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USA Coin Book >> US Coin Melt Values >> Scrap and Jewelry Values

Scrap Gold and Silver Metal Prices and Values

Current Intrinsic Metal Value of Jewelry and Scrap

While we generally talk about coins here or coin melt values, jewelry and scrap metal is also very similar. Some jewelry is created from the gold and silver metal content of melted down coins. In fact, the term "Coin Silver" is used to describe the purity of a particular type of silver used in the crafting of jewelry and other items. Coin Silver in the United States is based on US coins melted down, which have a silver metal concentration of 90% and 10% copper. Jewelry crafters simply melted these coins and created jewelry directly from that metal.

In this section, we will describe the value and prices of melted down coins, scrap metal and jewelry based on their intrinsic gold, silver and platinum metal values which make up those items. In addition, we will provide tools such as calculators and conversion charts to help calculate the value of these metals based on various units. As always, the precious metal prices here are based on live figures from the metal futures market and commodities exchange rates.

Current Precious and Base Metal Bullion Spot Prices:

Updated Live! Gold, Silver, Platinum and Copper.   Updated Daily: Nickel, Zinc and Manganese.
As of December 19 2014 12:07 PM CST:

Gold: $1196.70 per Ounce    Silver: $15.89 per Ounce    Platinum: $1196.70 per Ounce
Copper: $2.90 per Pound    Nickel: $7.02 per Pound    Zinc: $0.97 per Pound    Manganese: $2.35 per Ton   

Scrap Gold Values, Prices and Conversions

When dealing with scrap gold and jewelry, the first and most important thing you need to look at is the purity of the gold. Gold alloy purity is measured in Karats (sometimes known as Carats) and this greatly influences the price and value of your gold scrap. Below is a table that explains the Karat system and gold purity scale:

Gold Purity Conversion Chart (Karats)

Karats (or Carats)Percentage Gold Concentration
7 Karats.292 = (29.2%)
8 Karats.333 = (33.3%)
9 Karats.375 = (37.5%)
10 Karats.417 = (41.7%)
11 Karats.458 = (45.8%)
12 Karats.500 = (50.0%)
13 Karats.542 = (54.2%)
14 Karats.583 = (58.3%)
15 Karats.625 = (62.5%)
16 Karats.667 = (66.7%)
17 Karats.708 = (70.8%)
18 Karats.750 = (75.0%)
19 Karats.792 = (79.2%)
20 Karats.833 = (83.3%)
21 Karats.875 = (87.5%)
22 Karats.917 = (91.7%)
23 Karats.958 = (95.8%)
24 Karats.9999 = (99.99%) pure

Scrap Gold and Jewelry

Equation and calculation of gold purity in karats (carats)

The equation below is used to calculate the purity of any scrap gold alloy in Karats:
equation to calculate gold purity in karats or carats
where:

  X = Karats = purity of gold alloy in Karats
  Mg = mass of gold in scrap or jewelry = Mass of gold in alloy
  Mm = total mass of scrap or jewelry = Total mass of alloy

Likewise, if you have the total weight of the item and the karats, you can calculate the weight or mass of gold in your scrap or jewelry by simply multiplying the karats by the total weight and dividing it by 24: Equation to calculate weight of gold based on karats. Remember to keep your weight/mass units consistent!

Calculator: Calculate Karats (Gold Purity)

If you know the total mass of your scrap and the total mass of gold content in the scrap, you can calculate the karats or purity of gold in your jewelry and scrap by using the calculator below. It doesn't matter what the units are (grams, ounces, etc), as long as you keep them consistent:

Total Mass of Scrap: (any units)
Mass of Gold in Scrap: (any units)
Karats:

Calculator: Calculate Gold Mass Based on Karats

If you know the karats of your jewelry and the total mass of the jewelry, you can calculate and find the mass or weight of gold within your scrap or jewelry. Remember to keep your units consistent. For example, if the total mass figure that you input is in grams, the answer will also be in grams. You can use any unit of weight or mass.

