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The Real Value of Gold Jewellery

Many folks decided for the first time to sell their gold jewellery and the get a shock of a wake up call when they find out that the recent piece they bought doesn’t necessarily appreciate like real estate but may be less than what they paid for the jewellery in retail. This is usually due to having a very ambiguous understanding of what gold jewellery is worth in different markets.

Gold Evaluation

First off, gold jewellery is typically evaluated in three different market categories: retail, insurance replacement and precious metal value. The retail market tends to be the version of valuation that most people are familiar with from simply buy gold jewellery at a store or a jewellery dealer. Insurance value tends to be learned one gets a bit older and realizes he or she needs to have some protection on valuable personal items in case they get destroyed or stolen. And finally, the base gold value tends to be what the jewellery item is worth when it is being sold again for gold recycle value. These numbers and valuations can vary dramatically because they are driven by very different market drivers.

Retail Market

The retail market is the primary initial profit-maker on gold jewellery. At the time a piece is sold, that gold jewellery could be marked up in price anywhere from 200 to 500 percent over its actual cost, which tends to shock people when they find out the reality. It shouldn’t: most retail goods are marked up dramatically over cost so pay for profit, company operations, manufacturing growth, overhead and much more. Think about when you buy a car. Notice how much negotiation room there is in the price versus the stick? That buffer or variation is the markup value. It’s pure profit over the cost of the car being sold. How much it ends up being tends to be how much people are willing to pay and feel satisfied with what they bought. The price point has nothing to do with the actual cost to build, finish and delivery the jewellery to your hands as a consumer.

Insurance Replacement Value

The second valuation category is the insurance replacement value. This price figure is what an insurance company hired to protect jewellery property thinks a gold item is worth to replace if it is destroyed or stolen. The value is only within the insurance coverage contract and does not apply to anything else. However, many people make the mistake of thinking that an insurance appraisal is synonymous with the true value of a gold jewellery item.

Selling Gold

Recycle Value

The third valuation is the recycle value of a gold jewellery piece, this tends to be a new piece of knowledge one finds when it’s time to sell old jewellery. The recycle value is based on the spot value of gold in the market adjusted by a number of factors. First, the gold quality in the jewellery item has a big impact on the valuation. If the item is only made of 12 or 14 carat gold, a common situation to make the jewellery stronger for daily wear, then the item is only going to be worth 50 percent of the spot value of gold and so on, not close to 100 percent if it was 24 carat gold. Secondly, the weight of the gold involved is the next big factor. Very light delicate jewellery may not have that much gold content at all in mass, and that will produce a far lower valuation than for instance a heavier piece with a thicker construction, such as a gold chain or nugget. Third, if the gold item has been made by a well-known jewellery maker, such as Tiffany Co. for example, that will add value to the item as well.

Learning the Hallmarks

Understanding what kind of gold one is dealing with in a personal jewellery item can sometimes be determined by the hallmarks or stamps on the jewellery itself. For example, many well-established manufacturers will provide their own maker’s mark as well as three-digit code (i.e. 999 or 750). 999 is the purest level of gold and it goes down from there. These codes spell out the type of gold that has been used. Alternatively, many gold jewellery makers will also or alternatively stamp in an obscure section the carat number of the gold used to make the item. These will have a symbol series that looks like “14k” or “18k” for example. The reference simply means the gold is 14 carat or 18 carat when it applies. That said, people selling gold jewellery should not be offended when a gold buyer still insists on testing the told with other testing tools to confirm the quality. Unfortunately, the fraud world has become very, very good a design fake gold items that will easily pass the naked eye as looking real and in fact, are entirely fake.

Market Valuation

Market valuations can change dramatically over time. Anyone who thinks that they are going to gain a profit by buying a gold jewellery item now and then sells it in a few years is fooling him or herself. The retail markup on such gold items is so large, a resale so soon after purchase even for the raw gold value won’t come close. However, where a gold jewellery item was bought decades before when the spot gold market price was considerably lower could definitely be work a lot more in 2021 and forward simply because the overall market price of gold has risen so much. So, it is conceivable in that circumstance that an item bought 30 years ago could be worth five times what it was when bought.

How to Spot Real Gold

Which Gold Jewellery Items to Sell?

Choosing which gold jewellery items to sell is not a generic, perfect approach for every person. It tends to be an individual path first defining which items can be let go of and liquidated. That can take a bit of tie as people go through things and try to separate themselves from memories or emotional attachments. It’s quite common to feel like a number of gold jewellery items are ready to sell and then changing one’s mind the next day after thinking about. Some personal sellers even change their mind at the last second as they are talking with a professional gold buyer. It happens and no one should ever try to convince you there’s something wrong with having those thoughts. In most cases, every jewellery item one has will have at least one personal memory tied to if not multiple. However, a good start tends to be jewellery items that have the following characteristics:

  • Items that are functionally broken. Gold jewellery with broken clasps, a broken watchband, the chain parts have separated or a key part has cracked and broken fall in this category. Without spending money to repair the item, it won’t be usable again. If you haven’t worn the item in years and have no intention to repair the broken jewellery, then it should be sold.
  • Items where the pairs have a missing match. Most common with gold earrings, pairs, where a match has been lost, are basically useless in terms of wearing them again. A person is better off just selling the single earring for value and then buying a new pair that work.
  • Items that are old and just not in style anymore. This can be a common problem with jewellery in general. An item was in vogue for a while but years later it’s not worn at all or even ridiculed as a relic a period gone by. A lot of 1970s-style jewellery falls into this category, for example.
  • Items that you want to give to someone but he or she doesn’t want the jewellery. Although awkward, it can happen where a younger family member is identified as a future beneficiary, but that person doesn’t want the jewellery item per se. In these cases, a jewellery owner can still follow through by simply liquidating the gold jewellery and then putting the cash in a savings account for the beneficiary to have in the future as money instead. It’s basically the same value and idea.


Once you have decided which gold jewellery items you’re ready to sell, whether it’s an old Christmas gift or a very old item for a relationship gone by and memories now closed, then you need to choose a professional gold buyer to work with. While there are plenty of them available, from private buyers to well-established businesses, you should work with one that has a long-standing reputation of fair pricing, seller safety for customers and a well-known reputation as a solid business to work with. Gold Smart is that buyer. Whether you have a few items or a large lot of gold jewellery, our professional buying team can help you sort out, evaluate and determine the real value of gold jewellery ready to sell. And, even if you have an item you change your mind on at the last second, Gold Smart buyers will never try to push a sale, surprise you with hidden fees, or trying swindle out a lower price. Gold Smart has a long-standing reputation for quality New Zealand gold buying for a reason, and that’s more important to us that a momentary sale advantage. So, give our team a call if interested, or an email, and turn that old gold jewellery into a new opportunity for yourself financially.