Gold FAQS: Frequently Asked Questions

How to sell: General | Silver | Gold | Coins

1. What is Gold?
Gold is a soft, yellow, corrosion-resistant element, the most malleable and ductile metal, occurring in veins and alluvial deposits.  Click on link to view GLOSSARY illustrations.
2. What are Gold Hallmarks?  …Gold Quality Marks?
Gold Hallmarks are official marks stamped on gold, silver or platinum objects which indicate the quality of the material used, their origin and the manufacturer.  Quality marks are a set of numbers, or letters, or symbols stamped on precious metals to indicate the type and fineness.  For example, 18K or 750 means the item is 75% Gold.  Click on link to view GLOSSARY illustrations.

The most frequently uncountered Gold, Gold Filled, Platinum and Silver Hallmarks are:
1/20 12K9K or 37521K or 875Platinum or 950
1/20 14K10K or 41722 K or 917Pure Platinum or 995
1/10 10K 12K or 50024 K or 999EUROPEAN: 800
1K14K or 58522K COIN or 917COIN: 900
1/12 14K16K or 66724K INGOT or 9999STERLING or 925
3K or 12518K or 750Platinum or 850
8K or 33320K or 833Platinum or 900
3. What does the term “Karat Gold” mean?
The karat system is used to reveal the amount of pure gold found in an item.               
          24 karat (24K) gold is pure gold.             
          18 karat (18K) gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts another metal(s), making it 75% gold.             
          14 karat (14K) gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts another metal(s), making it 58.3% gold.             
          10 karat (10K) gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts another metal(s), making it 41.7% gold. 
10K gold is the minimum karat designation that can still be called gold in the US.

4. What is “Plumb Gold”?
Plumb Gold refers to gold that has the same purity as the mark stamped on it, but Gold Solders do not have to comply with plumb gold law.  For example, 14K solder might range from 12 to 14K (a variance of 17%).  When 12K Solder is used on 14K plumb gold the fineness of the soldered jewelry is diminished.
5. What is “Pure Gold”? …Fine Gold?
Pure Gold or Fine Gold... as it is sometimes referred to... is solid 24K (24 karat) gold with a fineness of 999 containing no other elements.

6. What is White Gold?
Karat Gold comes in many colors.  Although pure gold is yellow in color, gold can be alloyed with other metals to impart other colors. In general, range of colors can be created by alloying pure gold with other elements in various proportions to obtain white, yellow, green, red, blue, purple or even black gold.  White gold, is produced by alloying gold with nickel or a combination of silver and nickel.
7. What is “Placer Gold”?  …Gold Nuggets?
Placer gold is gold that has been liberated by weathering from the original lode (hard rock) deposits and concentrated by water action.  A gold nugget is a naturally occurring piece of native gold.   Watercourses often concentrate the nuggets and they are recovered by placer mining.
8. What is “Fools Gold”?
Any of various yellow minerals, especially iron pyrite or chalcopyrite, that can be mistaken for gold.

9. What does “Gold Filled” mean?
Gold Filled Jewelry or other item with a sheet of gold applied to its surface using heat and pressure. Newer items contain markings that indicate how much and what type of gold was used in the layer. Example: a marking of 1/20 12K G.F. means that the piece is at least 1/20th 12K gold by weight.   A metal item that has a very thin layer of gold applied to it.  The thin plated layer normally wears away more quickly than gold in a gold filled item.  Click on link to view GLOSSARY for illustrations.
10. What is considered “Costume Jewelry”?
Basically, costume jewelry refers to jewelry made from inexpensive metals processed to look like gold or silver and often embellished with imitation or semiprecious stones.   Instead of Karat Gold Hallmarks, an item may be marked: G. P. which stands for Gold Plate; R.G.P. stands for Rolled Gold Plate; GEP means Gold Electroplated: an object is dipped in a gold plating solution, an electric current is applied to coat the object with a thin layer of gold.  The deposition depends upon the amount and duration of the current and the concentration of the plating solution.  To be stamped GEP the layer must be 7/1,000,000 of an inch thick. 

If it is less, the item is referred to as gold flashed or gold washed.  Gold overlay is the same as gold filled except thinner –1/40th the weight of the object.  H.G.E. stands for Heavy Gold Electroplate.  Vermeil refers to Sterling silver with at least 120/millionth of an inch of fine gold.  The value, however, is in the silver, not the gold veneer.  If the article is not Hallmarked, or properly quality marked and only carries the manufacturer name, e.g., AVON, MONET,.. it is not solid gold, platinum or silver.  All that glitters is not gold.   

11. What types of gold does Silver Gold Buyers buy?
We buy all forms of Karat Gold: Jewelry, Gold Coins, Gold Ingots, Platinum, Placer Gold, Gold Nuggets, Gold Dental Crowns, Gold Dental Bridges and high grade scrap: Gold Filled, gold solder, filings, sweeps, castings, grains, lab ware, wire, etc.

