Almost 30 million Americans use pawn shops every year to get quick cash.
Jewelry is one of the best sellers, and one of the first items people decide to pawn or sell. However, before you sell your gold jewelry, you should know the value of your piece.
We discuss three simple tips you can use to determine how many karats are in your gold jewelry.
What Is a Karat?
A karat is a measurement of the gold present in jewelry. Pure gold is 100 percent gold, without any other metals. Another name for pure gold is 24 karat gold.
Because gold is so soft, it’s often mixed with other metals to add durability. The higher the karat, the purer the gold content in your jewelry. For example, 18 karat (18k) gold has 75 percent gold and 25 percent other metals.
Steps to Finding the Karats in Your Gold Jewelry
Jewelry is one of the best things to pawn or sell for quick cash. But before you sell your valuables you should know how much they’re worth.
Now that you know what a karat means, you might be wondering how to determine gold karat numbers. In most cases, you can find this number on your jewelry itself.
Below are three different options you have to find out how much gold is in your jewelry.
Look for Special Marks
Most jewelry has a hallmark on the chain or band. These are stamps that indicate the gold purity in your piece. On a ring, you might find this on the inside of the band and on a necklace this mark could be on the clasp or on a little tag.
Because these marks are small, you may need extra equipment to look at them. A jewelry loupe helps magnify these hallmark numbers to make them easier to see.
Instead of a karat number like 10k or 18k, there may be a three-digit number instead. This number is the gold purity indicated in parts-per-thousand. You can convert these numbers by dividing by 10.
If you see 583, for example, this means your jewelry contains 58.3 percent pure gold.
Use a Gold Testing Kit
If you can’t find any gold karat numbers or markings on your jewelry, you can always use a gold testing kit. The common types of at-home kits contain nitric acid and a testing stone.
First, scratch the stone with your jewelry. Next, test for purity by using the different bottles in your kit. Depending on how the mark changes, you can determine the gold karats.
Visit a Jeweler
If you’re not comfortable using a gold testing kit, you can always visit a jeweler.
If your gold has a mark, jewelers can identify what it means with their jewelry loupe. If there is no identifying mark, they then use a method similar to the gold test kit.
Relying on a professional is often the best way to determine the karats in your jewelry. The downside to this method is that many jewelry stores charge a fee to test your gold.
Know Your Karats? Take the Next Step
Use one of these three simple tips to determine how pure your gold is. Now that you know how many karats you have in your gold jewelry, the next step is to take it to the pawn shop.
At PawnGuru, we provide you with competitive offers from your local pawn shops. Pawn or sell your gold jewelry and get the quick cash you need.