Authenticity is crucial when you wish to sell gold or silver. UK Scrap Gold has been a buyer of a wide range of items including rings, chains, gold tooth fillings and silver cutlery over the years, just to name a few. But all is not as it seems. All that glitters is not gold.
Precious metals prices are close to all-time highs, so you don’t want to fall at the last hurdle, and find your items aren’t what you think they are.
An electroplating epidemic
UK Scrap Gold has experienced a growing number of people sending in items believed to be gold or silver, only to be disappointed when our team digs deeper and discovers they’re not. Items which give the appearance of gold or silver can often be electroplated. This means manufacturers apply a thin layer of gold or silver onto the surface of a cheaper metal, often copper.
It makes you believe the item is authentic, but cut through the glossy exterior, and you’ll find you may have been short-changed.
Electroplating is an electro-chemical process which can short-change you, and stops you benefiting from the tangible value to be had when selling true gold or silver, when the time comes. While gold and silver are durable metals, electroplated alternatives are worth a fraction of their value, and degrade easily, as the molecules from the base metal transfer into the thin gold/silver layer, causing it to look tarnished over time.
Signs to watch out for include apparent wear to the surface of your item – solid gold is ageless and doesn’t oxidise, helping preserve its shine for thousands of years. Electroplating serves as a sticky plaster, but the shine soon wears off, exposing the copper underneath.
Hallmarks to spot
Fortunately, gold and silver items can be more easily identified if they have hallmarks. These markings serve as effective seals of approval, informing you of the purity of your item, as well as the Sponsor’s Mark and Assay Office mark.
For more information about hallmarks and how they work, check out this article here.
Gold items often include a stamp saying “375” which means the item has been assessed and officially classed as being 9 carat or 37.5 per cent pure. Keep an eye out for this number, as purity plays a significant role in determining how valuable gold items can be. Our Gold Scrap Calculator can help you work out what you could make by selling with UK Scrap Gold today. All you need is the item’s weight, plus its purity.
If you’re sure you have an item which you believe to be genuine gold or silver, and you wish to sell, look no further than UK Scrap Gold. We offer £14.25 for just one gram of 9-carat gold, as a starting point. Imagine what a heavier higher-purity item could be worth.
For more information about selling scrap gold or silver, call UK Scrap Gold on 01902 623 254.