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Last updated: 18/08/2015 13:38:25

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Palladium isn’t a new metal; it was discovered back in 1803, and for over a decade has been one of the constituent metals in vehicle catalytic converters. Yet its use in jewellery has been relatively limited until recently. Now palladium is highly valued – Gold Traders currently pays £ per gram for 950 palladium. So […]

Palladium – The alternative to platinum & white gold

Palladium isn’t a new metal; it was discovered back in 1803, and for over a decade has been one of the constituent metals in vehicle catalytic converters. Yet its use in jewellery has been relatively limited until recently. Now palladium is highly valued – Gold Traders currently pays £ per gram for 950 palladium. So what makes palladium so desirable?

Palladium vs. platinum vs. white gold

Palladium is a precious metal with a natural white colour, which is particularly in demand for today’s jewellery trends. In this respect it’s similar to platinum, but as palladium is less dense it costs considerably less.

White gold isn’t truly white. The alloy mix is simply altered to reduce the amount of copper and increase the amount of zinc and silver. Doing so makes the final alloy a more pale yellow colour. To achieve the whiteness, white gold is given a plating of rhodium. Over time, the rhodium plating can wear away, thus revealing the yellow metal underneath.

Ultimately palladium may not have the cachet and exclusivity of gold or platinum, yet it is genuinely a precious metal. With the symbol Pd and atomic number 46, it’s in the same periodic table as platinum and rhodium.

Palladium’s appeal

Palladium’s lower density compared to platinum or gold means it can be used to make jewellery that’s larger with greater visual impact, yet not any heavier. This is a notable advantage for items such as earrings, where heavy pieces can soon feel uncomfortable.

With roughly half the density of platinum and about two-thirds that of gold, palladium is the perfect answer to the present trend for bigger, more conspicuous pieces. Its white colouring adds to its appeal – couples who like the look of platinum wedding rings but find them unaffordable, are often happy to have them made from palladium, with the end result looking remarkably similar.

Palladium characteristics

Back in the 1930s, palladium was mostly used as an annealing alloy to turn gold white. Subsequent technical advances in casting have seen this precious metal increasingly used in its own right, for its unique qualities.

Once annealed, palladium is soft and easy to work, yet it hardens more quickly than other precious metals. It has no ‘memory’ – in other words, once set, it retains its new shape without trying to spring back to its original form. Palladium has the lowest melting point of the platinum group metals to which it belongs (the others are platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium), and temperatures above 400°C can cause discolouration, so jewellers are careful in their use of heat when working with it.

A cost-effective alternative

From early 2000, the price of platinum steadily increased from £175/g ($330/g) to a high of over £1,183/g ($2,270/g). This price rise focused attention on alternative metals, particularly palladium.

As prices for gold and platinum have continued to rise, palladium has become increasingly attractive. The Chinese were quick to develop the market for palladium jewellery, and by mass-producing pieces, have caused palladium values to strengthen. It remains, however, more affordable than gold and platinum.

Future palladium price performance

The consequence of hallmarking is that palladium is now seen as even more respected and desirable, with a resulting increase in demand from jewellers and consumers. In fact, nearly 40,000 palladium pieces were hallmarked in the six months following the introduction of UK hallmarking.

With an increasing demand for palladium jewellery, and its continuing use in catalytic converters, electronics, aviation components, dentistry and even musical instruments, the value of palladium will at the very least be stable. The most likely outcome is that the relatively small annual supplies, which are prone to political disturbances, will make palladium more valuable – literally a precious metal.

November 26th, 2016 No Comments » Palladium By Phil Williams

Selling pre-decimal coins by weight vs face value

Pre-decimal silver coin valuation calculator

Value your coins with our pre-decimal silver coin valuation calculator

It’s very common to see dealers offering to purchase pre-decimal silver coins based on their face value. Typical deals offered are 8 to 10 times face value for pre-1947 coins and around 20 times face value for pre-1920 coins.

We receive many enquiries from customers who’ve worked out the face value of their coins & had a quote from a local coin buyer & then contact us to get a comparative quote. This can often be quite tricky for us, as we pay by weight and the customer won’t know the weight of their coins & don’t have sufficiently accurate scales on which to weigh them.

To solve this problem, we’ve produced a handy pre-decimal silver coin valuation calculator. All you have to do is enter the face value of your coins & we’ll calculate the estimated value based on our current silver payout rates. If you want to compare the amount we’re offering against a local coin dealer, you can enter their quote into our form and we’ll compare their offer with ours. We’ll even take into account your postage fees so that our comparison is a fair one.

Get the best deal

From our own comparisons, we’re paying anything from 25% to 75% more than high street coin buyers. Our rates are clear and we pay out on the day we receive your coins.

Pre-1947 silver coins

All silver coins minted from 1920 to 1947 contain 50% silver. The remainder of the alloy mix is mostly copper with a small amount of zinc and nickel.

