Inscale's Guide to Gold Weighing
Knowing how to weigh gold is crucial for understanding how much your gold is worth. In this blog, we’re going to cover how to weigh gold, how to determine the purity of your gold and which is the best gold weight scale for you. Here's what we'll cover:
- What are gold weighing scales?
- How do you weigh gold on a digital scale?
- Can I use a kitchen scale to weigh gold?
- How to determine the purity of gold
- Do I need trade approved scales for weighing gold?
- The best digital scales for weighing gold on Inscale
Gold weighing scales are a type of digital jewellery scale that can be used to weigh gold jewellery or individual pieces of gold. They usually weigh in grams for the UK, although they may also weigh in carats or Troy Ounces which (see all of our carat balances here) remains as the official unit of weight for gold. They can be used by home users to estimate the price of their gold, or by commercial jewellers, although for selling gold you will need trade approved gold scales. Generally, a gold scale will be some form of digital compact balance.
Two main factors that determine the price of gold are weight and density (click here to see how the global gold market can fluctuate), so weighing your gold is essential to finding out how much it is worth.
The process of weighing gold is fairly straightforward, although there are a few factors to consider for how to weigh gold accurately. For weighing gold jewellery such as watches or rings with jewels on, they would have to be dismantled to find the true weight of just the gold. Also, you cannot weigh jewellery of different karats together at once – if you are weighing multiple pieces at different purities then they must be weighed individually. Items may be weighed together if they are the same karat.
Begin by using a set of digital scales for weighing gold and make sure that they measure in grams. The best gold weight scale for home use would be something like a compact scale such as the CQT ‘Core’ from Adam Equipment, as it is highly accurate, robust and very affordable.
Ensure that the weighing pan is clean and that the scale is correctly calibrated. Next simply place your gold onto the gold scale, using an envelope or container if necessary to weigh multiple items – just remember to tare of the weight first! Finish by recording the weight on the display. If your scale only weighs in ounces, you will have to convert into grams using the conversion ration of 28.3495231 grams per ounce.
Even though kitchen scales could theoretically be used to weigh gold, we would not recommend using them as gold scales. Cheap, disposable kitchen scales are often not accurate and are only designed for basic, everyday weighing tasks such as baking cakes. They may be ‘out’ by several grams and will not be manufactured with the same level of quality as a trusted digital gold scale. They are also not built to last and can mean more money spent in the long run. Specialist gold weighing scales also come with specific units (grams, carats, troy ounces) and weighing features (parts counting, checkweighing) that regular kitchen scales do not.
The purity of gold is different from it’s weight, and refers to the amount of pure gold in that is present. Gold jewellery is not usually made from pure gold as it is too soft, so it is often mixed with other metals such as copper, zinc or silver to make an alloy.
The purity of gold is measured in the unit of ‘karats’ (not to be confused with carats which are measured using a carat scale, and is a direct weight measurement equal to 0.2g), whereby one karat is equal to 1/24 of a gold part. Famously, pure gold is the equivalent to 24-karat gold.
There are two ways you can determine the purity of your gold; the first would be to look at its karat marks. This is usually found somewhere not readily visibly on the gold jewellery (think the inside of a ring or underside of a watch) and can either be defined as a standard karat measurement (10k or 22k for example), or using ‘parts-per-thousand’ numbers. This is simply a number out of 1000, say 750, which determines the amount of gold in the alloy. In this case, 750/1000 is the equivalent to 75% gold, which is also equivalent to 18 karats. To convert from parts-per-thousand to karats, simply divide by 1000 and multiply by 24. Here are some common conversions:
The second method of determining gold purity is karat testing. This is useful for measuring scrap gold that may not have a visible karat marks, and can be carried out at home with a kit or at your local jewellers. The test is fairly simple – a small sample of material is scratched off and placed in nitric acid, where the material is then monitored to see how it reacts. For more detailed information on testing the purity of your gold, see this comprehensive guide from ‘Learn About Gold’.
In the UK, the law requires you to use trade certified weighing scales for any process whereby price is directly related to weight. Not doing so could result in fines, or even prison sentences! Using gold scales is absolutely no exception, and they must be trade approved if you intend to sell. Commercial jewellers, pawn shops and gold buy-back shops should all be using a trade approved digital gold scale. Trade approved scales are subject to more scrupulous testing and aim to protect buyers and ensure that they are receiving the correct amounts they have paid for.
Inscale stocks a wide selection of weighing scales for home users and commercial gold dealers. Here’s our pick:
The Kern CM Pocket Balance is for gold dealers on the go or home users looking for an affordable, compact gold weighing scale. Designed to easily fit in a bag or pocket, the CM Pocket Scale is easy to use and features an inbuilt calculator perfect for doing any unit conversions. PLEASE NOTE: This scale is not trade approved.
The HCB Highland from Adam Equipment is a robust and intuitive trade approved digital gold weighing scale that is suited for gold dealers, jewellers and home users. It features both gram and carat unit measurements and comes with Adam Equipment’s patented ShockProtect that protects from shock loading or accidental overload. It is also battery operated and compact in size – perfect if you need a set of digital scales for weighing gold on the go.
The A&D FZ-I is a trade approved jewellery balance that would make the perfect professional gold scale for gold traders and jewellers. It measures in grams, carats and troy ounces, and features an automatic internal calibration to ensure that calibrating is kept quick, simple, and most importantly accurate. The FZ-I also features checkweighing, parts counting and percentage weighing applications to make counting jewellers faster.
Not a gold weighing scale, but the The TD-GOLD SAUTER Ultrasonic Gold Tester is a a handy tool to help determine whether gold bars or coins are genuine. It uses ultrasound waves that are fired through the object and then refleted onto a sensor. This ultrasound will react differently depending on what material the object is made from. You can find it on our sister website; The Measurement Shop.
For any more help with our range of gold weighing scales or jewellery scales, please contact a member of our team and we will be happy to help. Get In Touch with us here.