12. What is my gold worth?
Silver Gold Buyers on line Gold Buy Price Estimator will enable you to preview an approximate price we will pay based on current market conditions and the quantity and quality of your gold.

13. Do you pay premium prices for quality jewelery?  ...Estate Jewelry? ...Watches? ...Stones?
Yes!  Customers should contact Silver Gold Buyers' Purchasing Dept., describe their items in detail, e.g., Type, Style, Manufacturer, weight and condition, etc. or send a valid "estate appraisal" that reflects the current wholesale or street value and confirm our purchasing interest.  You may also simply submit quality items for a fair premium consideration.  We never say NO to fair and reasonable offers.  And in the event our fair and reasonable offer is unsatisfactory, we will return your precious metal items at our expense.
14. Identify Jewelery Items (click on link to expand)
AnkletsChainsEaringsLapel PinsPill Ring
BanglesChampionship RingEnamels LocketsPinky Ring
BarsCharmsEngagement RingLoveTokensPins
BeadsCigarette CasesEngineer's RingMasonic RingPocket Watches
Belly ChainCladdagh RingEstate JewelryMedallionsPosie Ring
Belt BucklesCloisoneEternity RingMexican JewelryService Pins
BezelsCocktail RingFilingsMoney ClipsSignet Ring
Birthstone RingCoin JewelryFindingsMother's RingTieTacks
BraceletsCollege RingsFraternity RingNecklacesVintage Jewlery
BroochesCuffLinksGrainsOld Watch CasesWatch Fobs
CameosCuffs High School RingPendantsWatches
CastingsDinner RingKey ChainsPensWedding Ring

15. Premium Watches.
AccutronBulova Accutron GruenLecoultreTiffany & Co.
Ball BunnHamiltonLonginesTudor
Baume & MercierCartierHeudrMoon PhaseUlysse Nardin
BoucheronConstantinHowardMovadoUniversal Geneve
BovetDudleyIllinoisOmegaVacheron Constantin
BreitlingGeneveJules JurgensonPatek PhilippeWaltham
16. Purchase policy with stones
For stones... the answer may be a yes or may be a no.  Yes depends on the type size, and quality of the item.  Better than 90% of stones sold in jewelry are diamonds.  The remaining 10% of the market covers the entire spectrum color stones.  
Please keep in mind diamonds are extremely difficult to sell in a secondary market, and stone of color even more so.  Especially in this tight spending economy.  Small stones (less than .25 carats) usually cost us more to salvage -- in time, labor and overhead cost --  i.e., remove, examine, classify, weigh, size, carry in inventory, and then hope someday to reset or resell them -- than they are worth. That is why there is such a high mark up in jewelry.   Our time more productively spent buying salable merchandise, then fiddling around with "idle" or "dead" stock.  
We are currently not interested in buying loose small stones.  We will, however, accept gold items with larger stones, determine what, if any, salvage interest they may have to us...   In most cases, however, for example old class rings with synthetics, there is a proportional deduction in weight that may range from one half to two grams depending on the size and weight of the stone and whether or not the stone has been set with filler material (such as cement, glue, plastic...) which oftentimes is used to inflate the size of the ring and/or securely set the stone.  
There can be a lot of issues with stones...  Gypsy settings, for example, or large prongs may hide girdle damage or inclusions along the perimeter of the setting.   Old miner cuts may need to be recut to be salable.   A stone may be a synthetic... or hybryd (two stones glued together)...  or the inclusions may have been vaporized via lazer.  Before we buy such problematic items, we will contact you, either by phone or by email, and if we are interested relate an as is price offer subject to your approval.
17. Why is NOW! a good time to sell my Gold?
Currently Silver Prices are very high. Back in 2000 Gold was trading as low as $270 per ounce and Silver was trading below $4 per ounce.  Prices have almost quintupled in a decade.   Newton famous line: "What goes up will come down."  High "speculative prices" do not last as long as lower "stable prices".  Take the money and run.  Why not cash in a at a terrific price while the market is hot?   Think about all the things you buy at a bargain these days.  Sooner or later hot markets  fizzle out...  bubbles burst.  Who knows where prices will land and how far down prices will fall when speculative demand tanks?    Proverbially, the bird in hand is worth two in the bush...  
18. How do I go about selling my Gold?
1.    Identify, examine and evaluate your salable precious metal jewelry (gold, platinum, or silver) jewelry, or other gold items.  How?  Review
the Gold FAQs to determine what is solid gold and of commercial interest, and what is not, namely, Costume Jewelry. Explore the Silver Gold Buyers' Website: How We Work, Glossary, Gallery of What We Buy, check out our displayed Buy Prices, use the Buy Price Estimator to preview approximately what we will pay for silver and gold items  and click on the Contact Us link to confirm our purchasing interest with other items not specifically price listed or to address any questions not covered in the FAQ's. 2.     Read and accept Silver Gold Buyers'  Terms and Conditions.  These simply spell out the mutually fair and reasonable rules we will follow in the course of transacting business.  Afterward, you may request an SGB Shipping Kit sent to your mailing address.  If you wish to avoid postal delay -- set matters in motion immediately and print out your Silver Gold Buyers' Shipping Kit on line. 

