Gold Bidders Be Wise To Color, Maker, Stamp, Year, & Size
Gold comes in colors because of what the gold is mixed with. Rose gold is more pink because it is mixed with more copper than silver. It's usually older gold & in good condition. Green gold is mixed with more silver. If the green gold has a green stone, it can be very attractive. Silver is heavier than copper so more gold is in rose gold than in green gold.
Both rose gold & green gold are usually antique. When gold is antique, the value is greater because it's older & purer, frankly. If it is in great shape (meaning not smoothed down to unreadable markings such as its year, stamp, maker, or logos) then it has antique value. If it is over 50 years old & all of these marks & art are crisp & clear, the gold is unscratched, uncut & as if new from the box, it can be called "mint condition." Rings this age are usually not machine made; they are hand hammered & quite beautiful by comparison to machine cast ones.
Makers of gold rings stamp their logos or names inside, along with the gold content: 9KT, 10KT, 12KT, 14KT, 18KT, 24KT (24KT being the purest of gold content, as in mixed with little to nothing else but pure gold).
Though we might believe that 24KT is better to buy, it's extremely soft. 24KT gold is less wearable on an everyday basis because it will become more easily bent, broken & scratched. So is 18KT. Neither of these gold KTs are suitable for rugged everyday wear. Plus, both are much more expensive! Every time you polish 18 or 24KT gold, you're losing some of it on the polishing cloth or buffing machine. This means over time you'll be losing gram weight & surface beauty.
In the US, gold is weighed in grams & ounces (so is silver & copper). Around 31.01 grams is a Troy ounce of gold (including whatever alloy with which it is mixed). 14KT gold has a quite lovely petina (hue) & is durable, both; thus, it's wearable & isn't fast to waste away being polished or occasionally buffed. 10KT gold is usually less rosy looking; but, if you're a guy who wears rings when working with wood or metal, 10KT is probably the most durable & longer lasting gold KT for you.
White gold is the most durable at 10 & 14KT. But, it's easily mistaken for silver; thus, might be viewed as cheaper when it's really not! On the contrary. White gold looks great with white diamonds, for example; & silver is too soft to trust diamonds to be mounted in. Some Russian diamonds are golden & they look spectacular in wedding type rosy golden channel bands. Plus, diamonds are less likely to break out of channel bands than they are in yellow gold prongs. White gold is often used to mount diamonds in the prongs because of its durability. Ever noticed that? The band is yellow gold & the prongs holding the diamond is white gold.
Makers like Dieges & Clust, Balfour, John Robbins & Art Carved are famous for creating gorgeous gold rings that are quite ornate. Some of their antique rings are handmade! If they are in excellent condition (meaning not smoothed out, worn down, cut or scratched up) they can be extra valuable. These are collectible.
Art Carved & Jostens are mainly known today for making standardized graduation rings by machine. (Jostens will trade a BA ring for a MA or Ph.D. ring of the same gram weight of gold with 55$ & update your Josten's made older class ring (making it into the newer degree one), if they serve the school you are newly graduating from! Contact Jostens online or by phone to create your new ring (make sure they serve your university). Then send the ring insured to them with 55$ (that price may change over time).
Most of these ring makers will replace chipped, missing & smashed stones for around the same cost (55$) (depending on the size & type of stone, of course). Josten rings today are all machine made by usually casting them in halves then putting the stone in & melding them together. Just looking at them it is easy to see they are machine made with sharp edges. Hammered antique class rings have smooth & rounded features that don't look or feel machine cast. People who collect antique gold rings don't find machine cast ones as attractive as hand hammered ones. It's like the difference between a real Picasso & a fake.
On eBay, a seller with 20,000 or more positive feedbacks is giving us the run-around if they don't name the gram weight, KT stamp, ring size, ring maker & condition of the stone. (The dog ate their scale!; they left their sizer at work; they don't have time to weigh it; Aunt Tilly is sleeping in their office...). Insist upon knowing (in eBay message portal writing from the seller) each of these specifications before bidding or buying.
So, ask them, point blank via eBay's message server portal, to tell you these specifics before you bid! Is the stone chipped? Is the gold crisp or smoothed down? Has the ring been cut for sizing? Is it out of round? Who is the maker? How many grams does it weigh? Is there gold behind the stone? (If there's gold behind the stone the weight is from more gold; resin can fill in the back of a stone & is worthless weight; if the seller doesn't know a ring's weight, knowing if there is gold behind the stone lets a buyer know they're bidding on more gold. Class ring stones are very rarely real and weigh next to nothing).
If a seller claims not to know the ring size, ask them if a dime, penny, or nickle will pass thru the opening: (See my guide on this coin sizing tip). My coin sizing trick gives a general idea of the size & amount of gold in the ring. If a seller says they don't know the gram weight, ask them to measure the back band & front head of the ring in either centimeters or parts of an inch. If they won't bother, I guess we won't bother bidding, either! Sellers should be financially rewarded for good selling work, including their written item description & photographs; not for being too lazy to provide essential information.
