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What is an Assay?

When collecting or selling bullion or coins, you may have noticed that some items come in an assay card, or are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. In the bullion industry, the definition of assaying has two meanings. In precious metal refining, an assay process is a test procedure for measuring and analyzing the purity of a metal. This procedure includes determining its composition in ores, alloys, mineral deposits and precious metals. This way mints assure that the bullion meets its precious metal standards of content and purity.

Methods of Assaying

Assaying processes depend on the precious metal type and the particular piece that is being analyzed. Each assay starts with taking a rock or molten metal sample and continues with one of the following methods:

Destructive methods:

  • Fire Assaying – the oldest, most accurate, and destructive assay method. The sample is placed in a crucible and heated to find out the amounts of non-precious and precious metals. It’s a standard method for testing precious metal bullion in mints and refineries.
  • Dry Assaying – heating fluxes, special chemical cleaning agents, together with the sample, to let the precious metals separate, cool down and settle at the bottom.
  • Wet Assaying – dissolving the sample by using solvents and chemically analyzing the solution.

Non-Destructive methods:

  • Spectrograph Assaying – analyzing the intensity and strength of the light emitted by the sample when passing an electrical discharge through it.
  • X-Ray Fluorescence Assaying – identifying the precious metal and its purity by irradiating the sample with an X-ray beam. Analyzing the level of intensity of the X-rays emitted by the sample.

Other Assaying Methodssilver assaying through titration, gold assay by cupellation. Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP OES) for assaying platinum.

Assay Types

Bullion pieces mostly arrive in assays as a special proof. Small bullion pieces are often sealed in assay cards which bear their date of creation and assay info. Larger bullion pieces usually come with an assay certificate which has a similar design and acts as a proof of authenticity and purity. Both assay cards and assay certificates assure the sellers and buyers that the bullion product is pure and legit.

What is a Certificate of Authenticity?

A COA (Certificate of Authenticity) is a sticker or a seal placed on a piece of paper or certificate. This Certificate of Authenticity seal is a warranty that the bullion coin or piece is authentic. Though, unlike an assay, a COA doesn’t guarantee a thorough process which certifies the exact purity of the piece. The COA also doesn’t seal the bullion like the assay card does.

However, the COA displays essential details, such as the approval and authenticity stamp, the mint mark, and purity, serving as a proof that the bullion item is genuine. Some precious metal pieces don’t come with COAs, like bullion offered in bulk, or they may come accompanied with an assay instead.

Assay products vs. COA products

Bullion bars ordinarily arrive with an assay proof because they are large, valuable, and have high purity. Limited or special coin releases, on the other hand, arrive with a certificate of authenticity which proves their genuineness. Sometimes, limited edition coins and special bar releases also come with an assay.  

Precious metal assaying is fundamental both for producing and selling bullion. Both assays and certificates of authenticity assure the buyer or owner that the precious metal item was minted according to the mint’s standards and requirements of precious metal purity and content.

What Is The Difference Between Silver And Sterling Silver?

from the ore to your hand

What is the difference between silver and sterling silver? Have you ever seen these numbers – 900, 925, 999 or 9999 – on your jewelry piece or bullion item? Some of you probably still wonder what they show or stand for. 

Silver is a precious metal which you won’t find in nature in a 100% pure form. This means that we need to extract it from various ores or mix it with galena and argentite. To offer silver the well-known shape, the ores undergo several refining processes. These processes separate the silver from all other types of particles. Namely, the complexity of these refining actions is the key factor that defines the fineness (and value) of silver. Thus, the first four numbers, the silver grades, showcase the amount of fine silver in a specific precious metal piece. For instance, 900 means 90% pure silver, while the remaining 10% indicate that it consists of other metals.

The maximum purity can reach up to 99.99% or .9999 fineness. But the most popular highest silver purity is 99.9%, .999 or 999 – all three being the same, differing only by scale/notation. Silver with .999 fineness is called fine silver, actual silver, or pure silver; 99.99% pure silver – ultra-fine silver. Therefore, the silver having less than .999 fineness is sterling silver, being usually 92.5% pure.

