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Gold is famous for its beautiful appearance and high value, but how can you tell an item’s true worth? Antique’s expert Anita Manning joined The Hour to prove she’s still got the Midas touch with her latest antiques master class.
She said: “This is Anita’s antiques master class – a mini guide to how you can tell the trivial trinkets from the true treasures. Today we’re going to look at gold and jewellery.”
The price of gold has skyrocketed in the past year, but before you buy that hidden treasure it’s important that you first check the item’s purity. This information can be found in the hallmark.
You may see a number between one and 24 etched into the gold. 24-carat gold is the most pure, but it is soft and hard to work with, so is usually mixed with other elements like silver or nickel. This decreases the gold’s purity, with one-carat gold being the least pure.
Alternatively, their may be a far larger number. A “375” in the hallmark means that the metal is 375 parts gold per 1000, otherwise known as 9-carat gold. Double that, 750 parts gold per 1000, would be 18-carat gold.
Another indicator of an item’s worth is its weight. Gold is a heavy metal, so if an object is heavy it likely contains plenty of gold.
Finally, an object may also have antique value. Rare collectibles or elaborate trinkets may not be to today’s taste but to the antiques collector they could be incredibly interesting and worth paying for.
Anita added: “So purity, weight and antique value. These are the three things that we should be looking at in valuing our gold.”