Is Scrap Gold Worth Buying?

Is Scrap Gold Worth Buying?

You're eager to expand your investment portfolio and you've stumbled upon 'scrap gold'. Is it worth buying? Let's explore.

Scrap gold, often overlooked, can be a golden opportunity for some investors. However, it's not without its risks. To truly know whether scrap gold is worth buying one should understand how gold is valued, process necessary for its resale, and whether the end yield is worth the time involved. Before getting started, we will discuss:

  • What is Scrap Gold for Gold Recovery?
  • What is Considered Scrap Gold?
  • Is Scrap Gold a Good Investment?
  • Is Scrap Gold Worth It?
  • Who can you sell your scrap gold to?
  • How Much Is Gold Scrap Worth?

In this article, we'll navigate the ins and outs of scrap gold investment, assess its value, and equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

What is Scrap Gold for Gold Recovery?

What is Scrap Gold for Gold Recovery?

You're probably wondering, 'What is scrap gold?' Well, it's any gold that doesn't hold the value of its original form, like broken jewelry or old dental work. Let's dive into more detail.

Scrap gold can come from a variety of sources. It could be a single earring missing its mate, gold teeth, computer circuit boards, or other consumer electronics. These items, which might seem worthless at first glance, can actually hold a notable amount of gold. When gold items are no longer valuable in their original form, they often end up with refiners who melt them down. This gold is then reprocessed, repurposed, and crafted into new items.

There's a whole market out there for scrap gold. Numerous companies specialize in buying these items, because even though they're 'scrap', they still contain precious gold. But it's not just about finding broken pieces of jewelry or old dental work. The real trick is knowing how to determine the value of this scrap gold.

The value of scrap gold fluctuates based on the current market price of gold and the purity of the gold content in the scrap. It's typically measured in karats, with 24 karats being the purest form. Additionally, the weight of the gold and any processing fees or deductions applied by the buyer can also affect the value.

Dipping your toes into the world of scrap gold can unlock a realm of benefits for you. With savvy market tracking, you can buy scrap gold at significantly lower prices than traditional gold, turning a neat profit when the gold market is on the rise.

Plus, you'll have the unique opportunity to repurpose this gold, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that further enhance its value.

What is Considered Scrap Gold?

What is Considered Scrap Gold?

You'll come across various common types like old jewelry, dental remnants, damaged coins, and industrial waste when dealing with this kind of precious metal recycling. Each of these sources contributes to the scrap gold market, and understanding them can help you in your gold recycling ventures.

Starting with jewelry, you'll find that broken, damaged, or out-of-fashion pieces often constitute a significant portion of scrap gold. From necklaces and bracelets to rings and earrings, if it's made of gold and no longer wanted, it's potentially valuable scrap.

Next, you might be surprised to learn that dental work can also be a source of scrap gold. Gold has been used in dentistry for its durability and malleability. Dental crowns, bridges, or fillings that have been replaced or removed can be sold as scrap.

Thirdly, there are gold coins. Collectible, bullion or foreign gold coins that are damaged or in poor condition can be recycled. Often, these coins hold more value in their gold content than their face value.

Lastly, industrial waste is another place where you can find scrap gold. Gold's excellent conductivity makes it popular in electronic components, connectors, and circuit boards. When these items are discarded or become obsolete, they can yield scrap gold.

Recognizing these different types of scrap gold and understanding their potential value is the first step in successful gold recycling. By knowing where to look, you can take advantage of the opportunities that lie in scrap gold.

Is Scrap Gold a Good Investment?

Is Scrap Gold a Good Investment?

So, you're wondering how the value of your scrap gold is determined? It's not as complicated as it might seem.

There are three key factors you must consider: the purity of your gold, measured in karats, the weight of your scrap gold, and the current market price of gold.

To determine how much your scrap gold is worth, you'll need to consider its purity, weight, the current market price of gold, and any processing fees or deductions that might apply. These factors can significantly influence the value of your scrap gold, and understanding them can help you get the best price when selling.