Silver and sterling silver


What is Sterling Silver?

Silver in its original state is fully liquid. A 999 fine silver is not “suitable” for jewelry. Even the easiest attempt at making a ring from it makes the silver lose its shape. Thus, when we use silver in manufacturing jewelry items, we need to alloy it with other metals, such as nickel, copper, or zinc. These alloys make silver less soft and more durable. What is 925 sterling silver? In the US, pieces containing .925 silver and .075 copper, zinc or nickel are considered as sterling silver jewelry. In other countries, like Russia, the limit may be lower (.900 fine silver) and is regarded as enough for marking it as a silver product.

What is Fine Silver?

Solely 99.9% pure silver is admitted to be traded at trade markets, which means that this type of silver is used mostly for investment purposes. The .999 pure silver bullion bars, coins or rounds have been famous investment options for many years. Moreover, over the last decades, they appear as more optimal than pure gold items due to the silver’s limited resources, lower price, and increasing demand.

Silver bars are more common bullion pieces, which have standard sizes and almost no premium added to their production price. On the other hand, .999 silver coins are more valuable because of their collectability. Silver coins carry higher premiums since the minting process is more complex and they usually come in limited quantities. Each of these silver pieces is a signature product of a renowned mint: for example, the US Mint strikes the iconic American Silver Eagle, the Royal Canadian Mint the famous ultra-fine .9999 Silver Maple Leaf, the London Royal Mint – the beautiful Silver Britannia.

To trust or not to trust?

If you are wondering how to find the real purity of your piece despite its .925 or .999 mark, there are certain tips that will help you find out its actual fineness. Items carrying a 925 silver value will change in color over time since the nickel, zinc, or copper will interact with the oxygen or other elements in the air. You can test the 925 sterling silver by using a special acid kit. If you apply the acid to the silver item, it will change its color if the pieces have a fineness less than .925. However, we advise you to get your piece appraised by professionals in order to avoid any damages.

Do you own a pure or sterling silver item that you want to sell or authenticate?

Contact NYCBullion, and we will evaluate your pure silver or sterling silver piece with high accuracy. You can confidently sell any type of silver, including silver bars and scrap silver, as we guarantee the best services and quote on the market.

NGC & PCGS Graded Coins | How To Sell Graded Coins

What are graded coins?

Do you know how certain coins acquire their market value and what is the specific factor that certifies their authenticity? Graded coins are highly appealing to both collectors and investors because their grading serves (such as NGC or PCGS) as a guarantee of their value and authenticity. The grading process determines the physical condition of the coin – the so-called “state of preservation”. Coin grading became a usual practice in the United States beginning in the mid-19th century when the US Mint issued the first collectible coins.  

Top Coin Grading Companies

The coin’s grade is the key factor that determines the value of the coin. This grade is a sum of aspects, sometimes subjective ones, which place the coin in a certain category. This authentication process is performed solely by specific authorities who have strong knowledge in appraising gold coins and silver coins – the coin grading companiesIn the US, there are three main tiers for the coin grading companies based on their reputation and reliability. All grading companies, except NGC, PCGS, and ANACS, are in the lowest tier of grading services because of their reputation that is built on inconsistencies in rating coins.

For this reason, these companies charge a lower premium than the three exceptions mentioned above. America’s Oldest Coin Authentication and Grading Service (ANACS) is the middle-tiered grading company, the oldest on the market (as the title says), with grading regarded as acceptable. The top-notch grading businesses with the highest and most trusted rates are the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). But what’s the difference between NGC and PCGS?! 


Both NGC and PCGS have an impeccable reputation, which makes the coins graded by them highly valuable on the market. These companies use the Sheldon scale, according to which, the coins get a grade from “1” to “70”. Both companies adopted this coin grading scale since their establishment (1986 and 1987 accordingly). NGC and PCGS also offer free access to their online databases of certified coins and an online coin grading guide for self-assessing the coin’s grades. The condition, value, and urgency for processing the request determine the coins’ premiums.

