Words from a Canadian goldsmith
While repairing an old ring I was admiring the work that went into making the piece. Totally handmade, obviously European design by the way it was constructed, though not a very expensive ring. The stones were worn and needed replacing, and it had a few cracks in the gold work. It was a really pretty ring though, and with a few hundred dollars to upgrade it to new condition it would make a great heirloom ring to be kept for generations in a family.
I started wondering about all the beautiful jewellery that could be saved and restored, to be handed down as heirloom pieces to children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous advertising frenzy going on right now urging you to grab all your old gold and send it in for cash. It is causing a lot of people to take the money without seriously considering some of the jewellery that they are selling.
The following paragraph needs obvious updating regarding current gold prices. Rather than continually updating todays gold price I’d just like to give you a heads up and let you continue reading the post. That said I did sell a few ounces of fine gold from my bench filings and dust so I could buy a decent Nikon DSLR camera 😉
The ring I described above weighed 3 grams, including stones, so the buyer would offer about $13.00 a gram if it was 10 kt. They would likely only pay you for 2 or 2.5 grams, taking the weight of the stones off. Giving you $26.00 for a nice looking ring that could be worn for decades if properly restored and maintained. There is meaning, and beauty in that ring every time the wearer looks at it. There is lunch at the food fair for two with the $26.00.
A lot of very creative craftsmanship is going to be melted down for scrap as long as gold remains high. I don’t want to discourage people from melting down useless items like broken chains, bracelets, or old mass produced jewellery that you never liked anyway. Now is the time to get a little cash back for it.
Some jewellery that is exceptionally unique and valuable will be seen as such by jewellery stores and resold as estate pieces after the buyer gives the scrap gold value to the seller. That is up to them as they now own the piece, and it is better that someone else can enjoy the piece as it was intended.
If anyone reading this is having difficulty making decisions regarding some of their old jewellery and are in need of some advice, please let me know. I don’t buy old gold or scrap, but I would like to encourage owners to think twice before sending a handmade piece of art to the melting crucible.
You can send me a photo if you are unsure whether a piece is worth restoring, or is perhaps too valuable to destroy. It would be better if you have a local jeweller that you trust to discus the piece with them. An honest jeweler would rather restore a worthwhile piece for you than make a few dollars from your gold.
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