How Do You Determine Gold Purity?

Determining the purity of your scrap gold is crucial, as it's what buyers are primarily interested in. Your gold's purity is gauged by its karat, a standard measurement that defines the proportion of pure gold mixed with other metals.

Gold's purity is measured in karats, with 24 karats being pure gold. The higher the karat, the more gold content your item has, and the more it's worth. For instance, 10k gold contains 41.7% gold, 14k has 58.3%, 18k contains 75%, and 24k is 100% gold.

Here's a quick guide to help you:

- 24 karat gold is 99.9% pure, it's the highest karat we have, and it refers to pure gold.

- 14 karat gold, for example, is 58.3% gold (14 divided by 24).

- 10 karat gold is 41.7% gold (10 divided by 24).

Gold of less than 24k purity contains other metals like silver, copper, or platinum. This is common in jewelry as pure gold is too soft for such use. Always remember, the higher the karat, the purer the gold.

How Is Gold Weighed?

The weight of your scrap gold also plays a crucial role in its value. Weigh your items using a reliable scale to get an accurate measurement. Gold is usually weighed in grams or troy ounces.

Gold is typically weighed in troy ounces, with one troy ounce equating to 31.1 grams, slightly more than the regular ounce. This difference can be misleading if you're not aware of it, as unscrupulous dealers may try to take advantage.

Another unit of weight used in the trade is the pennyweight or dwt, equivalent to 1.555 grams. There are 20 dwt in a troy ounce.

So, when selling your scrap gold, ensure the buyer is using the correct measurements.

Understanding these nuances can help you get a fair price for your gold.

Current Gold Price

The value of your scrap gold is also tied to the current market price of gold, which fluctuates daily. You can check this online on financial news sites or precious metal websites.

You'll need to check the current price of gold per gram to accurately gauge the value of your unwanted jewelry. This price fluctuates regularly due to various factors, such as shifts in the economy, changes in supply and demand, and geopolitics. Remember, the price you see isn't the price you'll receive for your scrap gold; dealers often pay 60-80% of the current market rate.

How Much Are Gold Processing Fees or Deductions?

When selling your scrap gold, the buyer might deduct processing fees. This includes costs for testing, refining, and other processes necessary to determine the gold's purity and weight.

For the purposes of resale, the company that will eventually refine the recovered scrap gold will end up getting the most value. Unfortunately, this means these items' resale value may not be worth much.

Depending on the volume of scrap gold you may be recovering, this process may be more time and trouble than it’s worth. Also, even if you are able to receive a decent amount of yield and value, you still have to find a buyer which is another process in itself.

If you are doing this merely as a quick sale, it may be worth going through this process. If you are looking to hold these newly refined pieces of gold as an investment, then having certified, graded, and minted pieces of gold is a better and far less time-consuming option.

Using and rolling over existing capital and savings in a tax-deferred gold IRA is the easiest and most secure way to own physical gold that is stored by a trusted custodian. We suggest gold IRA companies that have a time-tested reputation of trust and transparency.

Is Scrap Gold Worth It?

Is Scrap Gold Worth It?

Perhaps you're wondering why many savvy investors prefer dealing with recycled precious metals. The answer lies in the value and potential profit that scrap gold offers.

Scrap gold, often overlooked, comes from various sources like old or damaged jewelry, and it can provide a lucrative investment opportunity. Let's take a closer look at what makes scrap gold an appealing choice:

Considering it as an investment option, you might wonder if it's a smart move to purchase items that don't retain their original value. Buying scrap gold, which usually includes damaged or unused items, can seem like an attractive opportunity due to its lower cost compared to traditional bullion. However, it's important to note that this kind of investment carries its own set of risks and rewards.