Over the last decades, NGC and PCGS became worldwide leaders in grading coins, especially the Chinese bullion coins. However, despite their similarities, there are still differences between these two coin grading services. NGC is keener in sharing detailed information about its grading process. They show that each coin is separately authenticated and graded by two experts, and, in case these two won’t agree on the coin’s grade, a third coin expert steps in. Besides, NGC is the coin grading service of the Professional Numismatics Guild and the American Numismatic Association. However, feel confident that any of the two top grading companies is definitely worth your choice.

PCGS graded coins  NGC graded coins

Grading coins – is it worth it?

NGC coins or PCGS coins? Certainly Yes!

Why? Because NGC and PCGS designations certify and assure a higher numismatic value to your bullion coin. Graded coins become a guaranteed product and acquire the reputation of the grading company.

Are “First Strike” coins the very 1st coins?

The US Mint, just like most mints, does not issue first strike coins. It’s very hard to keep track of the exact order of manufactured coins during their striking. The “First Strike” designation (PCGS) certifies that the coins arrived for grading within the first 30 days of issue from the mint. NGC also used to apply the “First Strike” label, but it changed to “Early Releases”. Are first strike coins worth more? This designation is highly regarded among enthusiastic collectors. The label adds a higher premium to the coin’s initial market price. However, there is no proof that the “First Strike” or “Early Releases” coins will keep their value in time. 

Do you own a graded coin that you would like to sell or authenticate? Contact NYCBullion, and we will appraise with high accuracy any of the following coins, graded and nongraded:

How To Test If Gold Is Real

A true symbol of high status, success, and prosperity, gold is a luxurious, highly desired precious metal. However, even if you own a stamped gold piece, its hallmark isn’t a guarantee of its real gold content. This article explores the best testing methods on how to perform a proper gold test. Remember that you can always get a free top-notch appraisal from our expert NYC Bullion team.

Gold Properties

Before proceeding to any testing, you should know that gold is considered a long-lasting metal since it:

  • Doesn’t tarnish or rust
  • Is non-magnetic
  • Conducts heat and electricity
  • Is dissolved only by nitro-hydrochloric acid (1:3)
  • Is malleable, ductile, and sectile – easy to hammer, press and cut into different shapes

Since gold is sectile, it also needs to be alloyed with other metals. Its alloys are measured using either the Karat system or the Millesimal Fineness System. One Karat unit is equal to a 1/24 part of pure gold in an alloy while the millesimal purity is indicated by parts per thousand of genuine gold by mass in an alloy. Take a look at the below gold purity chart for more details.

Karat System % of Gold Content Millesimal Fineness System Gold or not gold

(US standards)

8K 33.3 333 Not gold
9K 37.5 375 Not gold
10K 41.7 417 Gold alloy
14K 58.3 583 (585) Gold alloy
15K 62.5 625 Gold alloy
18K 75.0 750 Gold alloy
20K 83.3 833 Gold alloy
21K 87.5 875 Gold alloy
22K 91.6 916 Gold alloy
23K 95.8 958 Gold alloy
24K 99.9 999 Pure Gold

To find out whether your gold jewelry or bullion piece is fake or genuine, use the following gold testing methods. Home methods will help you easily test for real gold while professional tests will reveal the exact fineness of your piece.

The Magnifying Glass Test

the magnifying glass test

The first and simplest home test for gold requires just a magnifying glass and your gold bullion or jewelry. Carefully inspect your piece with the magnifying glass for these visual clues:

  • any signs of discoloration – gold doesn’t react to any environmental factors. So, if your piece has discoloration marks, it’s either not gold or gold plated.
  • color and shininess – pure gold is not very shiny and has a nice soft yellow color. Any shiny, yellow or toned(reddish) item is definitely not pure gold.

Hallmark/Stamp/Jewelry Markings Test

hall mark.stamp test

The second step is the hallmark test, for which you may also need a magnifying glass. Look for any gold hallmarks or jewelry hallmarks (inside the surface or near the clasp). These markings must show at least the gold’s purity (in millesimal fineness or Karats) and, if selling jewelry, it can also be accompanied by the manufacturer’s stamp.

