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 1 Comment » Industry News, Selling Tips | By Phil Williams

How much is 14ct gold worth per gram?

14ct gold rings

You probably already know that the carat (ct) is the unit used to denote the purity of gold alloys. The higher the number, the more pure the gold, i.e. the ‘gold’ alloy has more gold content and fewer other metals. In the USA, it’s spelt ‘karat’ (kt).

The formula used by the gold industry measures carat purity as 24 x the purity by mass. This means that 24ct gold should be 100% pure or fine gold (in fact, for complex technical reasons it’s 99.9% fine gold by mass). So 14ct gold is 14 parts gold, 10 parts other metal. In percentage terms, that’s 58.5% fine gold.

The scrap value of 14ct gold

Gold is combined with other metals to alter the colour and the hardness of the finished product. You’re most likely thinking of selling your scrap gold jewellery, so let’s focus on that.

14ct gold is sometimes used for men’s rings, as the higher carats such as 22ct and 24ct, while more valuable, are considered too soft and less able to withstand prolonged wear. There’s actually a measurement for metal hardness called the Vickers scale, and 14ct gold is in the 100 – 165 HV scale, depending on the other metals used.

14ct gold is a popular purity in countries such as Greece and Italy. Customer’s should be aware that there is no official guarantee or hallmarking standard in these countries. In our experience, items marked as 14 carat (14k) from Greece are often of slightly lesser purity – around the 55% purity mark.

Our price today for 14ct scrap gold

So, now you know what your 14ct gold is made of, what’s it worth? Gold-Traders is currently paying £for 14ct gold. (Check our current scrap gold prices here).

If you weigh your scrap 14ct gold, you can then use our online calculator on the right of the page, to get an accurate quote. Look at our page about how to weigh your scrap gold, but don’t worry if your own scales aren’t that accurate – we will use our calibrated and Trading Standards approved scales to determine the exact weight and make sure you get an exceptionally good price.

March 4th, 2013 No Comments » Gold, Selling Tips | By Phil Williams

Types of platinum thermocouple wire

Platinum thermocouple wire

A thermocouple is quite simply a sensor for measuring temperature, with many applications from central heating boilers to jet engines. Thermocouples use the reaction of two dissimilar metals to measure temperature variation. The types of metal involved vary according to the temperature range in which the thermocouple operates.

Some thermocouples use relatively inexpensive alloys such as nickel, chrome, iron and aluminium. The thermocouples we’re interested in, known as Types B, R and S, use platinum – a rare and expensive material that is one of the noble metals (which also include silver and gold).

Platinum, rare and valuable

Platinum has the chemical symbol Pt and the atomic number 78, and is twice the density of silver. One of the rarest elements on Earth and extremely valuable, it is mined mostly in South Africa. As an indication of its value, the crown worn by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, as Consort of King George VI, had a frame made of platinum. Though the crown was undoubtedly spectacular, the platinum frame added significantly to its weight; a solid six inch cube of platinum weighs as much as an adult man.

We don’t expect you to send us the Queen Mother’s crown for valuation! However, though the platinum wire used in thermocouples is a relatively small diameter, its value makes it well worth selling to Gold-Traders.

Platinum qualities

Why platinum? It cannot be oxidised, withstands most acids, has high resistance to corrosion and high temperatures, and is electrically stable and an efficient conductor. In thermocouples, platinum is often combined in an alloy with rhodium, a chemically inert transition metal which is also part of the platinum group.

Types of platinum thermocouple

The ratio of platinum to rhodium depends on the type of thermocouple.

Type B Thermocouple Wire

For a Type B thermocouple, one conductor will be 70% platinum, 30% rhodium, while the other will be 94% platinum, 6% rhodium. Type B thermocouples are used for very high temperature measurements, with a usable range of around 800°C to 1800°C.

