The first thing we do is sort out items that are not gold or silver. To do this we use a Rare Earth Magnet. The Rare Earth Magnet is an incredibly powerful permanent magnet made from alloys of rare earth elements. Gold, Silver, and Platinum are not magnetic. This catches some plated items immediately. Unfortunately we are unable to purchase plated pieces as the cost of refining them exceeds the value of the metal we can extract from the item. However, there are many non-valuable metals that are also non-magnetic.
The second step in sorting involves checking for stamps. Many stamps are visible to the naked eye but some are stamped on the tiny posts of earrings or are too worn down to make out. In this case we use a jeweller's loop to closely examine each piece. Stamps tell you what the item is sold as and is a fairly reliable way of identifying the gold purity. However, it is not rare to find an item stamped higher than its actual purity.
Once all the items have been sorted and verified by karat, we begin weighing the items on a scale. The scale is calibrated twice daily and you can ask to have it recalibrated if you like. Our scale will show you the true weight of your items in grams. Typically we weigh all items identified at a particular karat together but can also weigh individual items for you.
If items have stones or inserts we will subtract the estimated weight of those stones. Gems the size of 1 carat diamonds will weigh approximately 0.2 grams. We assess the rough size and number of stones in the items and subtract this weight from our estimate. For example, if a piece has 4 small stones of the 1/10th carat size we will subtract 4 times 1/10th of 0.2 grams (ie. 0.08 grams).
Our prices are based on the current market price of gold and silver. Please reference What We Pay for the complete price table. Your payout is based on the purity (karat) and the weight of your items. After our assessment, you are not obligated to sell. We provide our assessments free of charge.
Some large items may not be solid gold or silver. These items are tricky as they can be thickly plated, filled with weights or something of the like. A final test before payment may be required by the buyer to confirm the item is not fraudulent. This can involve cutting the piece and damaging the piece beyond repair. We will ask you before these types of tests. Essentially we have agreed to pay the quoted price if the item is not fraudulent. If you do not wish to have the test performed on your item, we will be happy to return it to you, but will not be able to purchase the item.
Once you are satisfied with our payout, the buyer will remove any easily removable stones and inserts and will do their best to remove any that you specifically request. On the open market small used stones have little to no value but you may be able to use them in the design of future jewelry. Once stones and inserts have been removed, the items are re-weighed to confirm the quote and the offer is adjusted accordingly. You will be paid on the spot without any hidden fees or charges.