Is Broken Gold Jewelry Worth Less Than Jewelry in Good Condition?

Gold FAQ - June 8, 2022
gold rings

If you are currently looking to make some money off of some old jewelry sitting in your jewelry box, you may be concerned about its condition. Maybe some of your pieces are broken and you are worried that you may not fare as well with them. Fear not, the answer to these worries may come as a genuine surprise.

How is Gold Value Measured?

measuring the weight and value of gold

In order to understand how much your gold is worth, you must know how gold is measured. You may have heard the term ‘karat’ tossed around when talking about gold. Karat amount is very important to consider because the higher the karat count, the more the gold is worth. But, what exactly is a karat? Merriam-Webster defines karat as ‘a unit of fineness for gold equal to ¹/₂₄ part of pure gold in an alloy.’

In other words karat is the purity of the gold – the actual amount of gold you have in the piece of jewelry.

So an 12k (karat) gold bracelet would be made out of 50% gold (24k is pure gold), while the rest is made of worthless metals that make the piece less valuable, but generally more durable (and wearable).

Understanding Purity

stacks of gold bars

The most common purity associated with karats is 14 karat. The 14 karat is composed of 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloy. Other common gold purities are 10 karat, 18 karat, and 24 karat. These numbers are not the only ones, just the most common. The bottom line is that these numbers will determine your gold’s purity level. The higher the number, the more gold you have.

What If I Can’t Find the Purity?

Most gold pieces will have that number you need marked on it somewhere. Just look for a small stamp of the number. However, it is a very small number and if you can’t find it or see it, there are other options. You can take your pieces to a local pawn shop or jeweler and have them determine the value for you.

If you prefer to find out for yourself, there are a number of ways to test gold purity at home.

Of course, you can also request a free a testing kit from us at Express Gold and we’ll test and value your gold for free (and with no obligation to sell it!).

The Short Answer: Don’t Worry About Broken Pieces

broken gold

At the end of the day, cash for gold companies don’t really care if your pieces are broken. They only care about the overall gold content of the piece. For example, your broken gold jewelry could always be melted down in order to create a new piece and that’s why the karat value is more important. Gold buyers price what you want to sell based on this “melt value” in almost all cases.

At Express Gold, we’re also experienced antique dealers and are knowledgeable about rare and collectible coins and other gold pieces. While the surge in gold prices over the past 20 years prices most gold at its “melt value”, in the rare case that our customers have rare or collectible pieces, we get a professional evaluation and can often offer them more than the melt value.

Pawn shops and local dealers may not be so kind.

If you are concerned that your jewelry does not have a high karat amount, there is always hope that your piece could have resale value as a vintage item (especially if it’s much older) or it could just fetch you a bit for being a good looking piece of jewelry all together. That said, if you’re selling to a cash for gold company, how pretty the piece of jewelry is rarely has an impact on price.

Do you have some broken gold jewelry that you want to sell? Request a free cash for gold pack from us today and get a free, no risk, no obligation valuation of your gold!