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GoldFellow® Founder, Michael H. Gusky, was interviewed in the article “Old jewelry worth its weight in gold?” which appeared on the Bankrate.com website. Mr. Gusky is widely regarded as an expert in the gold industry, having earned his reputation over 30+ years. Gusky sold his previous company which became the largest manufacturer of fine gold jewelry in the United States, to Berkshire Hathaway in 2007.
“It could be the right time to recycle your gold jewelry,” began Jennie Phipps writer of the article above which was published on Bankrate.com, March 28th, 2008, as gold was in the first of its many recent run ups. In the three years since this article was written, gold has reached record heights, most recently topping $1900 per Troy ounce. Yet, though the dateline on this story is old, the information couldn’t be more accurate, comprehensive and informative. This is an excellent look at gold value as it relates to consumers and the cash for gold industry.
A little background on gold as a precious metal is provided and the president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee explains the enduring qualities of gold. Gold cannot be destroyed. It can be melted and reused over and over – and indeed has been recycled since ancient times. therefore, consumers who sell gold jewelry, coins, ingots and other items to gold buyers and refiners as being essentially recycling.
The story goes on to discuss selling jewelry, explaining how players in the cash for gold industry whether they be gold buyers like GoldFellow®, jewelers or pawnbrokers, purchase scrap gold jewelry and other items of precious metal from consumers who no longer want them. The dealer melts the jewelry, recovers the gold and resells the pure gold.
Karat gold is explained in great detail as it relates to the gold content of the jewelry and what gold jewelry is worth. The karat content of gold jewelry is stamped someplace on the piece. The karat stamp indicates the amount of gold contained in the item. 24 karat is solid gold. Everything else is an alloy containing lesser gold content. 14 karat gold may be stamped “14Karat,” “14/24,” or “14K” which indicates the piece contains 58.3% pure gold. Gold buyers will pay for the gold contained in the piece, but the other metals like copper and silver contained in the 14 karat alloy are generally not purchased.
In Michael Gusky’s interview, he demonstrated why gold buyers generally melt rather than resell gold jewelry. While a beautifully designed designer piece may have value as an estate piece, most jewelry is fashion jewelry and much of what consumers sell to cash for gold buyers like GoldFellow® are out-of style items which may have cost less to purchase originally than they are worth today at these high scrap gold prices.
The value of gold coins is often an area of confusion. Consumers who may have inherited gold coins or purchased them for investment see opportunities in the market with today’s high gold price. Some gold coins may be purchased for numismatic value if they are rare and collectible. But today, most familiar gold bullion coins such as the South African Krugerrand may be purchased for solely for their gold value
Dental gold such as gold dental fillings, gold teeth, bridges, crowns and gold grills average about 16 karat gold and can be resold to gold buyers too.
Gusky and other experts interviewed for this article agree gold sellers should know the value of their gold before approaching a gold buyer. The chart below shows the percentage of purity of the various karats of gold:
Gold sellers should weigh their items on a jewelry scale set to pennyweight as most gold buying transactions use the pennyweight unit of measurement. There are 20 pennyweights to one Troy ounce of gold. A Troy ounce of 24K gold is the price quoted daily in the media.
Gusky and other experts interviewed for this story offer tips for finding a reputable gold buyer. Advice for selecting online buyers includes selecting a buyer who provides insured, trackable shipping and who will give you a written value before you are paid. GoldFellow® pioneered many of these practices including providing consumers with a way to view and approve their settlement in advance.