What is Scrap Gold & How Much is Scrap Gold Worth?

Gold FAQ - June 21, 2023

What is scrap gold?

Scrap gold is defined as gold that is no longer in use or has been damaged and is considered to have no value in its current form. It typically includes gold items such as broken jewelry, dental gold, gold coins, or gold-plated materials. These items can be melted down and refined to recover the gold content.

Unlike a “scrapyard” – a collection of junk metal from cars and other appliances, “scrap gold” really just means it isn’t worth more than the intrinsic value of the gold and other metals contained in it. So it may look like a perfectly normal ring or necklace in good condition, but if it’s unlikely to sell for a premium in the market (which it’s unlikely to, unless it’s a premium brand), then it’s referred to as scrap gold.

pile of scrap gold

What are common types of scrap gold?

There are several different types of scrap gold that can be found:

  1. Jewelry: This is one of the most common sources of scrap gold. It includes broken or damaged gold jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, and pendants.
  2. Dental Gold: Dental work often involves the use of gold, such as dental crowns, bridges, fillings, and inlays. When these dental pieces are no longer needed or removed, they can be recycled as scrap gold.
  3. Gold Coins: Old or damaged gold coins can be considered scrap gold. These include collectible coins, bullion coins, or foreign coins that are worth more in their gold content than their face value (which is the case for most gold coins given the rise in prices over the past 30 years), or are in poor condition.
  4. Industrial Scrap: In various industries, gold is used in electronic components, connectors, and circuit boards. When these items become obsolete or are discarded, they can be sources of scrap gold.

scrap gold bracelets

How much is your scrap gold worth?

The value of scrap gold depends on factors such as its purity (measured in karats), weight, market price, and any additional processing fees or deductions applied by gold buyers or refineries.

Here’s a general process to estimate the value of scrap gold:

  1. Determine the purity: Gold is measured in karats, with 24 karats being the purest form. Common purities for gold jewelry are 10k, 14k, 18k, and 24k. The higher the karat, the higher the gold content and value.
  2. Weigh the gold: Use a reliable scale to weigh the scrap gold in grams or troy ounces. The weight will be a significant factor in determining the value.
  3. Check the current gold price: Gold prices fluctuate regularly in the market. You can check the current price per ounce or gram of gold from reliable sources such as financial news websites or precious metals websites.
  4. Calculate the value: Once you have the weight and purity of the scrap gold and the current gold price, you can use the following formula to estimate its value: Value = (Weight in grams or troy ounces) x (Purity/24) x (Current gold price per gram or ounce)

For more information about calculating the price of scrap gold, and to view examples, check out this resource on calculating the price of gold.

gold chain scrap

Who can you sell your scrap gold to?

Gold buyers or refineries purchase scrap gold to extract the valuable metal and recycle it for other purposes, such as creating new jewelry or bullion. Melting it down and repurposing gold isn’t free of course, so these services typically pay less than spot value (oftentimes quite a bit lower) for gold.

Here are some common places people sell gold:

  1. Jewelry Stores: Many jewelry stores buy scrap gold from individuals. They may evaluate the gold’s purity and weight and make an offer either in case or for trade-in value.
  2. Pawnshops: Pawnshops specialize in buying and selling various items, including scrap gold. They typically assess the gold’s value based on its weight and purity and offer a price accordingly. Some will also allow you to pawn the gold instead of selling it outright.
  3. Gold Buyers: Several companies, including ours, specialize in purchasing scrap gold. Gold buying businesses like us have dedicated websites or physical locations where you can bring your gold for evaluation and sale. We provide quotes based on the weight, purity, and current market price of gold. To learn more about what we pay, you can visit our “what we pay” page here.
  4. Refineries: Gold refineries purchase scrap gold in large quantities. They melt down the gold to extract the valuable metal and refine it for further use. Refineries often work with businesses rather than individual sellers, but some may accept scrap gold from individuals as well.
  5. Online Platforms: There are online platforms where you can sell your scrap gold. These platforms connect sellers with potential buyers and facilitate the sale and shipping process. Examples include online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace and auction websites like eBay. However, keep in mind that dealing with individuals carries additional safety risk.

When selling your scrap gold, it’s advisable to research and compare offers from different buyers to ensure you are getting a fair price. Additionally, be cautious and choose reputable and trustworthy buyers to ensure a smooth and secure transaction. Express Gold Cash has over 4,000 TrustPilot reviews you can read!

At Express Gold Cash, we offer free, no obligation appraisals for your gold and other metals. Get an offer in as little as 24 hours with our fast, insured shipments. We’ll evaluate the gold and other metals you have for sale, tell you what you have, and get an offer to you quickly! If you’re interested in starting the process, request a free Express Gold kit now.

scrap gold necklaces