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For over 2 years precious metal refiner, Arch Enterprises has written and maintained a precious metal blog, answering people questions about refining gold and silver.
Written on December 8, 2009, by Arch Enterprises
I watch gold fever on the outdoor channel on Saturday morning. If I had the supplies, I think I would try panning myself. I asked the pawn shop if I could bring it there if I found any gold. She said they could test it but didn’t say if she would buy it. Do I deal with a pawn shop or you guys with raw ore like that? Giving 1 oz as an example, and todays prices, how much does testing cost and the net cost after testing? — Sue
You can send us samples of the raw ore and we can analyze them for $75-$150 depending on the size of the rock you send us. If we end up refining it we will not charge you the fee for testing. We can return to you a large percentage of gold value after refining but the exact amount will depend on the quality and volume you find.
Be careful when dealing with pawn shops and selling raw gold to them. Because they will most likely sell the gold to a refiner like Arch Enterprises themselves, it’s in your best interest to sell directly to a refiner without middleman pawnshops. Hope this helps, good luck panning.
Written on July 22, 2009, by Arch Enterprises
I have a 14 karat gold ring that weighs 0.3 ounces on my postal scale. Can you tell me what the value of gold in this ring is and what I should expect to get for it from a refiner? – Bob in Columbia, MO
To determine the value of gold in your 14K gold ring, there are a few issues to consider:
- Weight – Unfortunately postal scales are not accurate enough when one is considering the valuing of a gold item, but in this case, we measured the ring that you sent in and found it to actually did weigh 8 grams or 0.2822 ounces.
- Percentage of Gold – 14K Gold is supposed to contain 58.24% gold while the rest is typically made up of copper, zinc, nickel, and other metals. We ran your ring through our X-Ray analyzer and found that it actually contained 66.89% gold. See Video Clip.
- Price of Gold – On July 22, the price of gold closed at $951.42 per ounce. Keep in mind that gold is valued in troy ounces and Americans typically think of an ounce as what is termed a avoirdupois ounce. Troy ounces actually weigh a little more than avoirdupois ounces so you actually have less than .2822 troy ounces of gold. To get your value in troy ounces, you would actually have to multiply .2822 avoirdupois ounces by .912.
So, the amount of pure gold in your particular 14K gold ring weighing .2822 avoirdupois ounces with a gold percentage of 66.89% was 0.18877 ounces. To figure out its value in troy ounces, we mulitplied this number by .912 to get 0.172 Troy Ounces. Mulitplying this by today’s rate for gold of $951.52 and your gold is worth $163.79.
Of course, the refiner needs to melt this into a form that someone wants and make a profit so you should expect anywhere from 70% to 90% of this value from a refiner. Most refiners won’t deal in quantities this low. At Arch Enterprises, we do, but we pay on a scale that ranges from 80% for those who send in less than 1 ounce of pure gold to over 90% for those sending in over 2 ounces.