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Let’s say you have a gold wedding ring that you would like to sell or recycle. Let’s also say it weighs 10 grams, which is pretty typical. So how much gold is in it, and what is it worth?

The first question to answer is, how much pure, 24K gold does it contain? (The 24K designation means pure gold.) Here things get a little complicated and require some calculation. But here’s what you need to know:.

24K gold, as noted above, is pure, 100% gold. But no wedding rings are made of gold this pure because 24K is very soft and can easily be damaged

18K gold is about 75% gold and 25% other metals.

14K gold Is about 58% gold and 42% other metals.

10K gold is about 42% gold and 58% other metals.

How Can You Tell the Karat Rating of Your Ring?

There should be a Karat rating stamped somewhere inside the ring – it will say 10K, 14K, 18K, etc.

How Do You Calculate How Much Pure 24K Gold Is in Your Ring?

You use the Karat percentages we gave just above to determine the amount of 24K gold in your ring. Using the example that we cited in the first paragraph above – that your ring weighs 10 grams - that would mean that . . .

If your ring is made of 24K gold (which we are willing to bet will not be the case), it contains 10 grams of pure gold.

If your ring is made of 18K gold, it contains 7.5 grams of pure gold and the rest of it is made up of other metals.

If your ring is made of 14K gold, it contains 5.8 grams of pure gold and the rest of it is made up of other metals.

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If your ring is made of 10K gold, it contains about 4.2 grams of pure gold and the rest of it is made up of other metals.

Okay, How Much Is the Gold in Your Ring Worth?

Here, you will need to take out your calculator again, because you need to convert those grams into Troy Ounces. Why? Because Troy Ounces are the measure that is used to report current trading prices on the London Fix. But the good news is, you can find online calculators that will convert grams to Troy Ounces, and it will take only a second.

You will find, for example, that your 10 gram wedding ring weighs 0.32151 Troy Ounces. And with gold currently trading for $1,877.20 per Troy Ounce on the London Fix, you can work your calculations back from there.

If you’re confused, call our precious metal consultants at 800-426-2344 and we will help you.

But What about those “Other” Metals?

As we wrote above, 18K gold is about 75% gold and 25% other metals; 14K Is about 58% gold and 42% other metals; and 10K gold is about 42% gold and 58% other metals.

So, what are those “other metals,” and don’t they affect the value of your ring? That’s a very smart question to ask, because they do. If, for example, copper or zinc are part of the mix, they aren’t very valuable metals and don’t raise the value. If on the other hand silver is part of the mix, that is a precious metal that can add an extra bit of value to your ring. Note too that in many cases, those “extra” metals have been chosen to impart color to the alloy, resulting in pink gold, white gold, rose gold, etc.

Confused? Don’t be. Remember, we are here to offer advice and test your precious metal items to determine their exact content and value. Give us a call at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

And another piece of advice. Avoid the thought that you’ll just “take the ring to a local jewelry store or gold refinery near me and let them tell me what it’s worth.” In most cases, your local resource will only test your ring using a small gold testing kit and will say something like, “I will give you $75.00 for it.” To get the full value of the gold that is in the ring you own, you need to consult with an expert who will explain the considerations we have written about in our post today. That’s why our consultants are here for you.