Top Tips for Gold Jewelry Shopper Jewelry of all kinds, specially gold jewelry, is one of the most usual things to buy as gifts and for oneself. Unfortunately, in the huge majority of jewelry purchases, people pay an extremely high price. The ordinary jewelry sale is calculated at “triple keystone” price, which is called triple cost by the trade. In short, if a jeweler shows you a book where an item is listed at a price of $3,000, he has likely has shelled out $1,000 for it. He might may give you a “discount” of a 20 percent, reducing the price down to $2,400. You don’t have to feel guilty – he will be making $1,400 on something he bought for $1,000, or a a profit of 140 percent. It is important that you know the fundamentals of gold jewelry. Jewelry marked “750” contains 75 percent gold and 25 percent alloy, and that means it is 75 percent pure gold, equivalent to the purity of 18-carat gold. Gold that is stamped “585” is 14-carat and 60 percent pure gold. Using the same logic, “375” or 9-carat gold is 37.5 percent pure gold. People in England think highly of 9-carat gold, but in the U.S.it is considered but costume jewelry and therefore not a good investment. You may never be able to resell it for any amount like what you spent to get it. In general, jewelry is sold for the pure gold weight. You must weigh your gold jewelry on a jeweler’s scale to know its base value. No matter its weight, deductions must be made for the amount of alloy in the metal: as 18-carat gold, for instance, is 75 percent gold, you need to remove 25 percent from the value so you can come up with its gold weight. So, if the gold is has a current price of $1,000 per ounce, and you have an 18-carat piece with a weight of four ounces, the pure gold’s value would be $3,000, which is about what you may expect to receive if you decided to sell it.
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On the other hand, if you bought the same 18-carat piece on Forty-Seventh Street, you will most likely find a store that sells it for some $4,000, which is around a third above its weight. Outside of the jewelry district, triple keystone is the standard, so expect the same pieces to be sold for approximately $9,000. Clearly, the above doesn’t apply to pieces created by designers like Cartier or Bulgari, where a three-ounce pure gold bracelet can have a price tag as high as $30,000 – its weight 10 times over. Then again, there are quite well-designed pieces made by famous jewelers, so you are actually paying for the design and for the brand. But if you were to sell such designer pieces, even if you will surely get some premium over weight, don’t expect it to be significantly more than the weight an average gold piece would bring.Understanding Gold