Due to the increasing cost of silver, the Royal Mint debased all silver coins in 1920 from 92.5% silver to 50% silver. From 1947, silver was removed entirely from all coins and replaced with a copper / nickel alloy mix.

Pre-1920 silver coins

All silver coins dated 1919 and earlier are 92.5% (Sterling) silver. The remaining 7.5% of the alloy is copper.

September 11th, 2015 No Comments » Selling Tips By Phil Williams

How much is rose gold worth per gram?

A common misconception is that rose gold is more valuable than yellow or white gold.

The colour of gold is altered by the other metals it’s alloyed with. The amount of gold contained in a piece of rose gold is exactly the same for a comparative piece of yellow or white gold of the same purity.

Pyramid illustrating how the colour of gold is changed

The colour of gold is altered according to the ratio of copper, zinc and silver added.

This pyramid illustrates how the colour of gold is altered. Gold jewellery is typically made from an alloy (mix) of the following metals:

  • Gold
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Silver

As already stated, the amount of gold used is fixed according to the purity (or carat) of the gold. Therefore, it’s the mix of the other metals that changes the colour. With rose gold, more copper is added & less zinc and/or silver is used. With white gold, less copper is used and more zinc and/or silver is added.

It’s worth noting that white gold isn’t truly white, it’s still a very pale yellow. The perfect silver/white appearance of white gold is achieved by giving the item a plating of rhodium. So, bear in mind that over time that rhodium plating will wear away and reveal the true colour underneath, at which point you’ll need to get it re-plated to restore it to its original colour. If this is likely to be an issue, it’s probably better to consider having the item made of platinum or palladium instead.

The value of 9ct rose gold per gram

Like 9ct yellow gold, 9ct rose gold contains 37.5% gold. A typical piece of 9ct rose gold will be made from the following alloy of metals:

  • 37.5% gold
  • 55% copper
  • 5% silver
  • 2.5% zinc

Gold-Traders is are currently paying £ for all 9ct gold.

The value of 14ct rose gold per gram

14ct rose gold is 58.5% gold.

Gold-Traders is are currently paying £ for all 14ct gold.

Please be aware that 14ct gold is very popular in countries such as Greece. However, whereas jewellery purchased in the UK is subject to very strict hallmarking legislation that guarantees the purity of the item, such rules do not exist in Greece. Through our own experience, it appears to be common practice for a piece of Greek jewellery that’s stamped as 14ct gold only to contain between 50 – 55% gold.

The value of 18ct rose gold per gram

Just as 18ct yellow and white gold contains 75% gold, so does 18ct rose gold. The remaining 25% of the alloy is mostly copper with a very small amount of silver and/or zinc.

Gold-Traders is are currently paying £ for all 18ct gold, for both hallmarked and non-hallmarked items.

 

August 21st, 2015 No Comments » Gold, Selling Tips By Phil Williams

Selling Masonic jewellery

Masonic ball fobs in 9ct gold

Masonic ball fobs in 9ct gold

A Masonic jewel, ring or fob will have been a treasured possession by its owner. When such items pass to family members, they are often disposed of, as they may have little meaning to their new owner.

Commonly made of gold and / or silver, when such items pass to family members, they often, sadly, find their way to scrap gold buyers who are purely interested in their metal content. Inevitably, this means the item will be melted down and lost forever.

If you are considering selling any Masonic jewellery, please contact us first. Not only will we pay higher than ‘scrap’ rates for any Masonic items, we’ll also ensure that Masonic items are given a new home – which is what the original owner would have wanted.

We are always interested in the following items:

Masonic ball fobs

Worn on watch chains from the early 1900’s, Masonic ball fobs are usually made of gold and / or silver. The ball opens out into the shape of a cross.

Past Master jewels

Worn to signify a Master Mason has held the rank of Worshipful Master, Past Master jewels are often made of gold. A jewel will usually be engraved with the owner’s name.

Masonic rings, pins & cufflinks

There has always been a huge array of Masonic jewellery to choose from, from rings, tie pins, cufflinks and watches. As with any other Masonic item, please don’t sell these for standard ‘scrap’ prices as you will receive a much lower price.

Other Masonic items made of gold or silver

It is impossible to compile a full list of all things Masonic as such a list would go on forever! Suffice to say, any item of jewellery, gold or silver that is large enough to accommodate a square and compass will probably have been produced in Masonic form at some time or other.

Give us a call to discuss the sale of all things Masonic. It’s always without obligation and we will certainly offer you far more than other gold buyers.

January 16th, 2014 2 Comments Selling Tips By Phil Williams

The scam behind the gold buying comparison websites

The top five companies listed on this comparison site are all affiliated to the site itself.

A price comparison website is supposed to give you honest and impartial information to help you locate the best deal, right? No so with with gold buying comparison sites.

A recent BBC programme discovered the site they investigated was rigged and listed prices from companies they were affiliated with. Our own detective work has revealed other so-called ‘comparison sites’ can’t be trusted.

