Did you know your cell phone contains $1 worth of scrap gold? Scrap gold is gold found in jewelry, electronics and dental work. It can be sold through scrap gold buyers, who will make an offer based on the weight and carat quality of the gold. Chances are, you have items around the house that contain scrap gold.
Old dental caps, crowns, fillings and bridges all contain a small amount of gold, usually in 16-carat quality. The gold is mixed with other metals like silver, zinc and copper to make the gold hard enough to bite with. However, gold is seldom used in dental work anymore, so people may have old dental work laying around. A gold crown can contain 1/10th of an ounce of this decent quality gold.
According the NPR.org, there are enough precious metals in 200 cell phones to make a gold ring. The main use of gold in electronics is as the contact plating for switches, relays and circuit boards. This means that small amounts of gold are found in cell phones, calculators, GPS devices and computers, among other electronics. It's difficult to evaluate the quality of this type of gold. It must be gathered in bulk to be represent any great worth.
Jewelry is one of the primary sources of scrap gold. However, you will generally receive less than the value of the item, since you're not being paid for the craftsmanship or beauty of the piece. This may be an attractive deal to you if you need to get the money quickly. It's important, though, to know the rough estimate of your pieces.
If you don’t know the carat value, it can be determined with a gold test kit. To determine the monetary value of the piece, divide the current market price per ounce of gold by 31.1 to get the price per gram. Multiply the weight in grams of your piece by its carat value. Divide this number by 24. This is the number of grams of pure gold in the piece. Multiply this number by the price per gram number. This is the rough value of your gold jewelry.
Only very old coins contain gold and, to be forthright, may be worth plenty simply as collectible coins. However, if they're badly damaged or unidentifiable, they can still be worth a lot as scrap gold. Many gold coins, like those made before 1947 in the United Kingdom, contain silver to make them harder. This is something a coin professional will have to tell you, as the gold quality and content depends on the type of coin. Many coins, like sovereigns and Krugerrands, are made from 22-carat gold and can be valuable as scrap gold.
- Scrap Gold: How to Work Out What Your Scrap Gold is Worth
- Broken Gold: Gold in Electronics - Gold 101
- NPR: The Bryant Park Project: Old Electronics Are a New Gold Mine; Elsa Butler; February 2008
- MSNBC: Local Business: There's gold (and big bucks) in them thar grills; Associated Press; April 2008
- Scrap Gold UK: Sell Coins
- KevMaw/iStock/Getty Images