Some items that no longer serve a functional purpose still have value if they contain gold. Gold can last virtually forever, and it can be recovered from items that contain gold but have outlived their intended use. Such items are called “scrap gold” because the gold can be removed and refined. In many ways, it’s one of the earliest forms of recycling.
Throughout history, nations and people have taken objects made of gold or that contain gold and extracted and refined the gold. The gold is often refined and turned into gold bars that can be melted and turned into other objects and included as materials for other items of use. These days, scrap gold mostly is obtained when people sell scrap gold to buyers who can pay a fair rate for the gold and either keep it or sell it to others who have use for it. Let’s take a closer look at common types of scrap gold that you might have to sell.
Degraded Gold Coins
Gold coins are about the next best thing to gold bars and might be made from pure gold. Ancient societies often used gold as to mint gold coins that often were made from pure gold bullion. Although gold is mined, it still has a limited market that only gets bigger when more gold is mined and refined into bullion. Since about 1800, most gold coins are 22k gold, although some nations still mint coins that are made from gold bullion.
Many people buy gold jewelry for reasons other than wearing it. They know that quality gold jewelry holds its value based on the gold content. Jewelry typically is made from a combination of gold and at least one other metal to make it more rigid and durable. Yellow gold generally is either 14k – which is more than 58 percent gold; 18k – which is 75 percent gold; or 22k – which is nearly 92 percent gold. White gold is 9k and nearly 38 percent gold.
Various Gold-Plated Items
Gold plating can protect metal items against corrosion and make decorative items even more beautiful. The gold might be affixed using an industrial plating process. It also might be added using gold leaf. The quality of the gold often is less than jewelry, but the gold can be removed and refined for further use. Many will wind up being used for more industrialized gold plating processing or in electronics.
Old Dental Gold
Some people still get crowns and fillings that are made from gold. Dental gold varies in quality from about 10k to 22k. They work well as dental fillings and crowns when mixed into an alloy that is less likely to degrade and cause irritation than traditional fillings and crowns. Most dental gold is about 16k, which is two-thirds yellow gold.
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