Most people who buy a diamond engagement ring think about the price of one and only one thing, and that is the diamond itself. They obsess over the color, cut, clarity and carat weight of the diamond, but pay no attention to the cost of the setting, or the price for the gold from which the setting is made? This is a mistake. The reason is that the markup on a wedding ring is almost always higher for the setting than for the stone itself. Yet everybody focuses on the big-ticket item, the stone not the band. This is because the “benchmark”, the diamond, is very high in cost.
The Pirelli Effect…
When you go to buy your new car, the cost might be $34,000 with normal tires, or $35,000 with high-performance Pirelli tires. Nine times out of 10, people will buy the car with the better tires. The reason is because in the scheme of things 1000 extra dollars on a $35,000 purchase does not seem like a lot.
Fast-forward, you’ve driven your car 36,000 miles and it’s time to replace your tires. You go to the local tire store and they offer you either the $1500 Pirelli tires, or the normal $500 Michelin tires. Which do most people choose? Most choose the $500 tires. When you separate the cost of the tires from the car the amount becomes very large. When you separate the cost of the setting from the diamond, the amount also becomes very large. A $1200 setting on a $10,000 ring seems like nothing. If you went out and bought a $1200 ring that amount would seem like a lot of money. So, it’s important to know what a good price is for 10 karat gold setting or ring on a standalone basis.
10 Karat Gold Per Gram
It would be rare for someone to ask the following:
How many grams of gold are there in my 10 k gold wedding band? The more likely question is what is the width of the ring? What is the size of the ring? And how many karats of gold is the metal.
This is the trick for many jewelers, because if the ring is wide and thin, you could very well be paying a lot more for your band than it’s worth because most people focus on the question “how many karats of gold in the metal?”
The very next question is about the markup on the gold itself? If you are looking for the best deal on your diamond engagement ring or any ring for that matter knowing the answer to the question how much is 10k gold worth can mean the difference between paying “Pirelli” prices versus Michelin.
How Much is 10K Gold Worth?
With the price of pure gold sitting at $43.29 at the time of the writing of this article (and easy to find price) the value of 10 karat gold is $16.60 per gram. This number will adjust up or down based on the price of 24 karat gold in the global markets, but it will always be approximately 35-40% of the price of pure, 24 karat gold.
The problem most people face is not finding out what the price of pure gold is but the price of gold when it’s diluted with other metals (i.e. 10 karat gold, 14 karat gold and 18 karat gold).
10k gold – current price $16.60 (38%)
14k gold – current price $23.60 (55%)
18k gold – current price $30.34 (70%)
Now Here is the Problem…
If you are a buyer of 10k gold jewelry, the price will also contain a markup of the metal and an artisan component (the value of the crafting of the piece). Both are fair and rational, but both can also be quite variable. If you are a seller of 10k gold jewelry, unless you are selling to someone who loves the design, the value will simply be the base metal – minus a discount.
This Means Price Compare – Always
Where is the best place to compare prices as a buyer of 10k gold?
We suggest going online to James Allen and Tiffany. To ruin the surprise, James Allen will be very low, and Tiffany will be very high. Both have a great offering, and both are rated on our site (see the sidebar on the left).
Where is the best place to compare prices as a seller of 10k gold?
Don’t go to a pawn shop or a gold broker unless you need the money right away, because you will get ripped off. We suggest eBay. In the old days, eBay was a great place to buy something for a big discount. While this is still true for unique items, those with a standardized and measurable price tend to bid themselves up to just under market most of the time.
One word of advice, once you know the price as a seller, if it has sentimental value, a family member might be the best place to start your selling process. Grandma’s cocktail ring might not be worth a lot to you, but Sissy might have been eyeballing it for years and was steamed when you got it instead of her!
The bottom line is that the price of 10k gold jewelry is quite variable. To get the maximum value, make sure you sell it to someone that appreciates and is willing to pay for the artisan value, not just the base metal value. Conversely, if you are a buyer, make sure you just pay for the design, not the brand because most people can’t tell the difference once it comes out of the box…