Have you ever looked at your gold watch and wondered, “how much gold is actually in there?” Do you even know what 14, 18, and 24-karat gold means? If so, these are questions that you will finally have the answers to. This article will further explain how much gold might be in your particular watch, and if you’re still confused, it will outline how to further investigate and research gold to really understand the intrinsic worth of the gold in your watch.

How Golden is the Gold?

This seems like a nonsensical question to ask, but it’s actually highly relevant. If you’re sure that your watch contains gold, your next question should be about the purity of the gold itself. It might be 14-karat gold, or it might be 24-karat gold.

Gold is often mixed with other metals – like copper – in order to give its strength. In its purest form – 24-karat – gold is a soft, malleable metal that you can shape simply by hitting it with a heavy object like a hammer. Enhancing the strength of gold by mixing it in with a non-precious metal is such a common practice that the karat system was devised to measure the content of gold in a particular object.

The karat system operates in 24 parts. If something is called “one-karat gold,” it would be only one of twenty-four parts gold. For this reason, you don’t hear about single-digit “karat-gold” because such a mixture could hardly be called gold at all. In higher levels, 14 and 18-karat gold, gold is the majority metal in the alloy and you could realistically call your object “gold.”

To put it more simply, if you have a 14-karat gold watch, the gold present in the metal is actually only 14/24 parts gold. A 24-karat gold watch would be considered pure gold.

So when I ask, “how golden is the gold,” it’s actually a very relevant question that will have a large impact on the value of your gold watch. So be sure you know what kind of gold you’re carring, and look for a mark somewhere on your watch if you’re not sure. Many manufacturers will list the karat rating of their gold somewhere, in small print, so that the value of the article in question can be verified.

If you’re still confused, try taking your watch to a jeweler and getting their opinion on the purity of your gold. A quick estimation from your jeweler should give you a good idea as to how much gold your watch contains.

What kind of watch is it?

The larger the watch, the higher the chance that your gold is less pure, simply because more pure gold would greatly increase its value. True, heavy, pure gold watches are rare because of the malleability of gold itself as well as the impracticality of bringing so much pure gold into one watch. If you’re not independently wealthy or a junkie for gold watches, the odds are simply against your large watch being pure gold.

You might also ask yourself the obvious questions, such as how much of your watch is even metal. Is it an antique pocketwatch that actually has a silver chain? Is it a watch with no particular gold band attached to it? Has the band been replaced before? A good, hard look at your watch will yield the answers to many of these questions.

Online metal brokers

Ultimately, a great way to find out how much gold is in your watch is to go directly to the people who value the gold itself – online metal brokers. Online metal brokers are companies that look to melt down the precious metals you can provide them. This means that they would actually look at your watch and make an offer for the actual gold it contains.

If you have never worked with an online metal broker before, make sure to work with a company that can offer insured mailing and a quick turnaround on the entire process. You’ll be able to mail your watch to them and have a check in hand soon after wards for the gold in your possession. This check won’t be for the precise market value of the gold in your possession, but it will reflect the worth of your gold as it pertains to melting down and industrial re-use.

Consider all of these options as you try to discern is actually present in your watch. If this is the first article that you’ve read regarding gold, gold watches, and online metal brokers, be sure to check out our other articles. You’ll be glad you did.