 for paperwork you may never need, OR they try to earn your trust to buy your gold jewelry for little money. Some appraisers are paying even less than a pawn shop would pay you! Be very careful.

Do NOT sell to a pawn shop! Many pawn shops have no intention of making you a good deal. While some are truly unable to pay you fairly, others simply don’t want to offer a good deal. They make a living by making a big profit off some people instead of making a little money with a lot of customers. Watch out! Sales are final and you will not get your gold back.

Do NOT sell to your jeweler without comparing buyers! Some people have a family jeweler, maybe even a place they’ve known for decades. Be very careful. They may still downplay the value of your gold jewelry for their own benefit. Do not agree to sell without getting a second opinion.

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