While it would be nice to know that you could trust whatever is stamped on the back or underside of your gold jewelry, if you purchased it at an antique store or an estate sale, it might not actually be what it says. Don’t worry though, we’re going to show you how to find out the worth of gold jewelry, so you have a more accurate understanding of the process. Gold testing involves a set of testing solutions, a jeweler’s stone and a scale (optional); it’s understandable that that would be a bit of an undertaking for your average jewelry lover, but we enjoyed learning about the approach and thought it might interest you as well. Sandro Marino breaks it all down for us and explains the process.
First, you take your gold piece and rub it against the jeweler’s stone; you should see an even line where some of the gold particles have rubbed off. Then, you take your testing solutions (10 k, 14 k, 18 k, 20 k, 24 k, etc.) and, starting with the 10 karat solution, drop one drop onto the gold line. If the gold disappears from under the solution, that means the karats in the piece of gold you used are under the amount found in the testing solution. If the gold does not disappear from under the solution, that means it is of equal or higher karats; continue testing, with a higher karat solution, until you’ve discovered the amount of karats.
Once you know the karats of your gold jewelry, you can calculate the worth of the piece and determine what to do next. If you are planning on selling it, find a reputable buyer that will give you the most value for your gold (the highest you can get is generally 80-90%, although that doesn’t happen frequently). While buying a kit and figuring out the worth of your jewelry on your own might not be for you, now you know how the process works and have a better idea of what goes into gold jewelry appraisal!