Type R Thermocouple Wire

A Type R thermocouple will have one conductor with 87% platinum, 13% rhodium, and the other conductor 100% pure platinum. It’s used for temperatures up to 1600°C, in applications such as the steel industry.

Type S Thermocouple Wire

The Type S thermocouple can also withstand heat up to 1600°C, and has one conductor that’s 90%, 10% platinum and the other 100% pure platinum. A typical application for Type S is providing the calibration standard for the melting point of gold (1064.43°C). It’s also used in pharmaceutical and biotechnology applications.

Scrap Thermocouple Prices

  • Type B: £(70% conductor) & £(94% conductor)
  • Type R: £(87% conductor) & £(100% conductor)
  • Type S: £(90% conductor) & £(100% conductor)

Selling Thermocouple Wire

Unlike other dealers, the prices we quote are the prices we pay. We have no hidden deductions and don’t charge testing or refining fees. If we receive your thermocouples within 3 days, the quoted prices per gram are guaranteed. If global platinum prices drop, we’ll still pay you what we’ve quoted. If we raise our prices, you’ll get the higher amount.

To sell your thermocouple wire, please complete our claim form. Once submitted, you’ll be asked to print a copy for signing and we’ll give you full instruction regarding packaging and postage. All packages are dealt with on the day of receipt, Monday to Friday.

February 28th, 2013 No Comments » Platinum | By Phil Williams

Why Gold & Silver Fairs are unfair to sellers

A Philip & Sons flyer adverting a local gold buying event.

  • Gold & Silver buying events are tempting, but their only real value is entertainment – you could lose out heavily if you sell there.
  • Beware promoter’s extravagant claims. They rarely stand up to scrutiny.

If you’ve seen a leaflet advertising a gold and silver buying event or fair at a local venue, such as a hotel or community centre, don’t rush to sell your valuables there. You could get far less than they are really worth.

Gold and Silver Fairs are promoted with tempting claims. Take the local event being staged by Philip & Sons, which seems like a reputable company with its Mayfair address.

Worthless claims on Philip & Sons flyer

“Top London cash prices paid”, says their flyer, although what actually constitutes a top London cash price is unclear. It also promises, “We pay better than all the rest” and “No one offers more!” These claims are unsupportable and untrue.

Let’s look at their flyer in more detail. Apparently Philip & Sons will pay a minimum six times face value for pre-1946 silver coins. Putting aside the inaccuracy that the critical date for silver content in coins is actually pre-1947, the rates quoted certainly don’t match the adjacent claim “No one offers more!” Gold Traders is currently paying well over 10 times face value. Even if you’re just selling a handful of coins, that’s a worthwhile difference.

See what you could lose

For example, at six times face value, Philip & Sons would pay 72 pence for a pre-47 shilling; we would pay £1.29. For a Florin (remember those – they were worth two shillings), it would be £1.44 from Philip & Sons, £2.58 from Gold Traders. The greater the face value, the more you’d lose out by selling to Philip & Sons rather than Gold Traders; for a Half Crown it’s £1.80 vs. £3.24, and for a Crown it’s £3.60 vs. £6.49. You could almost double your money.

We’ll point out right now that as we pay by weight, these prices are an illustration and rates will vary according to wear as well as the current silver price. Having said that, Gold Traders will pay you considerably more than Philip & Sons for even heavily worn coins.

Dramatic difference

The difference is even greater with Sovereigns. The Philip & Sons flyer promises a minimum £65 for a Half Sovereign and £130 for a Full Sovereign. Our current prices are almost double – currently £115.05 for a Half Sovereign and £230.09 for a Full Sovereign.

Not so much fun at the fair

So while selling your gold and silver at hotel or community centre buying fairs may seem convenient, you’re likely to lose out significantly. It’s best to treat these events purely as free entertainment, and sell to Gold Traders instead – where you’re always sure of a fair exchange.

More reading:

February 22nd, 2013 2 Comments » Selling Tips | By Phil Williams