Beware of “HGP,” “GF,” “HEG,” “GP,” “HGE,” “RGP,” “GEP,” or ”GP” hallmarks because they all mean that the item is gold plated. Also, avoid fake “800,” “925” or “950” marks on gold pieces since these are all silver hallmarks. The hallmark test isn’t 100% accurate and shall be used only to identify if the gold is not genuine or pure. If your item is marked as gold, but you’re still in doubt, proceed with further testing.

The Skin Test

skin test

The skin discoloration test is one of the easiest ways to test gold at home. Just hold your gold piece in your hand for a few minutes. Real gold doesn’t leave any spots or stains on skin, so if you notice a black or green chemical reaction with your perspiration, then it’s certainly an alloy.

However, keep in mind that if you apply powder or liquid foundation on your tested skin area, a real gold item might leave a black streak on it, so your testing won’t be precise. Therefore, before performing the gold test, please ensure that you aren’t wearing any makeup and your skin is clean.

The Float Test

The Float Test

Another easy method of testing gold jewelry or bullion at home is the float test, for which you need to place your gold piece in a cup of water. Due to gold’s high density (19.32 g/ml), pure gold will immediately sink to the cup’s bottom. Fake or plated gold will hover or float above, while gold alloys will tilt up halfway. Also, if your piece will rust or discolor, then it’s fake.

However, please consider that a fake item could consist of other heavy metals which also sink. So, use this test to spot fake gold that floats or hovers. If your item sank and you still have doubts, take another test.

Porcelain Tile Test (or the Scratch Test)

Porcelain Tile Test (or the Scratch Test)

The porcelain tile test, also known as the gold scratch test, requires a ceramic plate or a piece of unglazed porcelain tile. Scratch or rub your gold across the tile/plate and take a look at the color of the streak. A golden, yellow streak indicates real gold while a black streak shows that your item is fake or it’s pyrite. If you don’t want to damage your gold piece, consider using other harmless testing methods.

The Magnet Test

The Magnet Test

One of the easiest and most convenient home gold tests is the magnet gold test for which you need a high strength magnet. This solution is cheap and portable since a magnet is accessible anywhere and anytime. Because genuine gold is not magnetic, it won’t be attracted by the magnet. Gold allows or fake items will instantly attract the magnet while slightly attracted pieces are more likely gold plated. Also, keep in mind that jewelry pieces usually have strength elements (like wires, clasps) which aren’t made from gold and can be magnetic.

Thus, if the magnet attracted your item, you can skip the following tests. Otherwise, it’s likely pure gold, and it may need further testing for a higher accuracy. Also, remember that other precious metals (like silver) are also non-magnetic, so make sure to perform additional testing to certify that your item is real gold.

The Acid Test

The Acid Test

If you don’t mind damaging or scratching the samples, you can apply the gold acid test. You need to purchase a gold testing acid kit (for each Karat), a black gold testing stone, gold Karat needles and 2 glass beakers. One beaker with baking soda/water mix and other just with water. Before testing gold with acid, be sure to choose a well-ventilated area and to take all the safety measures for protecting yourself and your working area from any contact with the acid.

Each bottle from the acid kit is a distinct mixture of nitric acid and other components. Take your gold sample and scratch a slight line on the black stone, making sure you’ve reached over any potential plating. Mark your line and make similar parallel lines with the other gold Karat needles. Then take the lowest karat acid and apply its content across or on each line and wait for 30 seconds. Wash the stone in the baking soda/water mixture then rinse it in water and pat it with a paper towel.

A reaction (dissolved line) shows that your sample has a lower purity, a slight reaction means that you’ve matched the Karat while no reaction indicates that you have a higher Karat gold. If your sample didn’t react, repeat the test steps with the next acids until you match the Karat. If the last test acid in the kit is for 22K and you need to know whether your piece is 23K or 24K, you should use gold testing machines.

Gold Testing Machines – Electronic and XRF Thermo Gold Test

Electronic and XRF Thermo Gold Testers

The most harmless and accurate testing methods are the XRF thermo and electronic gold testing machines, such as the Sigma Metalytics Precious Metal Verifier and XRF Thermo Scientific Analyzer.

