I have a 51 piece 24K gold plated flatware set that is supposed to contain 63 pieces (I’m missing 12 salad forks.) If it were a full set, it’s only going for about $50 on E-Bay. It is not marked 24K, but the certificate included with the set states they guarantee it to be so. So let’s just assume this to be true. Would I be better off to sell this online for $40 or $50 or sell it as gold scrap? Thanks. – Mark in Las Vegas, Nevada
Gold Plated Flatware
Unfortunately, plated gold flatware typically only contains a microscopic layer of gold. In most cases, the flatware is plated so thinly that it costs more in energy and time to remove the gold than the gold is worth. Therefore, most precious metal refiners cannot offer payment for gold plated items.
However, the value of your flatware depends greatly on the metal underneath the gold plating. In some cases, manufacturers plated the gold over sterling silver. If your set is gold on sterling silver, the set should be worth more than $50.00 for the silver value (market price of silver and weight depending). If they are gold plate on stainless or copper or another base metal you are best to sell them on ebay.
To give you a feel for the melt value, we buy sterling silver by weight and pay around $175 a pound at this time.* If you want to determine what metal is under the gold plating, you can send us one piece to test in our XRF analytical lab to determine if it is silver underneath the gold or you might be able to dig up some information by calling/writing the manufacturer.
You can see how the XRF machine works Arch Enterprises Video Site.
* Price reflects the price of silver when this blog article was published and my not reflect the current price of silver, which changes daily.