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Source: goldprice.org

PUBLISHED: June 5, 2008

So it seems that selling scrap gold is the latest craze for 2008.

Well, you can count me in when it comes to the latest fads.

Last week, I sold my pieces of old scrap gold and made $772 in the process. Nothing like cash in hand.

There went my old mangled gold necklaces and bracelets. I said "so long" to my 14-karat gold "C" charm that hung from my neck all through high school. Fare-thee-well to my old wedding ring, which was rendered unnecessary six years ago, and adios to a variety of other pieces that I inherited along the way.

Maybe you'd like to sell your old gold, too, but you're afraid you'll get ripped off. Well, you know what the first commandment of wheeling-and-dealing is.

Know thy stuff.

Here's how I determined what my gold was worth. It's not terribly hard even if you're not a jeweler.

After you get all your gold together, you'll want to determine the karat weight of the gold. You can generally find the karat number inscribed on the piece. You may need a magnifying glass to see it. Without the inscription, you may need to take the pieces in somewhere and have them tested -- and also hope you're dealing with someone honest.

All the gold that I had was either 10- or 14-karat gold. Pure gold is 24 karats, so as it turns out, 10-karat gold is about 41.7 percent gold and about 58.3 percent other stuff. Likewise, 14-karat gold is about 58.3 percent gold.

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Next, I separated the gold by type and weighed the piles. Even if you don't have a highly-calibrated jeweler's scale, you can still get a fair approximation using a kitchen countertop scale preferably accurate to the hundredths of an ounce.

If weighing gold by the ounce, note that you'll likely need to convert ounces to grams. There are about 28.35 grams in each ounce, so if you have 2 ounces, that's roughly 56.7 grams.

The one thing I wasn't sure about is whether to weigh it using regular ounces or Troy ounces, which contain about 31.1 grams per ounce, but since the scale I used weighed in regular ounces, I thought that to be the correct measurement to use.

Once you know how many grams of each class of gold you have, you can go on the Internet and find a scrap gold calculator. I used a site called www.jackhunt.com. Enter the weight in grams into the appropriate karat-weight boxes, and enter the quoted spot price of pure gold, which is found at the bottom of the page on that site.

A word about gold prices: The price has been up over $1,000 per ounce this year, but it also has been at $800. Like any other commodity, gold is dictated by market forces of supply and demand.

There are at least a couple other things to note. First, you want to be as sure as possible that you have what you think you have. Again, know thy stuff. Anybody buying gold from you will use chemical testing to make sure pieces are what they say they are and aren't just gold plated.

Now here's the last word about gold prices. If you used the gold calculator and found that you have, say, $1,000 worth of gold among those scraps, you're not likely to get $1,000 for it. Also, eliminate as many middlemen as you can.

Some scammers are most assuredly out there looking to get their hands on your gold for next-to-nothing. Some common tricks are piling together different karat gold and buying for the lowest karat-weight, playing tricks in the weight conversion numbers, outright lying about the market price of gold and generally low-balling and bullying potential sellers.

Don't be bullied. Getting a second opinion is probably a good idea if you're not buying what they're saying.

Again, know thy stuff.

Chris Wright is a freelance writer from Pittsfield Township. He can be reached at liberty4589@comcast.net.

Click here to learn how you can make the money that you need and want in this home-based business.

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Michael Meuser bootstrapped his way into the salvage and recycling business in the early 1980s. He began with building deconstruction and scrap metals and then moved into electronics, computer and telecommunications scrap where he learned to recover gold and other precious metal.
Michael tells his story, provides resources and offers his advice at his website, RecyclingSecrets.com, and his blog, Recycling Secrets Blog. Recently Mike completed the eBook How to Make Money in the Home Based Salvage and Recycling Business. It is a chronicle of his experiences, successes and failures in the business. Also, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

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