Sigma metalytics machine

This device performs gold test for bullion and jewelry without using chemicals or damaging them. It uses electromagnetic waves to determine the Karat of your item based on gold’s electrical characteristics. The waves penetrate deeply into the tested piece, ignoring its surface and assessing its body, then displaying the result in a few seconds.

The Sigma Metalytics electronic gold tester comes with various sized sensors for each gold sample. Moreover, if you want to sell gold coins or any other gold bullion that is encased, you don’t have to remove them from their protective holders. Just place your sample on the corresponding sensor, select the expected purity, wait for the “Ready” message and press “RUN/CAL.” If the result is between the brackets, your tested piece matches the selected fineness while an up arrow indicates that your piece is not gold.

XRF Thermo Scientific™ Gold Test

It’s the most expensive precious metal tester, yet the most accurate and nondestructive one. This gold analyzer uses X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers to test the gold piece. The device sends X-rays through the sample and makes atoms get momentarily excited, moving them into a higher energy state. When the atoms return to their ground state, they release radiation which is detected and read by the machine. The machine returns the exact Karat or metal composition of the tested piece. It also comes with a unique AuDIT™ gold-plating detection technology which alerts you if the tested item is gold plated.

Free 100% Reliable Test – Free Professional Appraisal

The best and easiest testing method when selling gold is to get analysis and evaluation by professional appraisers, like NYCBullion. Our team uses high-class digital gold testers, including the Sigma Metalytics Precious Metal Verifier and XRF Thermo Scientific Analyzer. Along with our top-notch expertise, we guarantee a free, fully transparent appraisal of your goods and the most generous quote on the market. You can get your free evaluation from NYCBullion either by sending your gold item or by visiting our store. For any questions, just call us at (212)-354-5557, message us, or, come to our retail office at 30 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036.

How To Sell Your Diamond Jewelry

how to sell your diamond jewelry:

  • Get a free appraisal from a good jeweler, a professional diamond buyer, or even a pawnbroker. Tell the appraiser how you want to sell your jewelry so that they can provide you with the most realistic idea of the resale value. Getting free appraisals from two or three different stores will help you get a good idea of how valuable your diamond jewelry is.
  • Approach this process without unrealistic expectations about your diamond jewelry. Keep in mind that dealers and jewelers are in this business to make a profit, and if they agree to purchase your jewelry then they, in turn, have to make a profit out of it. Having unrealistic expectations will only lead to disappointment.
  • Familiarize yourself with the relevant information needed to sell diamond jewelry.

the 4C | The basic criteria

  1. Color: Diamond’s value is determined by its color. The most valuable diamonds are those without color, as their reflective qualities are superior compared to colored diamonds.  The closer the diamond is to the no color range, the higher its demand. Exceptions to this rule are pink and blue diamonds, which are far more valuable.
  2. Cut: Little known fact: the shape of the diamond is different from the cut. Diamonds come in round, square, and oval shapes, among others.  The cut is the angle and the finish of the diamond, which determines the brilliance of the light reflecting the abilities of the stone. Both shape and cut are very important for a valuable diamond.
  3. Clarity: There are two types of flaws a jeweler looks for in a diamond: imperfection and inclusion. Imperfections are scratches on the stone or if the stone is chipped. Inclusions would be an air bubble, other mineral content, or cracks within the diamond.
  4. Carat: This refers to the weight of the diamonds. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Don’t confuse karat with carat. Carat measures the weight of diamonds and other stones, whereas karat measures the weight of precious metals like gold and silver.

The best thing you can do is to obtain certification for your diamonds. One of the best certification institutes is the GIA or Gemological Institute of America. They won’t be able to help you with a monetary estimate, but they can provide detailed information about the four Cs of your diamonds. With this certification on hand, you will be an educated seller, deterring sellers from quoting you a low price.