The BBC investigation, broadcast on Radio Four’s ‘You and Yours’ programme, followed a number of complaints about the service and deals offered by scrap gold companies on the gold buying comparison website, www.compare-the-gold-price.com.

False promise and low prices

The company highlighted in the investigation and one of ten then appearing on the compare-the-gold-price.com website was www.cash-for-gold.co.uk. On their own site, cash-for-gold.co.uk promise “more per gram than any other gold buyer”.

However, all the programme’s participants received offers from cash-for-gold.co.uk that were significantly lower than they expected, and often lower than the cash-for-gold.co.uk’s online gold calculator said they’d receive. In one case, broadcast on the Radio Four programme, cash-for-gold.co.uk only offered £845 for gold items that were actually worth £2,200.

All the participants had found cash-for-gold.co.uk listed as one of the ‘top ten’ gold buying companies on compare-the-gold-price.com. They’d chosen cash-for-gold.co.uk as, at the time, it offered the highest price on the site.

Rigged and artificial prices

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 You & Yours investigation into gold price comparison websites

However, as the BBC’s investigative journalist discovered, the top listed gold buying companies listed on the compare-the-gold-price.com were all run by, or connected to the same individuals. This meant the comparisons were artificially rigged, and a scam.

Additionally, the prices per gram shown on the comparison website hadn’t changed for several months, despite the actual price of gold fluctuating on a daily basis.

Our own investigations have also confirmed that the owners of compare-the-gold-price.com are also connected or affiliated to the following websites:

  • The British Gold Refinery – britishgoldrefinery.co.uk
  • The London Gold Refinery – londongoldrefinery.co.uk
  • We Buy Asian Gold – webuyasiangold.com
  • Cash Your Gold – cash-your-gold.co.uk
  • Daddy Cash for Gold – daddycashforgold.co.uk
  • Best Price for Silver – bestpriceforsilver.co.uk

Incidentally, the British Gold Refinery – (britishgoldrefinery.co.uk) – has recently been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for running misleading pricing information on their website, has been slammed by the BBC TV’s Ripoff Britain programme for dishonest trading and is also is the subject of a Facebook campaign by disgruntled former customers, calling for the company to be closed down.

Unauthorised activities

To give the site a veneer of credibility, compare-the-gold-price.com also listed a price from H. Samuel – a well-known High Street jeweller, and a name the BBC’s callers recognised and trusted. They said that because H. Samuel was on the site, they felt the comparisons would be valid. In fact, H. Samuel was horrified when the BBC contacted them; the company hadn’t given its permission to be on the site, and in fact hadn’t provided an online gold buying service for over a year. The price couldn’t possibly be genuine and was obviously a fabrication intended to make the other gold buyers look more attractive.

Not to be trusted

H. Samuel’s spokesman said the company would refer the matter to their legal department. Interestingly, H. Samuel no longer appears on compare-the-gold-price.com’s website, which now quotes a price from Tesco Gold Exchange. Again, this is presumably without permission, as the price per gram shown on the comparison site is not what Tesco Gold Exchange is actually offering (at the time of writing this article).

Appalling service

It wasn’t only the prices received from cash-for-gold.co.uk that gave the Radio Four You and Yours callers cause for concern. In each case, they’d had to threaten legal action either to get a price, or to get their gold returned. One caller admitted she accepted what she knew was a very poor price from cash-for-gold.co.uk, because she feared she’d never get her gold back at all. And remember, the other top three companies on this so-called comparison website were connected with cash-for-gold.co.uk – so you could expect a similarly poor response from them.

The comparison scam

Our own researches have shown this problem isn’t isolated to compare-the-gold-price.com. If you dig deeper, you’ll find most of the gold buying comparison sites are either affiliated to, or receive income from those sites it lists. For example, the comparison site comparethegoldprice.co.uk lists goldrefiners.co.uk as their top paying company. Not surprising when you discover those two sites are connected!

Unregulated websites

Gold buying comparison websites purport to offer a fair and transparent comparison of the prices different companies will pay, as we’re used to seeing with insurance comparison websites. However, insurance comparison sites are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, but there’s no control at all over the gold buying comparison sites.

Poorer prices, guaranteed

Another point to note is that the gold buying companies appearing on similar comparison sites generally pay commission for referrals. That’s typically £20 – £30 per referral, which goes to the comparison site owner and is inevitably deducted from the amount they’re prepared to pay you for your gold.

How to find a better price

So what’s the answer? Quite simply, if you don’t want to be scammed, or you want to achieve a fair price for your gold, don’t bother with gold buying comparison sites. Bullion dealers, such as Gold-Traders (UK) Ltd don’t appear on any comparison site because a. We’re independent and b. We don’t pay affiliate referral fees (as they would result in lower payments to our customers). In short, you’ll be rewarded with a better price and a higher standard of service than you could ever expect from a comparison site.

External sites

September 10th, 2013 2 Comments Industry News, Selling Tips By Phil Williams