Saturday, July 10, 2010
I buy GOLD! What does this mean?
Many people...(I've found it's women over 60) have a little baggy or box of old gold. It usually, but not always contains the following:
a kinked herringbone chain
1-2 broken rope chains
an old ring mounting with the stones popped out
a gold wedding band
a charm or two ie: a dolphin, #1 mom, phi delta
an old tooth with a gold filling
one or two earrings with no match
a small bracelet
black hills gold ring from a boyfriend 25 years ago
These items are no longer worn, but can't be sold or gifted or thrown away. There is value there because the items are GOLD.
When I buy gold I go through each piece with a "loupe". A loupe is a small 10x magnifying lens used by jewelers. I look for makers marks and gold carat stamps. If there is no carat weight stamp, I test the the piece using acids. It's quite scientific and fun. I pay more for gold with a higher gold content. For example, 10kt gold is only 41% gold. The rest is other alloy. 14kt gold is 56% gold and 18kt gold is 75% gold. I divide the pieces into piles of the different carat weight, weigh each pile, and pay according to what gold is trading at that day.
I accumulate the gold I buy for a month or so and then I take it to a refinery I've built a relationship with in Portland. Buying gold is not a huge profit center for Cowgirl Cash, but it's a nice service to offer. Some people have inherited entire jewelry boxes of "stuff", and it's nice to have a trusted person to go through it with you piece by piece. Some peoples "gold jewelry" is actually gold plate and purely fun fashion jewelry with little or no cash value.
Sometimes, I can't bear the thought of "scraping" these old, vintage, sentimental pieces. That's why Cowgirl Cash often has fine vintage jewelry for sale. My background in jewelry and gemology has combined nicely with my new business of buying and selling Western Vintage. Who would' have thought?