Karats: (0.583 for example)
Total Mass of Scrap: (any units)
Gold Mass: (in same units as total mass)

Finding the gold prices and values of your scrap gold metal

Using the calculators and charts above, you can find the total weight of gold in your scrap, gold bars or ingots. For calculating the value of your scrap gold, you must have the weight of gold along with the karats and then use the live market prices of gold to find the value of your scrap and jewelry. It's basically the same concept used when finding the value of gold coins. We have a scrap gold calculator just for this:

View the following link: Scrap Gold Melt Value Calculator.

Scrap Silver Values, Prices and Conversions

Like with gold, finding the accurate value of scrap silver and silver jewelry, depends largely on the purity of silver in the alloy. Unlike gold, silver purity is not measured in karats, but instead uses a simple generic number except for a few common ones. For instance, a silver metal content in jewelry of 0.800 means that the alloy contains 80% silver by weight/mass.

One of the more popular scrap metal compositions is silver sterling, uses in various items such as jewelry, antique spoons, fine plates, kitchen sets, tea sets and candlesticks for instance. Sterling silver is a term that describes a silver metal content of 92.5% silver (.925). Another popular silver composition is called Coin Silver. In the old days, jewelers and smelt houses would melt down silver US coins (especially silver Morgan Dollars) and any silver coins from before 1965. These coins contain 90% silver and 10% copper. It turns out that jewelers would simply craft jewelry directly from silver that was melted down from coins, and so "coin silver" has a purity of 90% (.900). Below is a conversion chart and calculators for calculating silver purity (and mass of silver in an alloy):

Silver Purity Conversion Chart

ConcentrationPercentage Purity
.100(10.0%)
.200(20.0%)
.300(30.0%)
.400(40.0%)
.500(50.0%)
.600(60.0%)
.700(70.0%)
.800(80.0%)
.830(83.0%)
.850(85.0%)
.875(87.5%)
.900(90.0%) Coin Silver
.910(91.0%)
.925(93.0%) Sterling Silver
.930(93.0%)
.940(94.0%)
.950(95.0%)
.960(96.0%)
.970(97.0%)
.980(98.0%)
.9990(99.90%) Fine Silver
.9999(99.99%) Ultra Fine Silver

Scrap Silver and Jewelry

Equation and calculation of silver purity

The equation below is used to calculate the purity of any scrap gold alloy in Karats:
equation to calculate silver purity
where:

  X = Purity of Silver = purity of silver alloy
  Ms = mass of silver in scrap or jewelry = Mass of silver in alloy
  Mm = total mass of scrap or jewelry = Total mass of alloy

Likewise, if you have the total weight of the item and the purity, you can calculate the weight or mass of silver in your scrap or jewelry by simply multiplying the purity by the total weight: Equation to calculate weight of silver based on purity. Remember to keep your weight/mass units consistent!

Calculator: Calculate Silver Purity

If you know the total mass of your scrap and the total mass of silver content in the scrap, you can calculate the purity of silver in your jewelry and scrap by using the calculator below. Again, it doesn't matter what the units are (grams, ounces, etc), as long as you keep them consistent:

Total Mass of Scrap: (any units)
Mass of Silver in Scrap: (any units)
Purity:

Calculator: Calculate Silver Mass Based on Purity

If you know the purity of silver in your jewelry and the total mass of the jewelry (or any scrap silver), you can calculate and find the mass or weight of silver within your scrap. Remember to keep your units consistent. For example, if the total mass figure that you input is in grams, the answer will also be in grams. You can use any unit of weight or mass.

Purity: (0.925 for example)
Total Mass of Scrap: (any units)
Silver Mass: (in same units as total mass)

Finding the silver prices and values of your scrap silver metal

You can use the scrap silver calculators and conversions above in order to find the necessary input data in order to find the value of your silver scrap, silver bars or ingots. Once you have the purity and weight of silver within your scrap, you can then find what the silver is worth. You can find this value by using the calculator below, which uses the live precious metal silver prices on the commodities market and will provide you with an accurate value for your silver scrap and jewelry. It's essentially the same concept used for finding the value of silver coins.

View the following link: Scrap Silver Melt Value Calculator.