I have a collection of sterling silver belt buckles. I bought them based on being sterling. Some of them have gold and are marked, e.g., 22k Gold on Sterling, 1/10 10k Gold on Sterling and so on. How can I tell the value of the gold parts? Thanks, Rod from Cleveland, Ohio.
Thanks for your question! The markings on your sterling silver belt buckles indicate the purity of gold and silver used to manufacture the items. However, it does not tell us how much gold would be available, if any to recover.
Most of the time we are not able to refine any of the gold from these belt buckles you have described, because the amount is so small. If you cannot physically separate the gold from the silver before the melting process begins, then there is no way to recover the gold from the silver.
Also the marking 22k gold on sterling sounds like they used a 22k gold plating material over top of a part of the buckle. Like we say to people with gold plated silverware, the plating technology has advanced to the point where the gold cannot be recovered and separated from the silver during the refining process.
If you can separate the gold from the silver before you ship, then we would run tests to determine the purity of the gold and the silver, then refine and melt them with separate refining methods.
You can go to our website to learn more about the ideal types of silver to refine. Hope that helps!
*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.