Here's a closer look at the considerations when buying scrap gold:

  1. **Price and Value**: While scrap gold is generally cheaper, it's also true that it doesn't retain its original value. The value of scrap gold depends on its purity and weight, and on the current market price of gold. However, keep in mind that not all that glitters is gold. Some items sold as scrap gold may actually be gold-plated or fake.
  2. **Market Demand**: The demand for gold is typically constant, which means the value of scrap gold can rise with the price of gold. But remember, the reselling price of scrap gold is often lower than the original purchase price.

Amid uncertainties, like the COVID-19 pandemic, gold's demand didn't wane. Even the U.S. Mint couldn't produce enough gold coinage to meet the demand. This situation bodes well for your scrap gold investment.

Remember, gold is gold, whether it's in coins, bullion, or scrap. While scrap gold may not fetch as high a price as traditional bullion, its value still tracks the overall price of gold. It's not like some precious metals ETFs where value fluctuates independently. With scrap gold, when the price of gold rises, so does the value of your investment.

Buying scrap gold can be a smart move, provided you're savvy about the market.

  1. **Quality and Authenticity**: It's crucial to verify the quality and authenticity of the scrap gold you're buying. Some items may look like gold but are actually gold plated or contain very little gold.
  2. **Reselling Potential**: Selling scrap gold can be challenging. Many buyers offer prices below the spot value to cover the costs of processing and refining.

- **Lower Purchase Price**: Buying scrap gold allows you to acquire the precious metal at a significantly lower rate compared to the market price of bullion bars or coins. This creates an attractive entry point for investors.

- **Potential for High Returns**: The profit margin in scrap gold is higher because the buying price is lower. With the right timing, you stand to make substantial gains when gold prices rise.

- **High Liquidity**: Gold, in any form, is a highly liquid asset. This means you can sell your scrap gold quickly and easily whenever you need cash.

- **Ease of Acquisition**: Scrap gold is readily available. From unwanted jewelry to discarded electronic components, there are many untapped sources.

- **Environmental Benefit**: By investing in scrap gold, you're supporting the recycling of precious metals, contributing to more sustainable gold sourcing practices.

Who Can You Sell Your Scrap Gold To?

Several places are available for you to sell your unwanted or damaged precious metals. This includes pawn brokers, online marketplaces, and specialized businesses that focus on purchasing such items. Each venue has its unique advantages and potential drawbacks, so it's crucial to be discerning about where you choose to conduct your transaction.

Firstly, jewelry stores might be an option. They typically offer cash or trade-in value for your scrap gold, based on its purity and weight. However, keep in mind that the offered price might be lower than the market value, as these stores need to profit from the resale or repurposing of the gold.

Pawnshops are another viable choice. They specialize in buying and selling a variety of items, including scrap gold, and will assess its value based on weight and purity. Here, you may have the option to pawn your gold instead of selling it outright. But be aware, the price offered may also be below the market rate.

Then there are dedicated gold buyers and refineries. They specialize in purchasing scrap gold, offering quotes based on weight, purity, and the current market price. However, refineries often work more with businesses rather than individuals and might offer lower prices.

Lastly, online platforms like Facebook Marketplace and eBay provide a space to sell your scrap gold. In terms of whether it's safe to buy or sell gold from eBay tread carefully as dealing with individuals carries additional safety risks.

Regardless of the venue, it's imperative to compare offers and select reputable buyers to ensure a fair deal. Be smart, be savvy, and maximize your scrap gold's potential.

How Much Is Gold Scrap Worth?

How Much Is Gold Scrap Worth?

Now that you've considered the merits of buying scrap gold as an investment, you might be asking, 'How much is gold scrap worth?' The answer varies based on several key factors such as condition, rarity, and market demand.

Scrap gold's worth is primarily determined by its purity, measured in karats, with 24 karats being the purest form, and its weight, typically calculated in grams or troy ounces. The current gold price, which fluctuates daily, also influences the value of your scrap gold. Don't forget to account for any additional processing fees or deductions that gold buyers or refineries might apply.

To estimate the value of your scrap gold, use the formula: Value = (Weight) x (Purity/24) x (Current gold price). This will give you a ballpark figure of what your scrap gold could be worth.

