Charles III will be officially crowned King on the 6th May, 2023, using the Saint Edward’s Crown. Encrusted with 444 precious and semi-precious stones and weighing 2.23kg (4.9lb), many have speculated as to what the monetary value of the crown is. A few publications have attempted to break down the components of the historical relic, which gives a rough figure of £45.4 million, but we’ll do a bit more digging to figure out what it’s really worth.
Saint Edward’s Crown is widely viewed as the centrepiece of the Crown Jewels and has traditionally been used in coronation ceremonies to crown British Kings and Queens. It’s the symbol most associated with the British Monarchy which can be found in the insignia of many organisations in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. In everyday life, you’ll find it on Elizabeth II’s royal cypher, post boxes, police badges and military insignia to name but a few.
The crown is usually kept safe alongside the other items of royal regalia in the Tower of London, where the public can view it in the confines of an official museum. It measures 12 inches tall and has a circumference of 26 inches, but some of the specifications could vary slightly as it’s reshaped for new monarchs.
In the most recent coronation, the late Queen Elizabeth II wore St Edward’s Crown, but only for a brief moment. She switched to the lighter Imperial State Crown for the rest of the ceremony. Wearing the heavy St Edward’s Crown was a challenge, given its weight and the fact it added a foot to the Queen’s height. The cumbersome crown made simple tasks such as reading off a script quite difficult, as recalled in this quote given by Elizabeth II to Smithsonian Magazine in 2018:
‘You can’t look down to read the speech, you have to take the speech up. Because if you did, your neck would break and it [the crown] would fall off.’
It’s likely Charles III will keep this in mind, and switch to the Imperial State Crown for the remainder of the ceremony to spare his neck!
To provide an objective figure of value for St Edward’s Crown is possible, but it’s almost certain that its subjective value is many, many times greater. After all, an item is only worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. Reader’s Digest has speculated that it’s worth £45.4 million, but we’ll break down the crown by splitting out the materials used to construct it.
Take the gold content. When the metal is isolated, it leaves 2,028.4 grams of 22 carat gold. This is equivalent to 59.7780 troy ounces of pure gold. With a spot price of £1,624 per troy ounce as of 4/5/23, this would give a spot value of £97,079.47. Now, if you happen to find yourself in possession of this Crown Jewel, and you wanted to sell it for its scrap gold content, then we’d pay £89,553.86. That’s over 90% of the spot value, which is one of the best rates for scrap gold in the country. There’s no need to worry if it’s hallmarked or not: we offer the same rate for both, although it would greatly amuse us to find out if it was.
The gemstones and diamonds in St Edwars’s Crown are the main driving force behind the royal regalia’s value, but their exact weight is not known. In total, it features 444 precious and semi-precious stones, including 345 rose-cut aquamarines, 37 white topazes, 27 tourmalines, 12 rubies, 7 amethysts, 6 sapphires, 2 jargoons, 1 garnet, 1 spinel and 1 carbuncle. Combined, it’s likely these stones would fetch a figure of approximately £3.6 million going off guides published by the International Gem Society. Although there no specific diamond or gemstone which stands out in its own right on the crown, the fact that it was placed on it would likely inflate the value of the particular stone immensely. So, this would give a figure of at least £3,689,553.86.
There’s one last, rather unusual way of valuing St Edward’s Crown. Sharp observers will wonder if the crown is insured. One would think this would be a sensible thing to do, but amazingly, it isn’t. According to the London Evening Standard, the reason why no value is given to any item in the Crown Jewels is because they’ve never been considered for sale. But, if you want something insured, then you need to get the item appraised and valued. It’s not clear if the Royal Collections have ever done this. If they have, it might be that the insurers have looked at the St Edward’s Crown and deemed it priceless! A shame, as the Royal Collections seem to have missed out on building a no-claims bonus.
The crown can trace its origins to Edward the Confessor, the patron saint and Anglo-Saxon King which it was named after, with its first documented use in the coronation of King Henry III in 1220. From then, it was used in the coronation of Kings and Queens until the Interregnum. Unfortunately St Edward’s Crown didn’t survive the upheaval of that period, with conventional wisdom pointing toward the Commonwealth Government melting down the crown and striking coins out of it. This has never been confirmed.
