How To Get The Best Value Out Of Your Gold Jewellery
A stunning piece of gold jewellery not only makes an eye-catching accessory but a great investment too. Solid gold jewellery has been a popular investment for many years as its value remains consistent, while the cost of other metals can often be volatile. But when shopping for a glamorous piece worthy of your investment, how do you know what will offer you the best value?
Well, there are a few ways you can ensure that the gold jewellery you’re about to buy is the right investment choice. To help you get the best value out of your gold jewellery, we’ve put together this guide with insight from our experts.
How To Find The Purity Of Gold
Whether it’s in the lyrics of a popular song or something you’ve picked up over the years, you’ll likely know that 24 carats means that the gold is pure - or at least 99.9%. However, 24 carat gold can’t be used to make jewellery as it’s simply too soft, meaning that it can very easily become misshapen. For gold to be used in jewellery pieces, it must be alloyed with another metal, which naturally reduces its purity.
The purity of gold is measured in percentages, detailing the amount of gold and alloy metal that has been used in the piece:
9 carat - 37.5% gold / 62.5% alloy
14 carat - 58.3% gold / 41.7% alloy
18 carat - 75% gold / 25% alloy
22 carat - 91.67% gold / 8.33% alloy
Typically, when buying a piece of gold jewellery for everyday wear, a 9ct piece is a solid choice as this features a larger percentage of alloy metal which will improve durability. This means that it is less likely to suffer wear and tear than a higher carat gold piece, simply due to the malleable nature of gold.
Know The Quality Of Your Gold
It can be difficult to determine the quality of gold just by looking at it, especially when trying to tell the difference between plated gold and solid gold. To the naked eye, they can look identical, but in reality one is much higher quality than the other and we’ll let you in on a secret - it isn’t the plated piece.
Gold-plated jewellery is made using a much cheaper metal, such as brass or copper, and simply coated in a thin layer of gold, giving the illusion of an authentic gold piece. Solid gold pieces, on the other hand, contain a consistent amount of gold throughout the piece.
The best way to check whether gold is solid or plated is by identifying the hallmark stamp. A hallmark stamp is given to solid gold pieces which have been authenticated by the UK Assay Office. If there’s no sign of a hallmark stamp, that means your gold jewellery isn’t genuine and is likely gold plated. To get a better understanding of jewellery hallmarks, explore our in-depth guide.
How does hallmarking affect the value of gold?
As you will probably have guessed, plated gold doesn’t hold nearly as much value as solid gold, due to there being a much lower level of actual gold content. If a piece is simply plated with 9 carat gold, don’t expect it to hold the same value as a piece which is solid gold all the way through.
A hallmark is a key thing you should look for when buying gold jewellery as it ensures it retains its value over time. Another way you can make sure your authentic gold retains as much of its value as possible is by looking after it properly. This means storing it in the right conditions and always separately from other metals. To make sure you’re looking after your gold properly, explore our guide on how to store gold, which offers some insight into useful storage methods.
The Different Variations Of Gold
When it comes to buying gold, there are different types you can choose from to suit your style. Although pure gold is yellow, it can be alloyed with other metals to alter the resulting colour.
Yellow gold jewellery is created to retain the natural yellow colour of pure gold. To increase the durability of the jewellery piece, the gold will be alloyed with a metal such as zinc.
Rose gold is made by alloying gold with copper to give it that special ‘rose’ tint. Once both the gold and the copper have been alloyed, the final result appears more copper-coloured than gold.
White gold is typically alloyed with nickel to achieve the classy ‘white’ appearance. The silver-looking nickel dilutes the colour of the traditional yellow gold for a more unique look.
Does the colour of gold affect the value?
The colour of the gold isn’t something that will affect the value, as gold is valued solely on the carat of the piece. This means that a 14 carat yellow gold piece will hold the same value as a 14 carat rose gold piece, regardless of the ‘traditional’ colour. Of course, if one of the pieces is just gold plated and the other is solid, the piece with the higher carat content will be valued highest.
Where Should You Buy Your Gold?
When looking to buy authentic gold jewellery that will retain its value for many years to come, it’s important that you find a trustworthy jeweller. By doing this and shopping with a reliable retailer, you can enjoy confidence when you buy and make sure that you don’t overpay for fake gold.
When you buy gold jewellery from a reputable retailer, you should receive a certificate of authenticity and gold jewellery which has been hallmark stamped, which will allow you to prove the legitimacy of the gold piece. By holding onto this documentation alongside your jewellery piece, you’re able to make sure that you will get full value for the piece when you sell it.
Finding a reliable jeweller online may be more difficult than when you’re exploring the high street, but to make sure you shop safely, we’ve put together this guide to help you spot a trustworthy jeweller.
Is it cheaper to buy gold online?
When buying gold jewellery, you’re often able to get better prices when shopping online compared to in-store, as you’re able to avoid additional fees such as high street rent, sales commissions and other location-based fees. Similarly, if an online retailer is supplied directly by the manufacturer, they are likely to be able to offer better prices as there’s no middleman adding costs to the process.
How Is The Price Of Gold Determined?
The value of your gold is determined by the purity of the piece, and the gold bullion price which can change every day. Once you know what carat your gold jewellery piece is, you can find the corresponding value by checking the gold bullion price that day. The price of gold jewellery may be higher than that of a gold bar for example, as it has to incorporate labour and design costs of the piece.
The bullion price of gold is determined by multiple banks and an oversight committee which take into account supply and demand. You may have heard the value of gold being referred to as the ‘spot price’, which is the current price of gold at that time. Over time, this price can change, with the likelihood that it will increase over time as supply decreases and demand increases, which is one of the reasons gold is such a great investment.
Why Is Gold More Valuable Than Other Metals?
Gold has long since been one of the most sought-after metals for many reasons, not just its stunning appearance. Over the decades, gold has retained its status as a symbol of wealth, but why from a whole host of other attractive metals has gold become one of the most valuable?
One of the key reasons is due to the properties of gold as an element, such as its ability not to oxidise, unlike other metals. This means that gold doesn’t rust the same way that iron or copper would, for example, meaning it can be easily used for jewellery without becoming tarnished over time. This also means that it retains a consistent weight and can also retain its value as a result.