Remember, though, that certain businesses such as 'cash for gold' locations, pawnbrokers, or consignment shops may offer a lower price to ensure their profit. This means they often pay below and sell above the spot price. As such, research and compare offers from various buyers to ensure you're getting a fair deal.

Whether you're dealing with broken jewelry or gold coins, understanding the worth of your scrap gold is crucial in maximizing your return on investment. So, don't just settle for the first offer you receive. Be discerning, be patient, and you might just strike gold with your scrap gold investment.

How Scrap Gold Is Weighed and Measured?

In understanding how scrap gold is weighed and measured, it's important to remember that it's often weighed in troy ounces, where one troy ounce equals 31.1 grams. Don't confuse this with a regular ounce, which is only 28.34 grams. You'll also frequently see scrap gold measured in pennyweights, abbreviated as 'dwt'. One pennyweight is approximately equal to 1.555 grams or 0.05 troy ounces.

Another crucial aspect of evaluating scrap gold is its purity, typically measured in karats. The maximum gold content an item can have is 24 karats, marking it as pure gold. To convert karats to a percentage, you'll want to divide the karat number by 24. For instance, a 14-karat gold piece would contain roughly 58.3% pure gold.

When you're ready to calculate the value of your scrap gold, you'll multiply its weight in grams by its purity percentage, then multiply the result by the current market price of gold per gram. So, if you've 100 grams of 14 karat scrap gold, you'd first multiply 100 by 0.583 (the purity rating of 14K gold) to find its pure gold content. Then, multiply this by the current gold price per gram to get an estimated value.


In conclusion, understanding scrap gold is crucial, whether you're a seasoned investor or just have old trinkets lying around.

Its value, determined by purity and weight, makes it a sound investment.

From old jewelry to gold bars, scrap gold's versatility is undeniable. It offers affordability and potential profits as gold prices rise.

However, it's not without risks. Always ensure you're purchasing genuine scrap gold and consider resale value. Stay informed about market trends and make calculated decisions.

Remember, successful investing is about balancing risk and reward. So, is scrap gold worth buying? It certainly can be, if you play your cards right.

If the process of recovering, processing, and then selling scrap gold seems a bit daunting but you want to get started investing in a safe and secure way with companies with sound business practices, consider one of the four precious metals investment companies reviewed in the video below. Whether you are just starting, have minimal capital to invest, want to roll over an existing account, or are a net-worth investor needing to preserve your wealth, there is a fit for you.

Also, see the links below to the free gold investment guides from each of these companies below the video. Good luck in your investing journey.

Gold Investment Guides

Attend a Free Gold Investment Webinar for Net Worth Investors


Who holds the gold in a gold IRA?

Gold, and other such precious metals are to be stored and insured in an IRS-approved facility. Typically, a third-party company partnered with the Gold IRA company manages the IRS-approved depository

Before selecting a Gold IRA company, review the information about the storage facility options provided.

What is the minimum investment for a gold IRA?

Minimum investments will vary dependent on the gold IRA company you choose. It is incumbent that you take the requisite time to research the various providers for your specific precious metal investment strategy.

We have provided a list of reviews here of the top precious metal ira companies with a range of minimum investment amounts.


What are the fees for a gold IRA?

Minimum fees will also vary dependent on the gold IRA company you choose. Setup fees, annual fees, storage fees, and custodian fees are all subject to the discretion of the gold IRA company you choose.

Please see the list here of the best precious metals investment companies for buying gold in order to review the fees that apply.

What Precious Metals Are IRA approved?

Precious Metal IRAs can invest in IRS-eligible gold, silver, palladium, and platinum bullion and coins. The IRS maintains very specific regulations and requirements about the design, size, weight, and metal purity that determine which gold bars and coins can be held in a gold IRA or precious metals IRA.

Investment grade gold coins and bars are required to be at least 99.5% pure, and silver coins and bars must be at least 99.9% pure.


Adam ONeill

Author, lifelong investor, and creator of

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