Aug 18, 2011 3:44 am
When you intend to sell gold in NYC you really should know the purity of the gold. It seems like a recurring gag in cartoons that you can test the purity of a metal by biting into it. However, the process is much more complex than that. Gold purity is determined by three major factors: percentage, fineness, and karats. The three combined will help determine the inherent purity.
The percentage of gold refers to the percent of the item that is made of gold. You will notice with jewelry and other accoutrements that other metals may have been added for the sake of adjusting the color, flexibility, and durability. White gold for example is an alloy of gold with at least one white metal. Common pairings are nickel, manganese, or palladium. For colored gold, such a rose gold, copper is added to the mix. Its shade: red, rose, or pink depends on the percentage of copper added. Green gold uses silver. The higher the percentage of the gold the more pure it is.
The corresponding characteristics are fineness and karats. Millesimal fineness (also known as hallmarks) and karats are systems to denote gold based on purity in an alloy. They're number systems derived for listing gold on the market. The conversion is somewhat confusing but just remember that approximately 50% gold is 500, 75% gold is 750, and 100% is around 999 or higher. In karats it's 12K, 18K, and 24K.
You can test for purity using a kit with a bottle of solution and a touchstone or you can save yourself the trouble and go to NYC gold buyers for a professional opinion.