A modern replica was made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661, reviving the centuries-old tradition. It didn’t last long though, as there was a 226-year gap between its use for King James II in 1685 and for George V in 1911. Edward VII was the inspiration behind its reintroduction, however he was recovering from an operation at the time of his coronation and opted for the lighter Imperial State Crown instead. Since then, the sight of Saint Edward’s Crown being placed on the monarch’s head by the Archbishop of Canterbury has been an integral part of the coronation ceremony.
As mentioned before, the Imperial State Crown is lighter than St Edward’s Crown (1.06kg, 2.3lb), but that doesn’t take away from its perceived value. It was first used in its current form in 1937 for King George VI, based on a design used in 1838 for the coronation of Queen Victoria.
Unlike St Edward’s Crown, the Imperial State Crown is composed in gold, silver and platinum and is encrusted with over seven times as many precious and semi-precious stones: 3,174 against 444. Not surprisingly, these diamonds and gemstones are the main reason the Imperial State Crown has its alleged £3-5 billion price tag, according to Tatler. Notable stones encased in it with estimated prices are:
Are you a relative of Oliver Cromwell and have the original St Edward’s Crown in your possession? We offer excellent rates on unwanted gold, so get in touch with us if you’re looking to sell. You can even use our handy calculator to find out how much your gold is genuinely worth. Don’t worry, we promise not to tell the Royal Family…
This article looks at how much 22ct gold is worth per gram today. As well as this information, it also delves into a lot more detail, which I hope will help you make an informed decision before selling your gold.
Cash for gold companies that offer free postage envelopes rely on keeping their fees and calculations secret. Unscrupulous dealers can take advantage of your confusion, meaning you could loose out on hundreds or even thousands of pounds. After reading this article, I strongly recommend you think twice before using a free envelope cash for gold service.
Right now, we’re paying £
This webpage automatically updates whenever we adjust our prices. That means that the price displayed here is exactly what we’ll pay you if you were to sell your 22ct gold to us right now.
Top Tip: Had a quote from another gold company? Before you accept their offer, make sure you obtain a clear itemised breakdown of their valuation. You need to know the weight (in grams) and the purity (carat) of your items. Once you have this information, use our handy tool to calculate the real value of your gold. It’ll help you determine whether you’re being offered a fair price. We’ve seen quotes for as little as 20% of the gold value so it really does pay to check before you sell. Bottom line, if you’re being offered less than 90%, you should go elsewhere!
22 carat gold is 91.67% pure and among the most sought-after after forms of gold available in the UK.
Pure gold is known as 24 carat gold. It’s beautiful but quite soft. 22ct gold includes a small amount of other metals like copper, silver and zinc which makes the alloy hard-wearing without loosing the bright lustre.
You’ll sometimes seen carats spelled ‘karats’ and 22ct gold referred to as ‘22k’. It’s the same thing, just an American spelling. You might also see 22 ct gold referred to as 916.7 gold or .916. That’s just a different way of talking about the purity of gold, used by precious metal experts.
UK law requires gold jewellery and other gold items to be stamped with a tiny hallmark. Hallmarks are an old form of consumer protection, ensuring the you get exactly the purity of gold you’re paying for. UK hallmarking legislation requires any item made after 1950 and described as 22ct gold to carry a ‘916’ stamp (identifying the purity) as well as the symbol of one of the four UK assay offices.
Other countries have different systems and old jewellery might have no hallmarks at all. In cases like this its hard to be sure you’ve got 22ct gold.
If you need help identifying your hallmark, take a look at our hallmark identification wizard.
At Gold-Traders, we employ high-end XRF technology to quickly and precisely test the chemical composition of the gold our customers want to sell. We’re easily able to authenticate your 22ct jewellery, ensuring you get a fast and accurate payout.
Read more: What is an XRF Machine?
The value of old gold jewellery like rings and bracelets is determined by the weight and gold content of the piece. We sometimes call the gold value of an item its ‘scrap value’. It doesn’t matter if your gold jewellery is broken or damaged: it’s still worth something.
Working out how much your 22ct gold is worth is based on two factors:
Our current price for 22ct gold is £
In the past, some coins were made of real 22 carat gold. The most famous British 22ct gold coin is the gold Sovereign. Lots of old Sovereigns, made during the time of Queen Victoria, are still kicking around and the UK’s national mint is still producing them as an investment coin.
