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items they dont wear: broken chains, your great aunts hideous opal ring, or even perfectly good pieces that are just out of date.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.