BUYING GOLD IN CANADA: HOW IT WORKS
Sell gold, silver and other precious metals with confidence at Canada Gold
As a leading network of neighbourhood Canada gold buyers, transparency is an essential part of Canada Gold’s ethos. We want to equip you with the knowledge you need to sell gold and silver with confidence.
There are a number of ways to evaluate your items and you will be involved every step of the way. The process usually takes 15-30 minutes. Larger transactions may require more time. Learn about our evaluation process below, or contact us toll-free at 1-888-682-5832 if you have any questions.
Find your nearest Canada Gold buyer store and come see our friendly staff. One of our buyers will usually be able to see you right away. Depending on volume there may be a short wait. You can always call ahead to make an appointment to avoid potential delays.
First, we use an earth magnet to determine if items are clearly not gold or silver. Gold and silver are not magnetic, so moving an earth magnet over the jewelry will tell us instantly if they’re the real thing. Unlike regular fridge magnets, earth magnets are powerful permanent magnets made from alloys of rare earth elements.
Next, we check for purity stamps. They tell us what the item was sold as and are a fairly reliable way of identifying the gold purity. However, it is not uncommon to find an item stamped as solid gold that is actually gold-plated. Most stamps are visible to the naked eye, but some may be stamped on the tiny posts of earrings or are too worn down to make out. For this we use a jeweler’s loupe, which gives 20x magnification. We group the stamped items onto a sorting grid on our desk in front of you and unstamped items are placed to the side.
If there are no stamps, or the piece is over 18 karats, or the buyer wants to validate the stamp value of any items, we test each item in one of two ways. Coins or bars of trusted karat and weight will skip any validation at the discretion of the gold buyer.
Acid Scratch Test
The acid scratch test is where we scratch an item on a smooth touch stone (similar to slate). This makes a fine mark on the stone and does not damage the piece in any way. If this test goes well, it may be the only one needed.
If the item is unstamped, we begin with 10kt acid and compare the ‘unknown’ item to a test key (a sample of gold with a known purity). The unknown scratch should stay very bright and solid. If the scratch fades, we return the item to the client since we cannot purchase unmarked pieces that do not meet the 10kt acid test. If the scratch stays vibrant, we replicate the test with a 14kt acid. If it passed at the 10kt level but failed at the 14kt, then we know the item is 10kt. If the item passed at 14kt we continue testing with increasingly stronger acids.
If the item is stamped we compare the item to a test key at the specific karat rather than working our way up from 10kt acid. If we find that the item performs as well as the test key, we will purchase the item at the stamped karat. If the test is close, we will give the item the benefit of the doubt. If the item clearly doesn’t test well at the stamped karat, we will work to evaluate the true karat of the item.
X-Ray Fluorescence Testing
If visual and scratch testing methods do not confirm clear results, items can be tested by an X-ray fluorescence scan. The machine used for this test is an incredibly powerful state-of-the-art device capable of providing detailed analysis by measuring the intensity of the generated gold X-rays by wavelength dispersion analysis. When testing is complete, a full report indicates the percentages of gold content as well as other alloying metals such as copper, silver, zinc, etc. This method is remarkably accurate.
Specific Gravity Machine
The Specific Gravity Machine determines the purity of gold by measuring its density underwater. We weigh the item once on a normal scale and once under water. The difference in the weights determines the density of the item. Since gold is one of the densest elements, we can identify items that are gold plated and identify the purity (karat) of gold based on the density.
Once all the items have been sorted by karat, we weigh them on a scale. The scale is calibrated regularly and you can ask to have it recalibrated again on the day. Our scale will show you the true weight of your items in grams. Typically we weigh all items identified at a particular karat together, but we can also weigh individual items for you.
If items have stones or inserts we will subtract the estimated weight of those stones. Gems the size of 1 carat diamonds weigh approximately 0.2 grams. We assess the rough size and number of stones in the items and subtract this weight from our estimate. For example, if a piece has 4 small stones around 1/10th of a carat we will subtract 4 times 1/10th of 0.2 grams (i.e. 0.08 grams). This is only an estimate to provide an initial quote to you.
Our prices are based on the current market price of gold and silver (check today’s gold price in Canada). Your payout is based on the purity (karat) and the weight of your items. We give you an estimate and leave you to decide which items you wish to sell. There is no commitment on your part.
Some large items may not be solid gold or silver. These items are sometimes difficult to spot as they can be thickly plated, or filled with weights. A final test before payment may be required by the buyer to confirm the item is not fraudulent. This can involve cutting the piece and damaging it beyond repair. We will ask your permission before these types of tests. Essentially, we have agreed to pay the quoted price if the item is not fake. If you do not wish to have the test performed on your item, we will happily return it to you, but will not be able to purchase the item.
If you are satisfied with the quote and have agreed to sell your items, the buyer will remove any easily removable stones and inserts and do their best to remove any that you specifically request. On the open market small used stones have little to no value but you may be able to use them in the design of future jewelry. Once stones and inserts have been removed, the items are weighed again to adjust the final quote. We do not charge for testing or estimates (as you may find elsewhere), and you will be paid on the spot without any hidden fees.
To make things safer for us and for you, any payouts more than $30 are paid by cheque and can be deposited directly into your bank account.
Finally, we’d like to thank you for your business. Our philosophy of transparency and excellent customer service is the reason why we have such high customer referral and return rates. If you have the time, we encourage you to shop around to see for yourself. We have no doubt you’ll find us to be the most honest and transparent Canada gold buyer, with the highest payout for your gold and silver.