You can definitely sell 22ct gold coins like Sovereigns and assuming they’ve never been mounted in jewellery, they’re worth more than regular scrap gold. Visit our Sovereigns page for up-to-date bullion rates. Historic and rare examples will net you more.
Other 22ct gold coins are also valuable. British Britannias, South African Krugerrands and American Eagles are made from 22ct gold and we’ll pay a premium for these collectible coins. Check out the rates we’re currently paying for gold coins, or contact us for a quick quote.
We launched Gold-Traders UK in 2008 to offer fair prices and great customer service to Brits looking to sell their unwanted gold. We’ve always sought to be transparent about how the precious metals industry works, while shining a light on the tricks employed by a few of our competitors. Our live scrap gold prices (including for 22 carat gold jewellery) are easy to access so you know exactly what we’ll pay.
In 2022, our hard work was rewarded when we became the first UK precious metal dealer to be vetted and approved by Trading Standards through their national Buy With Confidence scheme. Check their site for unbiased customer reviews or have a look at our Trustpilot page (we’re rated excellent!).
Gold Traders is delighted to announce we’ve received accreditation from the Buy with Confidence scheme, awarded by Wiltshire Council Trading Standards.
We’re the first gold buying business in the UK to receive accreditation and we hope this helps customers make an informed decision when considering the sale of their gold.
As we continue to shine a light on our low paying ‘cash for gold’ competitors, gaining recognition through the Buy With Confidence scheme is a huge boost for us. Unfortunately, our industry is littered with many companies who simply fail to give an honest and up-front indication as to the value of gold items being sold. They tempt consumers to use their service by offering free postal envelopes and the promise of ‘top prices’. However, those ‘top prices’ are never qualified up-front and they typically only offer 40-60% of the actual value of the items being sold.
The free envelope cash for gold companies pay such low prices because their operating costs are so high and most customers who sell gold simply don’t appreciate the actual value of the gold they’re selling. Once they’ve sent their items away and offered a price to sell, most customers simply accept the price they’re offered, without realising they could often receive double the amount, if they’d sold elsewhere.
Operating a free envelope cash for gold service is not cheap. Each time an envelope is used, it costs the company around £8 in postage fees. Many envelopes are returned containing nothing of value, therefore the cost must be recovered from those customers who send in genuine gold items.
These companies also typically advertise across many platforms. Radio, TV and online advertising costs a huge amount, which again must be paid for.
All these high operating costs mean these companies have no choice but to trade on a high profit margin basis – they simply wouldn’t survive if they paid the prices we pay! Of course, none of this is disclosed on their websites. You’re unlikely to find a table of rates they pay and if you ask them “how much are you paying for 9ct gold?“, you’ll often get fobbed off with something like “sorry, we can’t give you a valuation over the phone, we need to assess your item to offer the best rate possible.”
Of course, all this is just piffle. These companies are buying your items for their scrap value, at the lowest possible price. If they published their scrap gold prices online, you’d be highly unlikely to request one of their envelopes!
Give Gold Traders a try & find out why we’re different. You can use our postal service & receive payment into your account the same day we receive your items (Monday to Friday), or you can visit our secure counter for an instant valuation at our premises, which is just 10 minutes from junction 16 of the M4.
We use XRF machines to confirm the exact composition of the metal you send us. This technology helps us get you the best price but what is an XRF machine? And how does it affect the valuations we’re able to give?
We process a large amount of precious metal items every day in the Gold Traders office. Our expert team have been handling this sort of material for decades, so we can often tell by eye or by weight in the hand if we’re dealing with real gold, silver or platinum.
We back this up by examining tiny hallmarks with magnifying glasses though these can’t always be relied upon (especially with foreign material). Additionally, lots of jewellery and most coinage doesn’t display any indication of its purity.
We price your precious metals based on its purity. That’s why its vitally important that we can identify the exact chemical make up of any item accurately. To do this we use what’s called an XRF Machine.
We use our tabletop XRF machine for most items received by post at our Wiltshire processing centre.
XRF machines work on the science of X-ray fluorescence.
XRF machines produce a targeted radiation beam which, when aimed at samples, measures the amounts of each element present. The machine presents this by producing a percentage breakdown.
These machines produce lab-quality results in seconds that give us a highly accurate idea of the composition of a given item. This allows us to authenticate and process your precious metals fast, getting you the next day payment that we’re renown for.
