Obviously it’s a really good idea if you can work out how much your scrap gold is worth prior to approaching a dealer, so this page is going to explain how to calculate the value of any scrap gold that you may have.

What is the Carat Rating of Your Gold?

The purity of gold is measured in carats (you’ve probably heard it mentioned with regards to diamonds too), but most people don’t really understand what a carat (not carrot!) actually is. Although carats are commonly understood to be some kind of gold purity measure, the actual meaning of a carat is very simple.

The carat rating of gold will affect it’s value, usefulness, strength and its colour. Gold purity is measured in a total of 24 units, or Carats. Pure gold is 24 carats. Pure gold typically gets made into gold bullion bars. It is rarely used in jewellery (except in some Asian cultures), since it is far too soft to be practical. i.e. pure gold jewellery would actually dent or scratch far too easily. Usually gold has other metals blended with it into an alloy, usually copper or silver, which makes the overall metal blend harder and more durable.

If there was only one part gold to 23 parts copper, then the gold would have a rating of 1 carat (1ct), 2 parts gold and 22 parts copper would be 2ct gold, and so on.

The carat rating of any item made from gold then depends on what percentage of other metals are added to the pure gold, the higher the carats the better. In general use in the UK, the 22ct, 18ct, 14ct, and 9ct ratings are the most common. Different countries have different standards for gold purity, so you can expect to see different caret purities if a gold item was made in a country other than the UK.

The higher the gold content, the higher the carat value, and therefore the more valuable the gold. The table below shows the relative purities of gold in the standard UK carat ratings:

Carat Rating No. of parts
No. of parts
other metals
Gold Purity
9ct 9 15 37.5%
14ct 14 10 58.3%
18ct 18 6 75.0%
22ct 22 2 91.6%
24ct 24 0 100%

If your gold is hallmarked, which it should be if it is jewellery, then you should be able to simply look up the markings in our gold hallmarks reference table. If you’re not able to find any hallmarkings, then you’ll really need to get an informed opinion.

Accurately Weighing Your Gold

The next thing to do is to weigh your gold. It is vitally important to get an accurate weight, so it’s no good using the bathroom scales or your kitchen scales, you need to use an accurate digital scale. You can actually purchase inexpensive digital jewellery scales those below.

You also need to remove any stones and other non gold items, since we are concerned only with the weight of the gold itself. You also need to weigh different gold carats together, ie, all 22ct gold together, all 14ct gold together, etc – do not mix up the different carats!

Gold is traditionally measured in Troy Ounces (Oz), or in grams (gm), and some scrap gold dealers also use pennyweight measures. Most tend to use grams when dealing in scrap gold, since most people don’t tend to have ounces of gold, and gram is a smaller measure making calculations easier.

1 Troy Oz of gold is the equivalent of 31.1 grams, or 20 pennyweight. Make a note of the weight of your scrap gold in grams.

Calculating the Value of Your Scrap Gold

Now comes the fun part! The easy thing to do is to multiply the weights of the different carats of gold by the prices quoted by different dealers to see how much you’ll end up with. For example, if a dealer is quoting £10 per gram for 9ct gold and you have 30gms, then you’ll get £300.

Simple. Well, not quite because of course you want to know if that’s a good deal or not, so you need to work out the actual value of your scrap gold first, so that you can compare the 2 values. You can use the Scrap Gold Price Calculator to do this for you.

You can realistically expect to get maybe 75% to 90% of the actual value of the gold (remember that it needs to be melted down, etc, which all costs money).

At least you now have an idea of how to work out a fair ball park figure that you should achieve for your scrap gold, and you aren’t going to get robbed blind by some unscrupulous gold dealer. You can check out our suggested scrap gold dealers for gold buyers you can trust.

Scrap Gold Price Calculator A very scrap gold price calculator that turns the weight of your gold into an estimated value based on 9ct, 14ct, 18ct and 22ct gold purities using today's prices, and prices from a year ago. Calculate the value of your gold...