  • Clean your diamonds and jewelry professionally before you take them to a buyer.  Smudges and dirt can distract a potential buyer or make it difficult to determine the exact value.
  • Know your options for where to sell diamond jewelry. You have many different options. You can take it to a dealer or a jeweler, or you can also sell it online on e-commerce sites such as eBay, or even opt for consignment shops. If you want fast cash, then a jeweler or a dealer is your best option. If you plan to sell diamond jewelry online, there are greater risks and it may take time for you to learn how best to sell your products on the different platforms available. This choice is much simpler if you already have experience selling online.
  • Familiarize yourself with the second entity of your diamond jewelry, the metal that your diamond is bound in. You will need to know the type of metal, its weight, and its carat or purity before you sell it. You will also need to know if the piece is antique, or if the design is particularly rare. If you know that your diamonds are high-quality diamonds devoid of any imperfections or inclusions then they are more valuable out of their settings, as it allows the potential buyer to examine the diamonds freely and you will get a better price. When your diamond has flaws or inclusions that the setting is hiding and the diamond looks better in the setting than it would otherwise,  leave them in place, which may fetch you a better bargain.

NYC Bullion buys a variety of products such as metals that range from the ever-popular gold and silver to diamonds and scrap metal. Our purchasing team is readily available to assist you with selling your precious metals. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more details and for getting a quote.

Scrap Gold – How to Make Money Buying & Selling Gold

Gold is a real global currency. If the fiat currency of your country fails, only gold can bail you out of this situation. Among all precious metals known to man, gold is the most highly regarded and has built and destroyed empires. People have been fighting since time immemorial for the ability to own this beautiful, glittering metal. Even today, many governments use gold for international trading. It is the most preferred precious metal for investment and acts as a hedge against inflation. Whether a freshly minted coin or old scrap jewelry, scrap gold always has value. Many people make a decent profit by dealing in scrap gold. It is a lucrative business that entices many. You can have a successful business of buying and selling scrap gold, all you need is to know how to go about it.

Knowing the Gold Price:

Learning about the spot price is essential for the gold scrap business. The spot price is set daily by Gold Markets around the world and will be the same throughout the world for the day. It can be found on any reputed precious metal dealer’s website or in newspapers. The spot price is always set for one troy ounce of 24 karat gold.

First and foremost, research how to make money buying and selling gold. You can check on the internet; there are several websites which can give you great information. You can also contact people who are already in the business for advice and information. Also, a part-time job with a pawnbroker can teach you firsthand.

Calculating Value of Scrap Gold:

Although it requires mathematics, it is easy to figure out as the calculations are simple. The first thing is to determine the karat of the scrap gold. Karat is the percentage of pure gold present in a particular item. Here is a chart which tells the percentage of gold per karat:

  • 08 karat gold is 33.3% gold
  • 09 karat gold is 37.5% gold
  • 10 karat gold is 42% gold
  • 12 karat gold is 50% gold
  • 14 karat gold is 58% gold
  • 15 karat gold is 62.5% gold
  • 18 karat gold is 75% gold
  • 20 karat gold is 83.3% gold
  • 21 karat gold is 87.5% gold
  • 22 karat gold is 91.6% gold
  • 24 karat gold is 99.9% or higher gold

In Europe you can also find gold items that consist of 6k or 8k gold, however, in the USA, it is only considered gold if the product has 10k or more. The most common karats that you will find in gold items in the USA are 10k, 14k, 18k, 22k, and 24k.

Jewelers weigh the gold in grams per troy ounce or pennyweight per troy ounce (1 pennyweight = 1.555 grams). You have to divide the spot price by 31.1 to get the gram price or by 20 to get pennyweights. Then multiply the number by the gold purity percentage to get the value of the scrap gold.

Here is a typical case:

  1. Let’s assume that the spot price today is $1000; you have to divide $1000 by 31.1 which will give you the answer: $32.15/gram. So the value of one gram of 24 karat gold at this spot price is $32.15.
  2. Now if you have to find out the value of 14 karat gold, you have to first determine the purity by dividing 14k by 24k, 0.58,  which is 58%.
  3. So the value of 1 gram of 14k gold would be $32.15 times 58% which is $18.64.