We’re not scientists, just gold experts, but we researched the XRF process before installing our machine to ensure we understood the process.
All elements have a certain number of electrons in the atomic orbitals around their nuclei. Atoms become unstable when X-ray photons strike the object, expelling electrons from the atom’s inner orbital shells. As the atom regains stability, electrons from the higher energy outer shell moves to fill the vacancy in the inner orbitals. The transition emits photon energy known as X-ray fluorescence which the machine detects.
You can break the process down into four key steps:
This sort of tech has been used for a long time, in fact X-rays were used for chemical analysis for the first time in 1913! Commercial XRF machines are more recent with advances in X-ray tube technology improving accuracy, safety and analysis times.
XRF testing is a type of nondestructive analysis. However, it’s important to bear in mind we sometimes have to file an item to go past any potential plating the item might have.
Without this kit we would have to rely on the old fashioned ‘acid test’ method. Although still used today by many gold buyers, it’s far less accurate, which means gold buyers who rely on acid results will always pay a lower rate, just to be safe. Acid testing relies on an experienced individual making a small scratch on the surface of the metal and placing a tiny drop of highly concentrated acid on the item. The chemical reaction is observed, which determines whether the item is indeed gold and if so, whether it’s high, medium or low carat. Acid testing is unable to determine whether, for example, an item is 21 carat or 22 carat, hence a buyer using this method will always be conservative with a valuation.
However, we sometimes disassemble items for an XRF test. Watches are a good example. This is because we can get a better read if the object is broken down into difference components which may have very different compositions. In the case of a watch the case may be made of different materials to the face.
Don’t worry though: we carefully identify items that may have value beyond scrap before breaking any item down. That is, we’re not pulling Rolexes to pieces just so they fit in our XRF machine!
The amount of radiation emitted by desktop and handheld XRF machines is similar to the exposure you get from a dental X-ray. Used correctly, it is perfectly safe and does not render any object ‘radioactive’ or dangerous!
Of course, our team use our XRF machines all day every day. To protect ourselves, we follow the ALARA principle, ensuring we are subject to a dose that is ‘As Low As Reasonably Achievable’. We don’t hold items during analysis and we aim our portable device away from our bodies among other practices mandated by our risk assessments and our health and safety policy.
Since the time of our most ancient civilisations, we have used gold to decorate our bodies and our most precious objects, and to make coins and currencies around the world. But what are the main uses of gold today?
In today’s society, the gold in our coins have been replaced by metals like copper and nickel that only look gold-coloured. However, we still like to ornament ourselves with this precious metal. The vast majority of gold produced and used each year continues to be made into jewellery, from wedding rings to gold watches to tiaras. However gold has many more uses and roles to play in our twenty first century world.
The beautiful sheen and shine of gold has long been used to embellish and produce works of art and craft. Gold can be made into a powder, mixed with paint and used to create pictures. Medieval scribes used this method to make illuminated manuscripts and applied gold to highlight the lettering and borders in hand written books.
The ability of gold to be hammered into thin sheets called gold leaf makes it easy for artists to apply it to objects. It is also much less costly to apply a layer of gold rather than making a solid gold object. Modern artists like Jeff Koons continue to use gilding in their works such as his provocative sculpture of Michael Jackson and Bubbles.
Gold is highly ductile – that means it can be beaten to a thinness of 1/282,000 inch and pulled into fine threads. European goldsmiths in the twelfth century made cloth of gold for members of royalty and the aristocracy. Gold continues to be used in our modern fashion industry, especially for the most glamourous outfits and events. Gold lamé is made from thin strips of metallic fibre woven or knit into fabric. It reached the height of its popularity in 1930s Hollywood when actresses wore gold lamé gowns on the screen during the Great Depression. Ironically the audience couldn’t see the colour as the films were made in black and white – but the dresses still had an amazing sheen and flow on camera.
In the Middle Ages people thought that gold had miraculous powers. They believed that if they could find the right recipe for a drink made out of gold, it could act as an elixir of youth. Noblewomen like Diane de Poitiers in the sixteenth century drank ‘potable’ gold to try to stay young. Unfortunately consuming gold in large quantities can be toxic.
When the remains of her hair was tested in 2009, tests found traces of gold chloride and diethyl ether, suggesting that de Poitiers died of chronic gold poisoning.
