Sunday, May 28, 2006

How to Buy Gold

If you do not buy gold or gold jewelery very often it is important that you know how to buy gold to ensure you get exactly what you want and at a good price as well.

So it is important that you understand the key factors when it comes to buying gold and gold jewelry.

When buying gold jewelry these key factors are:

  • Karatage, or how much gold is there in a gold piece?
  • Gram weight. Simply how much does the piece weigh?
  • Design. Is it the right design for you?
  • Craftsmanship. Is it well constructed and tastefully made?
  • Price and purchase. How much is it and is it good value for the price?
Karatage, sometimes called karats is the amount of gold contained within a gold piece. This is how it is measured. Gold is very often mixed with other metals, such as silver, nickel, zinc etc, to help it last longer and be more durable. Gold is a very soft metal and pure gold can be distorted and wear away quickly especially if it is used a lot.

10k gold is only 41.7 percent gold. 18k is 75 percent gold and 24k gold is considered pure gold although it is measured as 99.99 percent gold since it is considered impossible to obtain pure gold.

All gold pieces should have the Karatage stamped on it somewhere.

Gram weight is the next important key item. How much does the gold item weigh? The higher the gram weight the more gold it contains, keeping in mind the Karatage, and the more expensive it will be. The more value it will have as well. This can be easily noticed with gold bracelets.

You might see two gold bracelets with the same Karatage. Say 18k. but one is chunky and the other is wafer thin. The gram weight of the chunky is going to be much more than the wafer thin bracelet although the proportion of gold to other metal remains the same, there will simply be more of it.

The design is next in line when considering buying gold in jewelry form. An antique design piece of gold jewelery is likely to be worth more than a new piece as it has an additional value of age, uniqueness and possibly rarity. Decorative gold tends to cost more as there has been more work put into it.

The Craftsmanship and quality of the gold is very important. Most of today’s gold jewelery is manufactured on machines but hand made pieces are still available and will cost proportionally more as a result. The quality of manufacture will show in how the gold is fabricated, including any fastenings and setting for gems etc. A quality gold piece will last for years with good and careful handling.

Price plays an important part and understanding the above will help you to be able to work out a good price for a gold jewelery piece. Many discounts are offered by dealers and jewelers so it pays to be wary and really find out what is being offered. Remember that the dealer is still making a profit on discounted items so how much are they really worth?

It is probably a good idea to have in mind what you want before you start looking. Get a good clear picture in your mind of the karat, weight, design and craftsmanship and design you want within your budget and then go seeking that.

The golden rule of course is to do your due diligence and know what you want and you will then really know 'how to buy gold'!

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