Krista Waddell, a US-based entrepreneur and international gold expert, is visiting Australia this week as part of International Women’s Day events, and discusses how scrap gold prices have confused the recycling market.
The price of gold is at an all time high, however as A Current Affair revealed last night, there is significant confusion over the scrap value of gold and a huge variation in the price that jewellers, scrap metal dealers, pawn shops and other gold buyers will pay for old jewellery.
“It amazes me to see the difference in what many gold-buyers will quote for the exact same item of jewellery. People need to understand that all gold prices should be pegged to the daily rate of gold and tested thoroughly according to karat value and fineness,” said Krista Waddell, founder of Gold Parties Australia and UK parent company Ounces to Pounds.
Just as diamonds are graded by carats, the fineness of gold is determined by its Karat value, something that has existed since ancient times. Pure gold is 24K and the term karat applies to each 1/24 part of pure gold by weight. Gold purity may also be described by its fineness.
Gold remains one of the most difficult and expensive precious metals to mine and its rarity contributes to its value. Approximately three tons of ore are needed to extract just one ounce of gold. It is estimated that only 125,000 tons of gold have been mined since the beginning of time.
“To value scrap or old gold, the jewellery design value is not accounted for so the item is immediately of a lesser value than it purchase price. However gold itself remains a highly valuable commodity and you can attain extremely good recycle prices through reputable traders who peg your gold value to the market rate of the day,” Krista says.
Krista Waddell launched Gold Parties Australia over three years ago following the popularity of her gold-buying events companies internationally. Since then thousands of women across Australia have been paid top prices for their scrap gold by attending these events.
“At Gold Parties Australia, our accredited gold assessors make sure guests are paid the absolute premium for their items and fully disclose the transaction process because our prices are fixed with the daily gold rate.”
“The point of difference with these events is that women can spend quality time with their friends and feel comfortable selling their jewellery in a trusted environment, rather than heading to the local pawn shop and haggling with a dealer,” said Krista.
“We encourage all our party guests to go and get a few different quotes for their jewellery before they come to a Gold Party, so they can be sure they are getting the top price.”
Many people believe they have valuable gold pieces, but in fact their items are merely gold plated, filled, bonded or washed. These items are much less expensive than solid gold.
Common things to watch out for:
•GOLD WASH (GW) Gold deposits with a thickness from 2 to 5 millionth of an inch.
•GOLD PLATING (GP) Deposits with a minimum thickness of 7 millionth of an inch.
•GOLD INLAYS Solid pieces of gold or gold alloy attached by dovetailing (usually 14-25 karat).
•GOLD LEAF (GL) Gold leaf is a very thin (3-4 millionth of an inch), made so by flattening under pressure.
•GOLD FILLING (GF) Refers to a base metal such as nickel that has gold sheet attached by soldering or some other means. Gold fill is commonly used in watch cases.
•HEAVY GOLD PLATE A film of fine gold is plated to other metals to a thickness of at least 100 millionth of an inch.
•ROLLED GOLD A layer of plating of 10 Karat or better, mechanically bonded to a base metal. The gold content may be less then 1/20th of total weight.
Krista Waddell is visiting the Gold Coast and Sydney this week as part of the 100th Annual International Women’s Day, where she will launch The Golden Cause - a new national charity drive that involves recycling old gold jewellery for a charity of their choice.