How to Determine the Value of Your Scrap Silver Jewelry

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The buying & selling market for scrap silver has become increasingly popular, and increasingly easy for people to take part in. 

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SOME ESSENTIAL PIECES OF EQUIPMENT for valuation and in-home appraisal:
-Digital Jewelry/Coin Scale
-Purity Test Kit (acid test is easiest & fastest)
-(optional) Jeweler's File (used to find out if your piece is solid or plated)

Because the value of silver is based on WEIGHT, it is important to use an electronic jewelry scale to estimate the market value of your scrap pieces.  Ideally your digital balance will measure in Pennyweight (dwt), but even a scale that weighs in Grams (g; gr; gm) will do.  (1 dwt = 1.56 g;  also 1 dwt = 24 grains).  We use Pennyweight because 1 dwt is equal to 1/20 troy ounce (ozt).  I recommend using DigiWeigh brand, as they have many models which offer both Pennyweight & Gram mode. 

The other factor which determines the value of your silver is its PURITY.  Therefore, it's imperative that you get some sort of basic test kit.  Fortunately these are very inexpensive, and you can find proper acid test kits on eBay & other sites for less than 30 bucks.  If you have no idea whether your silver is 999, 925, 950, etc,. I recommend getting the silver-testing acid solutions (a red liquid solvent).  **I recommend PuriTEST brand because I've used it many times with 100% reliability, and also because they sell a sealed 5-pack that includes the bottle of silver tester PLUS 4 acids for testing gold. ***  Do not forget that you also need a test stone to carry out the procedure--included when you purchase a PuriTEST 5-pack or 6-pack (six-pack includes. Platinum test).  You can also get a test stone for a few bucks--or a large test stone for 10-15 bucks.

*It is important to understand how the numerical purity system works.  Most silver pieces--whether jewelry, coin or ingot--are stamped with that number which represents their purity.  Your silver ring that is stamped with 925 indicates that the silver is 92.5% pure.  The 925 represents 0.925 on the decimal system, where 1.0 = 100%.  The highest purity your silver can have is 9999.  ("solid" or "pure" silver; 999 also considered "solid").

EXAMPLES OF MILLESIMAL FINENESS
999.9       999       980
958          950       925
900          850       835
833          830       800
750


Whether you've measured your silver in grams or penny-weights, the calculations to determine value are very easy. 

IF YOU MEASURE IN GRAMS
Let's say you have 5 grams 925 silver
Let's also say the current market value of silver is at $50 per ounce (troy ounce).
FIRST--There are 31.1 grams in a troy ounce, so you would divide 50 by 31.1 to find the price per gram of solid silver.  Here, the cost per gram would equal $1.6077.
NEXT--Multiply the cost per gram of silver by the purity of your 925.  1.6077 x 0.925 = $1.4871 per gram of 925 silver.
NEXT--If you have 5 grams of 925 silver, multiply $1.4871 by 5, which equals $7.44

IF YOU MEASURE IN PENNYWEIGHT:
Let's say you have 5 pennyweights of 925 silver.
Let's also say the value of silver is at $50 per ounce (troy ounce).
FIRST--There are 20 pennyweights in a troy ounce, so you would divide 50 by 20 to find the price per pennyweight of solid silver.  Here, the cost per pennyweight is $2.50.
NEXT--Multiply the cost per pennyweight by the purity of 925 silver.  $2.5 x 0.925 = $2.3125 per pennyweight of 925 silver..
NEXT--If you have 5 pennyweights of this silver, multiply $2.3125 by 5, which equals $11.56

This process can be replicated for any amount... any purity value of silver

If You Are UNSURE IF PLATED OR SOLID, and if you are testing a piece that you intend to melt/refine or sell, use a filing piece or "needle file" to cut into the silver or gold to see if it is solid or plated.

Test & Value: rings, chains, bracelets, pendants, diamond & gemstone settings, engagement & wedding bands, bangles, earrings, ear stud settings, bars, ingots & other collection coins & bullion, vintage & antique figurines and collectibles, dental gold crowns, and much more.
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