In modern medicine small amounts of gold can be prescribed as a remedy. Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis can use a gold compound as an anti-inflammatory. Doctors are currently researching the use of tiny gold fragments known as nanoparticles in new cancer treatments.
As gold is nonreactive and resistant to bacterial infections, it is used in implants for the inner ear and pacemakers as well as some medical equipment such as surgical tools and life support devices.
However, the main medical use of gold is for dentistry. This is nothing new. Records from 700 B.C. show the Etruscans used gold wires to create dental bridges. Gold was used to make false teeth because it could be easily shaped and was biocompatible – meaning it doesn’t cause a reaction when placed in a human body. Some people and cultures have also used gold teeth as a visible sign of their wealth.
Today, gold is mainly used in dentistry for bridges, fillings, crowns, and orthodontic appliances because it still lasts longer than other dental materials. What was once medical necessity has become a fashion for some. Grillz – false teeth covers made of metal – are popular in hip hop culture and worn by celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Madonna.
Whilst eating gold is not going to cause any tooth decay, it will not provide any nutritional value either. Edible gold is a special nontoxic form of the metal which actually costs more to produce than non-edible gold. It has no taste or texture and will not be absorbed by the body.
However in Japan, there is a growing trend for consuming gold. The city of Kanazawa produces 98 percent of all gold leaf in Japan. One of the most popular tourist activities there is trying food and drinks covered with thin gold sheets and flakes. Visitors can sample gold-topped ice cream, shakes and even sushi.
In the UK you can buy Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps which has floating flakes of 24 carat gold. Some London restaurants have also created extravagant dishes with edible gold such as the Bombay Brasserie in Kensington. Its Samundari Khazana curry, meaning ‘seafood treasure’, included Beluga caviar-fllled cherry tomatoes wrapped in gold leaf.
Our modern world has found different uses for gold. Indeed much of our society relies on it. The unique properties of gold have aided the development of new technology such as the transistor and the microchip.
Transistors are a type of electronic switch. They act as a semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. One of the first transistors invented was made out of two gold foil contacts sitting on a germanium crystal. Microchips are made up out of transistors. They act as small units of computer circuitry used for computer memory or program logic.
Both transistors and microchips contain a fine gold wire to connect the different components and make connections. Electronic voltages and currents are easily interrupted by metal that corrodes or tarnishes. Therefore a small amount of gold is used in many electronic devices because it’s impervious to humidity or corrosion.
The invention of the transistor and microchip have transformed the world of electronics and computer design. Our mobile phone’s connectors, switches and relay contacts all contain gold. Both desktop computers and laptops contain gold in their connectors. Items from alarm clocks to microwaves to televisions, even washing machines contain a little gold. Although we can’t see it, our twenty-first century society depends on the use of the gold in much of our technology.
In 1977 the Voyager 1 and 2 space probes were launched. They contained phonograph records constructed out of gold. These records contain greetings, sounds and music to show what life on Earth is like. They are intended as a sort of time capsule for anyone – extraterrestrial life forms or future humans – who may find them. The records were made out of gold-plated copper to best preserve them in the atmosphere of space. The Voyager probes continue to sail on, drifting towards the furthest borders of our solar system.
Gold has a particularly useful quality for space travel. It is able to reflect infrared radiation. For this reason it is used on astronaut outfits, especially the visor. Space vessels also have a layer of gold coated polyester which reflects harmful rays and helps stabilize core temperatures inside. The gold in the onboard electronic devices have an added benefit in the vacuum of space as they act as a lubricant between the mechanical moving parts.
In 2020 NASA’s James Webb Space telescope is due to launch into space. The particular quality of gold that makes it so suitable for space use will actually form the basis of this experiment. The telescope’s mirrors are coated with a microscopic gold film that reflects infrared light from space to allow it to be studied by the telescope’s own instruments.
As our technology continues to grow and change, we can’t predict what the future holds in store. One thing we can be certain of however, the unique qualities of gold means it will continue to play many different roles in our society.
Unsure of the weight or type of gold you have? No problem! Simply complete our simple online claim form and send us your scrap gold for a free, no-obligation quote.
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Company Registration Number: 6521732Registered Office: 143 High Street, Royal Wootton Bassett, SN4 7AB