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Selling Your Jewellery

Selling your Old Gold Jewellery

Many jewellers are offering to buy back old, damaged or unfashionable gold jewellery. Specialised companies, some of whom are NAJ members, are reaching out to the public via websites and television advertising. The NAJ would like to offer some advice to members of the public who are thinking of turning their jewellery into cash, to ensure that they get the best deal:

Gold Prices, Weights and Fineness

The price of fine gold and silver is set in London twice a day in a process called the Gold Fix. This is intended to set a trading price between bullion traders who are members of the London Bullion Market Association, but is widely used as a benchmark for pricing the majority of gold and silver products and derivatives throughout the world's markets. The gold fix takes place twice daily at 10.30am and 3pm, London time and the latest price can be found at and is usually printed in the following day’s newspapers.

The published price of gold is for pure gold (.9999 fineness) and is expressed in dollars and pounds for a Troy Ounce. One Troy Ounce is equivalent to 31.1034768 grammes. Nb this is different to the Avoirdupois ounce commonly used in weighing imperial measures in which there are 16 ounce to a pound. The avoirdupois ounce is equivalent to 28.3495231 grammes.

Gold alloys used for making jewellery contain set percentages of fine gold. 9 carat gold contains 37.5% fine gold, 14 carat 58.5%, 18 carat 75%, 22 carat 91.6%. 24 carat (ie pure gold) is not normally used for jewellery.

Five Step Guide to Getting the best Price for Your Gold

Step 1: Find out how much fine gold your jewellery contains – the fineness.

The best indicator of this is the hallmark - Look for the hallmarks on your jewellery which will normally show 375, 585, 750 or 916.

Step 2: Find out the weight of gold you have to sell in grammes.

You may not have a scale which is accurate enough to do this but most jewellery shops will be able to do this for you and may make you an offer for the gold you have to sell. You do not have to accept their offer but it should give you an accurate weight. nb. If your jewellery contains gemstones this will make it more difficult to assess the weight of gold it contains and some companies ask for the stones to be removed before the gold can be valued. If you think there are precious stones then go to a high street jeweller and ask for an assessment of the value of the gemstones. The gemstones may be worth more than the gold.

Step 3: Do your own calculation

Examples: if you have 10 grammes of 18 carat gold (ie 750 fineness), this will contain 7.5 grammes of fine gold. If the gold fix is £684 per Troy ounce or £22 (ie £684 divided by 31) per gramme then the maximum value is £165 (£22 x 7.5). If you have 10 grammes of 9 carat gold (ie 375 fineness), this will contain 3.75 grammes of fine gold. If the gold fix for fine gold is £684 per Troy ounce or £22 per gramme then the maximum value is £82.50 (£22 x 3.75).

Step 5: Shop around.

Call the company, tell them the weight of gold you have to sell and its fineness and ask them if they will give you a quote over the phone. This will not be a binding quote as the gold price changes twice a day and they will want to check the weight and fineness before giving a binding quote.

Remember that in doing your own calculation what you have calculated is the maximum value of the gold on the bullion market on the day. To arrive at the price he can offer you, the dealer must deduct the cost of valuing and refining the gold in the jewellery, his operational costs and profit, and any advertising and postal costs. The cost base of such companies will vary and so offers will vary and this is why you should shop around. NAJ is aware of reports that some companies will improve their offer if you ask for your gold back, so be prepared to haggle. The offer you eventually accept is your risk, in the same way that it would be if you were selling a secondhand car.

If you are nervous about sending you gold off by post, don’t forget that many high street jewellers will buy back secondhand gold and if you can travel to a specialist jewellery area such as Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter or London’s Hatton Garden you can offer your gold to a bullion dealer who might give you a better price. Remember that you may be asked for proof of identity and residence.

Step 5: Look for NAJ membership

All NAJ members sign a code of ethics to abide by the law, provide a high standard of service and uphold the reputation of the association.

Institute of Registered Valuers

There are many reasons why you need a jewellery valuer and you can place your trust in an NAJ's Institute Registered Valuer. The NAJ' s Institute of Registered Valuers is the UK's leading association of jewellery valuers.

Valuations need to be undertaken today to a very high standard; the highest level is represented by our members.

All IRVs, numbering around 160 throughout the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, have proved their expertise to their peers, with formal qualifications and substantial experience within the industry. They provide a professional service you can trust.

Find an IRV near you



© 2017
The National Association of Jewellers
Head Office: Federation House
10 Vyse Street
Birmingham, B18 6LT, UK

London Office: 45 Britton Street, London EC1M 5NA

Birmingham Office: 0121 237 1110
London Office: 020 7613 4445
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