3.    Pack your shipment...  place items in suitable containers.  Use either plastic a “Zip-Lock” bag, or aluminum foil or plastic wrap to secure small items (coins, rings, necklaces, etc.) and place them in a padded envelope or shipping Pak to prevent loss or damage.  For larger items -- especially items submitted for premium consideration -- such as Tea Sets, Bowls, Goblets, etc. use appropriate sized Medium or Large Boxes with adequate packing peanuts or bubble wrap to prevent damage in transit. You may link to the carrier of your choice (FedEx, U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel).  The links  are posted on the Silver Gold Buyers' Website for your convenience, and will help you locate FREE shipping supplies, instructions on how to properly pack, ship and obtain other services to suit your shipping needs.  Insure adequately, we can only cover the first $500 of a package on a prepaid and insured Shipping Label.  More is the senders responsibility.   
4.    Select the shipping option  that best suits your needs. obtain a FREE preaddressed shipping label on line and send your package to:
Silver Gold Buyers
P.O. Box 14577
410 Superior Ave.
Cleveland Ohio 44114

Friendly Reminder:  Be sure to include the filled and signed out SGB Packing Slip Form with your shipment, that provides brief description of your shipment, your payment preference (check or bank wire on the signed form) and check to make sure the return mailing address is correct.  If it is not or has changed, please correct it.   *Return Policy with Plated or Problematic Goods. Click to Expand

5.    Get Paid. 

You may track you insured package throughout the deliver process.  Ship with confidence…  all packages are processed the day they arrive.  Payment authorized within 24 hrs.
19. Why should I do business with Silver Gold Buyers?
Silver Gold Buyers  mission is to provide courteous, prompt, and professional service and guarantee your satisfaction.  We have testimonials to the fact.  We are licensed to conduct business… done business for many years...  our scales are certified by the State.  You'll be fairly paid according to the quantity and quality of your merchandise at current market prices. 

We help you "clean up" around the house and raise more cash by showing you how to identify and intelligently sell unwanted items of value,  which may just be lying around, collecting dust.  We explain in great detail  what constitutes “pay dirt” and what is mere “glitter”and how to sell your goods. 

We are -- completely transparent -- above board in our dealings.  We are neither ashamed nor afraid to publish our prices.  We empower you to be the judge and employ our service.  How?  ...By enabling you to preview in advance an approximate estimate settlement that you will receive based on the quantity and the quality of your goods at current market conditions. 

Afterward, you are at liberty to shop around and compare our buy prices against those of itinerant gold buyers, local pawnbrokers, jewelers, antique dealers, coin dealers, friends, etc. and reach an objective, factually informed decision that is to your satisfaction and financial self-interest.
We are very energetic and competitive – and go to great length to research the marketplace, check out the competition -- determine what constitutes a fair and reasonable price -- and what is not. Our mission is to provide our customer with genuine, not phony services; 

How? …By working harder.  We want it -- your business – scraps and all!  … Not just the light “cherry-picking mail-me-the-golden-goodies envelope” stuff, but the send us the mule pack – the “whole kit and caboodle” -- boxes of miscellany -- most of the fat gold buyers shun.  Why?  We believe work is “good”, keeps one healthy and true satisfaction is something one should cheerfully take to the bank.  Recycling all items no longer in use, or needed or wanted eliminates waste, saves energy and stimulates business activity.  More service generates what customers appreciate most: namely, more money to buy what they need.

In the event, weighing, examining, number crunching, appraising and traipsing around town in and out of shops haggling like a fish monger just is not your thing...  Relax!  We’ll do the work for you, spare you shoe leather, gas and probably save you a whole lot of time and needless aggravation by letting serious money just talk quietly and simply send you the check for your approval. 

Silver Gold Buyers' customers are never pressured to sell.  They choose to sell because the price is right!  If you submit your precious metal items for a fair offer and are not satisfied with the price, we will promptly return the items at our expense.        

All the things you need to conduct a safe, secure and satisfactory sale are at your fingertips...  We are not only out to make your selling experience interesting and informative, but also a profitable and pleasant experience as well.  One you will be glad to repeat and share with family and friends.   

Thank you for your interest, consideration and doing business!

Silver Gold Buyers
20. Do gold buyers buy silver?
Yes, Silver Gold Buyers buys both gold and silver. Check the silver prices we pay

21. What karat or gold content is in my High School Gold Class Ring?
Usually Gold class rings are 10K or 14K gold in either yellow or white gold. It should be marked inside of the ring, or a gold acid test would be used to determine its karats

22. What is made of platinum?
Platinum is used for many different things. There is Platinum Jewelry, Platinum Wire, Platinum crucibles , Platinum Lids, Platinum Coins, Platinum from medical devices(catheter tips), Platinum from catalytic convertors,