Figuring out how to determine the value of pure gold in your gold jewelry?
This is an informative article that will guide you on everything you need to know about measuring the weight of pure gold in jewelry right at home.
Weighting pure gold and knowing that actual weight of pure gold in gold jewelry is important in determining the actual value of gold.
This is important because you can only determine the value of gold once you know the exact weight and purity of gold. The weight of gold is determined in karats, and the weight is measured in Troy ounces or in grams.
Note that unless you are dealing with scrap gold, the content and subsequently the purity of gold can be determined easily by checking the certification stamp on that piece of jewelry.
The stamp certifies the gold’s standard of purity – 14k gold, for example, is 58.3% pure gold, corresponding to 14 parts of pure gold out of the overall possible 24 parts.
But knowing this is not enough when determining the actual value of the gold. You also need to determine the actual weight of the gold, which is where this article comes in.
But, you’ll need a digital gram scale as well as the gold chemical testing kit to determine the actual weight of the gold.
Measuring the weight of gold
To measure the weight of gold accurately, follow these steps:
- First, calibrate your scale by testing the scale using an object whose weight is known. Make sure that you are using a gram weighing scale, and if you want to ensure the best level of accuracy, you might want to buy the gram weight along with the scale. To ensure accuracy of the weight readings, calibrate the scale only after placing the scale on a hard, level surface. Only when the scale is leveled out can you calibrate it. Keep in mind that the readings on the scale must be exactly like the test weight.
- Now that you have calibrated the scale place the gold piece to be weighed on the scale, then read out the result. Note that you should weigh the gold items individually unless you know the actual purity level of each piece. But to ensure the best and the highest level of accuracy, you should think of weighing each of the gold pieces separately.
- To avoid confusion, list every piece to be weighed and indicate their exact weight against each piece, along with the gold content or the karatage. You need this information to calculate the value of the gold.
The other important consideration to keep in mind is the fact that the spot prices of gold change on a daily basis, and you can look up the spot price of gold for that day in the local newspapers or online pages. You could also contact the local gold bullion dealer for this information. Just keep in mind that the prices used for most of the precious metals like gold, silver, or platinum are often quoted in Troy Ounces and not in grams – although some pages will specify the weight in grams or help you convert the prices.
You could also get more information about the gold weight information and conversions by checking out Webster’s Dictionary. Obviously, this is an unusual place to check out, but the reference section gives a lot of important information to guide you in the conversion. In most cases, for example, 18k gold in most settings would weigh 15.5grams. Essentially, the percentage purity of the gold piece helps you determine the actual weight of the gold in the 14k gold alloy (rose, yellow, or white gold).
How to weigh gold without the gram scale
Not everyone will have a gram scale at home waiting to be used, and in some cases, you need to determine the weight of gold fast and don’t have time to order the scale. In such cases, you’d want to be sure that you can determine the weight of gold almost accurately, even without the scale. How do you do that? Well, keep reading!
Using a dowel (Create a homemade weighing scale)
- The dowel, in this case, is this small, wooden fastener that allows for easy holding of two parts of two objects together in one place – by fitting the two into a hole. Place the dowel on the table carefully.
- Then, you’ll need a small and sharp board-headed nail. Now, stick this nail and spread it flat under the dowel. Apply a little pressure on the dowel to stick it on the surface. You need to be extra careful when doing this because the fastened position of the dowel must be level with the tabletop.
- Now, create a sea-saw (use a ruler). Take your ruler, then place it on the dowel in a perpendicular position, the dowel functioning as the fulcrum and the ruler is balancing on the dowel, creating a sea saw.
- Balance your sea-saw. To balance your sea-saw, put two cups (same size/ weight) on each end. Alternatively, you could stick nails to each side, making sure that the weight of the cups or nails is equal. There should be zero differences in weight – you can determine the actual weight balance by checking your sea-saw, making sure that there is no tipping on either side.
- Now weigh your gold. To do this, place the piece of gold in one of the cups and towards the center of the ruler, and use a standard weighing material on the other side (in the other cup). The standard weighing material could be water (weight calculated in grams or ml) or coins (you’ll need the weight of the coin in grams). Keep adding the coins until both cups stop tipping the ruler in either direction. The standard material allows you to determine the weight of the gold piece easily.
Note that you could also use the US banknotes to weigh the gold on the makeshift scale above. One banknote weighs 1g, while pennies from 1982 to date weigh 2.5g, and nickels each weigh 5g. You could also use grains like lentils. Just keep in mind that this home solution only works for items not weighing more than 20g.
So, if you have gold dust, for example, you’d have to use a nickel whose weight is about 5g. You could use a pencil as the fulcrum rather than the dowel. To weigh 5g of gold dust, keep adding the gold dust until your scale balances. Not sure how to set it all up? Go to your local pharmacy and ask them to weigh a spoon of rice for you, then use this as a reference for weighing gold.
Whichever approach you use, you can always calculate how much your pure gold weighs in grams by multiplying the gram weight of the jewelry by the percentage purity of the piece of gold jewelry.
This is only possible when the gold jewelry is stamped with the karatage of the gold. Keep in mind, however, that in the absence of the authenticity stamp, you’d have to determine the purity of the gold by using a gold test kit – you can buy the kit online.
To determine the weight of the gold in ounces, you should know that one Troy ounce equals 31.2grams, while one regular ounce equals 28.34grams. And one Troy ounce equals 20 pennyweights (dwt).
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Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.