If they will give you these specs on the gold item you're considering a bid on, you'll have a decent idea if you're bidding on a paper thin gold ring or a chunk of gold. If a seller has only a few feedbacks, a lousy photo & yet specifies in writing about all of these things for you & the bidding is going nowhere--staying way low because they are a new seller--it might be a good idea to take a low bid risk & insure what you win for shipping, for sure (it's very inexpensive to insure). You might wind up with the bargain of the year!
14KT gold stamps on necklace chain lobster catches don't mean a thing . . . sometimes! A tricky seller might show a close up photo of the fat figaro necklace or bracelet lobster or slide catch & the rest of the necklace or bracelet is not one tiny bit of gold at all! Same thing can go for earrings: the post might be 14KT & the rest be a modern thin layer of electroplated gold on top of the same metal a nail is made of & worth about .10 cents. Go to the dollar store instead! Crosses are auctioned on eBay with the same problem: the bail (loop a chain passes through) is stamped with a KT mark; but, the cross itself isn't gold at all. ASK ON eBAY'S MESSAGE SERVER & KEEP THE SELLER'S RESPONSE.
So, scrutinize gold before you leap; but leap after you've asked your questions, like the seller's answers, speed in replying & friendliness; or even when the bid is low, picture's bad & the seller doesn't know what they've got. The sellers with anywhere from 200 to 30,000 positive feedbacks know what they've got & rarely let gold of any kind go for a pittance. Don't let them play dumb. They know the peak bidding times world wide & fix their gold items to end then. Or place them in an eBay store until they get their highest price. Be patient: eBay stores are notoriously much more expensive, if not scalping!
If you're just melting gold down to make something else, go for the old smoothed out gold that hardly anyone wants. Or broken mixed lots. But if you're a collector who wears rings all the time & chains around your neck or wrists, as well, then don't leap before you do your research. (Koreans believe that gold is healing, especially for arthritis).
Finally, don't forget to see how much the seller is going to charge for shipping. If a seller starts a bid at .99 cents & their shipping price is $25, report it to eBay as eBay fee circumvention. This is a scam. A gold ring, necklace, bracelet, or earrings literally cost only 2 bucks in a bubble envelop, with insurance, first class USPS mail. (An eBay seller from Thailand ships heavy jewelry (45 grams) for 3.50$ & less than that if we buy multiple items! His packages arrive in 7 days!) If sellers are going to charge you 7$ more than that for handling, you're being suckered, unless you've found the gold jewelry of your fondest dreams.
While a seller might sound like a real expert advertising that "gold was over 650.00$ an ounce last night," pawn shops are still paying anywhere from $3-7 a gram for any karat of gold, regardless of retail or wholesale value. They don't care. They're going to make a killing at your expense. Lots of pawn shop dealers sell on eBay!
Paying 5, 7, or 10 bucks a gram for gold on eBay--unless it's a very rare item or the gold piece of your fantasies, or from a famous military academy, or Tiffany's, or some such rarity--is average. Paying much more than that on eBay is flat out nuts.
eBay will advise us to place high bids because they can automatically bid for us. But, if you are serious about winning an auction, be there at the ending half hour through the very ending seconds of an auction. Snipers place bids within the last 2-6 seconds. If you really want an auctioned item, be ready to place your instant highest bid right at the very last few seconds.
Another nifty way to find a great deal is by watching newly listed "Buy It Now" items; again though, impulsive bidder beware. There are selling sharks hidden in surface waters at feeding time. Don't lose an arm & leg to one of them because you didn't ask questions about the item or feel out how the seller behaves through email.
No matter what, when you want to win that choice gold item, be there at the end of the auction & prepared to bid during the last 6 seconds when most snipers suddenly bid 10-20$ higher than the last bid to slam-dunk win the auction. However, there's such a huge turn over of very similar items on eBay, know your spending limit. Bidding itself can be addictive. Set a top dollar for the item & don't spend over it. If you lose, remember, another item exactly, or very much like it, will turn up on eBay in a few months or less!
If I really want a gold ring, for example, I'll find out by bidding what the highest bidder has bid. Then place anywhere from 5-10 bids afterwards with no one knowing what I've bid. Could be a dollar, could be 100$. On heavy college rings, if the bids are low up to the last three hours of the auction, bet on it that the snipers will all appear in that last crucial minute.
When you really want a ring, bid your high bids during the last minute. Hackers cannot get to a non-sitting bid in that minute. Snipers usually won't out bid us either when we know their habits & tactics. One is to bid at 6 to 2 seconds at the auction's end. Sit there, refreshing the page, waiting to see when they outbid with a 1-click highest bid already typed in the box & ready to send: we're one press of a send button from winning.
Serious gold collectors & sellers are quite savvy to all of these auction techniques so we have to be even more so.
If you found my gold guide interesting or helpful, don't forget to let me know by voting for it. Thanks kindly!