Once you have calculated the value of your scrap gold, you can decide on the price. You can check your local competitor’s prices and quote your own accordingly.

Types of Scrap Gold:

Scrap gold can come in different forms. Some of the common ones that qualify for scrap gold are tangled gold chains, watches, and outdated jewelry. Also, entangled or broken bracelets, pins, brooches, rings, wedding/engagement rings, jewelry, or any broken or bent precious metal items.

Importance of License:

If you want to sell the scrap gold that you own to a jeweler or a refiner, all you have to do is show your ID. Although,  if you are planning to get into the buying and selling gold business in the USA, you will need a license. Without a license, you may be violating the law. If you do not want to get a license at present, you can take up a part-time or full-time job as a buyer or broker with a business that already has a license, as suggested earlier.

Tools of the Trade:

There are a few essential tools that you need to have to check the purity of gold and to determine the weight. The tools will not cost you much, all the instruments together cost around $30 or so.

  1. Cash: Because you are buying scrap gold, you need to have enough cash to pay your clients. If you are just starting, consider having at least $500 in your pocket to buy a few pieces of jewelry.
  2. Gold Testing Kit: This is available at a reasonable price. The kit must contain different acids that test for 10k, 14k, 18k, and 22k gold.
  3. Scale: Although a kitchen scale is good enough if you are planning to sell your jewelry if you want to get into the business, you will want to invest in a professional jewelry scale.
  4. Magnet: The first test you will do is a magnet test. Gold never sticks to a magnet. Usually, gold-plated items can have other metals inside which will be evidenced by this test. However, brass will also not stick to the magnet and can look similar to gold, and sometimes even have stamps like 10k or 14k,  so you have to be careful.
  5. File: You will need a file to scrape the outer coating of the item to check if it is genuine gold or plated before buying scrap gold.
  6. Magnifier Loupe: A loupe can help check many things, like the Hallmark and the karat engravings in tiny markings on the back of any old jewelry. A loupe can also help you check for scratches on the metal to inspect if it is still gold under the scratched part. Look for green spots, which show that it is a gold-plated item that has reacted to moisture. 


Advertising is the best way to let people know that you are willing to purchase their scrap gold. You can do a simple advertisement by telling your co-workers, calling up relatives and friends, informing neighbors, and putting it on your social media page. Many people are uncertain about where to sell scrap gold. You can also get visiting cards printed that you can distribute at gatherings you attend or make pamphlets that you can distribute. If you are working with a pawnbroker, they will probably give you some marketing ideas themselves. You can also go ahead and use newspaper, radio, and television to advertise.  Making a website will allow you to do online marketing in the later stages when you have picked up enough clients.

Organizing Gold Valuation Party

When you have done enough advertising and people know about your business, you can start holding gold valuation parties. People can bring their scrap gold to have it evaluated. If they are willing to exchange it for cash instantly, you can purchase their scrap gold. If not, give them your card and ask them to keep you in mind for selling scrap gold.  Many people are not comfortable selling their gold to a pawn shop. Organizing a great party with light refreshments and creating a relaxed and friendly ambiance, may help people feel more at ease selling their gold items to you. If someone else is organizing the party for you, you can consider offering 10% of your profits to the host.

Save a Contact List

Make a list of all your contacts and of all the people with whom you have done business, and make yourself an excellent database of your contacts, which can come in handy in the future.

How Much Profit Can You Hope to Make

Usually, small pawn shops pay about 30-35% of the value of gold, whereas a reputed dealer will pay you anywhere from 40% to 60% of the price. The dealers, after they purchase from you, will have to have the items smelted, refined, assayed, and then poured into ingots before they can proceed with selling the gold. If you go directly to refiners it can be more profitable, but there might not be many well-known refineries near you. Hence, reputed dealers are the better option as you can also mail your scrap gold to them.
Once you get the hang of it, buying and selling scrap gold might help you carve yourself a successful career path in the precious metal industry. If you have some scrap gold that you want to sell, ship your scrap gold to us! You can also drop your queries via email at [email protected] or call us at (212)-354-5557 to learn more.