Does gold over sterling jewelry have any value as scrap? Thanks! From Sherri in San Antonio, Texas

Hi Sherri,

Pendant on golden chain isolated on the whiteWe have been getting a lot of questions about silver and gold plated material. In most plating situations the plate really does NOT have any value. Silver and gold plating techniques have made it so that only a very small amount of actual gold or silver is used in the plate and makes it impossible to recover or separate from the metal underneath.

We tell people that it is the metal UNDER the plate that will either have value or not. In your case, if your jewelry is sterling silver than your pieces would have value for the silver only, not the gold.

In other cases where the metal under the plate is a “base metal” – iron, nickel, lead, zinc or copper, the value of the pieces will be significantly less than those made with a precious metal – gold, silver, and platinum. As precious metal refiners, Arch would NOT be able to refine anything made from one of the listed base metals.

If you would like an estimate on your sterling silver jewelry, please give us some more information about your pieces on our Request an Estimate Form. Thanks!

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