Gold FAQ

How pure is my gold?

Gold used in jewellery is typically alloyed with other metals to improve hardness, luster or to alter color. The finished pieces are required by law to be stamped with purity hallmarks. In most North American pieces this is marked via a Karat (K) stamp but other countries use a percentage based mark.

  • 24K = 999 (99.9% pure)
  • 18K = 750 (75% pure)
  • 14K = 585 (58.5% pure)
  • 10K = 417 (41.7% pure)
  • 8K = 333 (33.3% pure)

Unfortunately age, repair or other factors can obscure or remove these markings.

How do I know if my gold is real?

The best way to know for sure is to bring the item to one of our locations and let our professionals examine the pieces. We use a variety of tests to determine the authenticity of any piece and are professionally trained at gold intake. As a general guideline however consider the following:

The presence of gold hallmarks (10K, 417, etc.) are a good sign. Unfortunately with the rise of deliberate fakes these are no longer entirely trustworthy. A few facts to consider:

  • Gold is nonmagnetic - if it moves with a magnet it's not gold.
  • Gold is resistant to corrosion, won't turn green, etc.
  • Jewellery is typically well made - if you see machining marks, poor quality worksmanship etc. this is a warning sign.
  • Typically they will not set valuable larger diamonds in fake gold - this is not guaranteed however.
  • Gold will not 'wear through' - if you see another color underneath that is a warning sign.

Proof positive that a piece is a replica or fake is hallmarking such as:

  • GP = Gold Plate
  • GF = Gold Filled
  • RGP = Rolled gold plate
  • 1/20 alloy = Gold filled
  • GE or HGE = Gold Electroplate / Heavy Gold Electroplate

What's amazing about gold?

Gold has a history spanning thousands of years and has always been a treasured resource. Besides it's natural beauty and rarity it has some amazing physical properties:

  • 1 ounce of gold can be rolled into a 100sq/ft sheet only 0.000127mm thick.
  • 1 ounce of gold can be pulled into a wire almost 80KM long
  • Gold is highly corrosion and tarnish resistant.
  • Gold is rare: only 3.5 parts per BILLION of the earth's crust are comprised of pure gold.
  • Gold is heavy: the standard pure gold bar is 20cm X8cm X4.5cm (slightly bigger than a box of Kraft Dinner noodles) and weighs 27 pounds.

What happens to the gold I sell?

Usually the gold is refined into it's pure form and resold on the world market. Current estimates state that almost one-fifth of the world's annual jewellery production is made from recycled gold.

Select pieces may be in resalable condition and may enter the secondary market as estate jewellery. Typically these would be purchased for a higher value.