Would you sell your gold to this outfit

Would you sell your gold to this outfit?

Everybody has gold items they dont wear: broken chains, your great aunts hideous opal ring, or even perfectly good pieces that are just out of date. When the price of gold is high its worth melting them in and you can spend the proceeds guilt-free on new items of jewelry, even though its not your birthday.

The cost of refining scrap gold is considerably cheaper in Thailand than in the West and there are more companies and individuals offering the service.

Do not, however, sell your gold to a pawn shop. They will have to bear the cost of smelting it themselves, and therefore will only give you a fraction of its worth.

If you have a sizable amount of scrap (at least 3 ounces) it is best to go to the sources used by the jewelry trade, such as an assay or refining company, as their reputation will be solid. (See Insider Tip below).

The cost-effectiveness of the exercise increases with the amount of scrap gold you have and is usually calculated on a minimum charge or a percentage of the value of the pure gold (i.e. fine gold , or 999 gold) after refining: whichever is lower. A reasonable percentage in Bangkok is 2 to 3 percent. In Europe or America you could pay at least five percent, and up to 10 per cent.

If you are dealing with an assay company you will be given the option of being paid the market rate for your fine gold minus the refining cost, or to receive it back in the form of a pure gold (999) bar hallmarked with the assayers logo. The latter option allows you to decide when it is in your best interests to sell the gold, i.e. if you think gold prices will be higher in the future. At that point you could sell it back to the assay company.

Government showroom

Government showroom

Before you could say feckless farang, a tuktuk appeared out of nowhere and we were being sped on our way to the temple in question. We had no sooner rounded the corner of the Palace when I saw that the gates to a second official entrance to the Palace were open. Whoa, I said to the tuktuk driver, let us out HERE. This fell on deaf ears, though I spoke clearly, politely, and firmly, in Thai. The driver was by now on his cellphone in loud negotiations with his keeper. Let us off, I insisted. No, he replied, one ear still glued to the cellphone, I take you to Government Showroom, very good shop, very cheap Thai souvenirs, gemstones. Better than Wat.

Fully aware of the fact that we were, literally, being taken for a ride, we kept insisting on being let off the tuktuk, and the more we insisted the more enraged the evil jockey became, commandeering his three-wheeler at an increasingly reckless pace. Careening into a large roundabout on only two of those wheels without so much as a sideways glance, we came within an inch of our lives of being broadsided by an SUV. Only after that did he screech to a stop and pour us out of his vehicle, a jellied mess, dumped unceremoniously on the sidewalk. And what nerve: furious that we refused to pay he let out a toxic and imaginative stream of Thai curses!

So what would have happened had he had his way with us and taken us to the Government Showroom?

Wholesale Diamond Rings

Wholesale Diamond Rings

The quality in terms of design, gold weight and craftsmanship as seen in the RG183 diamond gold ring cannot be found in wholesale diamond rings. If you had to have a clear look at the insides of the RG183 three diamond gold ring, you will understand what we mean.

Wholesale diamond rings are made to please mass market, they fit a hot search term that is often encountered on the online market place. Buyers looking for cheap diamond rings, will not be impressed with the RG183. This jewel is gorgeous and built to last, the gold weight is kept at a healthy 8 to 10 grams. A wholesale diamond gold ring on the other hand would weigh around 3 to 5 grams, nothing more. Unlike the RG183 Kaisilver diamond ring which has no scooping done inside the band, a wholesale diamond ring would be heavily scooped and scraped to save on gold weight.

The importance of an unscooped ring is often not understood by the casual jewelry buyer. However this feature is vital to ensure longterm durability of your diamond ring. You might think that the visibility of the scooped portion inside the band of your diamond gold ring, would be nil once the ring is worn. But the fact is that the scooping also reduces the gold thickness and makes the jewel prone to bending and denting. Given the current gold prices, it is fair to say that the durability of most jewelry has taken a downward spin.

Calculate your worth

Calculate your worth

Before going to a gold scrap dealer, you should ensure you have a fair idea of the value of your gold so that you can calculate whether the price you get is fair. You will need a small set of jewelers or gem scales (inexpensive to buy in the gold district of Silom), and a X10 jewelers loupe. Heres how to calculate:

1. Separate the scrap into groups of the same karat value: Using the loupe look for a hallmark on the item:

10K is 10 out of 24 parts fine gold and will be stamped 461

14K (14/24) will be stamped 585

18K (18/24) will be stamped 750

22K (22/24) and will be stamped 916

2. Weigh each karat group and note down the weight in grams. (One troy ounce of gold weighs 31.1 grams)

3. Find out the current gold price in US$ per gram: check www.24hgold.com or www.kitco.com, or download the iPad App Gold Price which has live prices from www.BullionVault.com

4. Establish the *approximate fine gold content of each karat group of gold scrap: divide the karat value of each group by 24 e.g. 10K /24 =0.416. (For 14K you will come up with 0.585, 18K 0.750, and 22K 0.916). For example, 100gms of 0.750 (18K) gold =75g of fine gold (100 x 0.750 = 75).

5. Then multiply the fine-gold weight of the scrap by the current gold price per gram. If current price of gold is US$1,788.50 per ounce or $57.50 per gram ($1788.50/31.1), then the value of your gold is : 75gm X $57.50 = US$4,312.50 (i.e. US$57.50 x .750 = US$43.12 per gram).

OR better still, you could download the iTunes Scrap Calculator App by JHBC (Jack Hunt Coin Broker, Inc.), which will take all the hard work out of calculating the scrap value of gold of different karat value and quote you total value in the current US$ price.

6. After you have established the scrap merchants fee (it will be either a percentage or a minimum sum, quoted in Thai baht, and it pays to shop around) deduct this from the value of your scrap, after having made any necessary currency conversion. The remainder is what you should receive, but make allowance for a little gold loss. (*Often gold that is hallmarked 750 will prove on testing to contain not 75% fine gold, but a couple of percentage points less).

For the currency exchange you could use the iTunes App xe Currency. And for the current gold price in Thailand there is a simple i-Tunes App Thai Gold Price: currently only in Thai language, but not difficult to understand. It gives the range of the previous days trading, the current gold spot price per gram, and the US$ THB exchange rate.

Remember that the gold price fluctuates on a minute by minute basis, so before you settle on a price for your refined gold you should use your smartphone to check the current price on the Internet. And if you decide to sell gold or send gold scrap for smelting you will need to produce your passport to verify your identity.

Gia Thailand

Gia Thailand

The GIA Thailand offers numerous courses, such as its well-known Graduate Gemologist and Jewelry Design programs, as well as classes in Diamond Grading, Gem Identification, Pearl Grading and Colored Stones Grading. www.giathai.net , www.gia.edu

The courses teach students how to identify and analyse gems, appraise jewellery, and grade diamonds using the 4Cs. It offers hands-on experience, providing access to a collection of 100 jewellery items and more than 1,000 gemstones as well as sophisticated equipment.

Aside from its teaching role the GIA provides laboratory services such as gem grading and certification, and provides reports on a gems geographic origins and distinguishing features as well as identifying any treatments or enhancements the stone may have been subjected to.

For those wishing to make a significant gem purchase in Bangkok the GIA is the go-to laboratory for stone grading and certification. Any retailer which does not already provide certification for its gems should readily agree to send a stone to the GIA for authentication and certifying as long as you agree to pay the cost.