The MGS Precious Metals Blog

Manhattan Gold & Silver is an industry leader in precious metal pricing and refining with more than 30 years of experience. During our time in the business, we’ve found the topic of precious metals to be a vast and interesting one. Here on our precious metals blog, we write in-depth posts about the science of precious metal refining, historical and modern uses for precious metals, market news, and much more. Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay current, and discuss the latest posts on our Facebook page.

Recycling Gold

April 22, 2010 07:48

While Earth Day is but one day a year, it reminds us that the earth is delicate and the resources it provides need to be protected.  One way to help protect the planet is to recycle gold.  Gold is one of the mos thighly recycled metals because of its value. According to the world gold council, a minimum of 15% of the annual gold consumption is made from recycled gold. So with that, every time you bring gold in to be recycled, you are helping the earth. This recycled gold is purified and then made into bricks to be sold to jewelers, dentists and other industries to reuse this precious metal. 

Because gold is so stable and valuable, it has always been recycled.  In an economic sense, there is no true consumption of gold, but rather the ownership is transferred from one party to another.  So, there may be a chance that the gold you own could have ancient roots or in fact be royal!   

At Manhattan Gold and Silver, we can recycle gold found in many different types of goods.  We will recycle gold from jewelry, electronics, dental appliances and more.  If you have gold that you need to recycle, we invite you to contact us at 212-398-1454 or stop by our location in the Diamond District at 45 W 47th Street· New York, NY 10036. 

Standard Gold Bars

April 15, 2010 12:42

When we think about gold bars or bricks, the image below is probably the type we all picture in our minds.  There is only one standard size and weight of a gold brick for the London Bullion market Association (LBMA). But, did you know that this standard has some variations? 

The London Bullion market Association (LBMA) sets standards for the makeup (purity and weight) for gold bars.  A "standard"gold bar weighs approximately 400 troy ounces and has a minimum fineness of 995 parts per 1,000 pure gold (99.5% purity).

The standard unit of gold bullion settlement is the London Good Delivery Bar. Physical transaction of a London gold trade requires gold bar(s) conforming to the following specifications:

  1. Weight
    • minimum gold content: 350 fine ounces (approximately 10.9 kilograms)
    • maximum gold content:430 fine ounces (approximately 13.4 kilograms)
    • The gross weight of a bar should be expressed in ounces troy, in multiples of 0.025, rounded down to the nearest 0.025 of an ounce troy (see LBMA paper on "Weighing, Packing and Delivery Procedures for Gold and Silver Bars" at Annex D).
  2. Fineness
    • The minimum acceptable fineness is 995 parts per thousand fine gold.
  3. Marks
    • Serial number
    • Assay stamp of Acceptable Refiner
    • Fineness
    • Year of manufacture (expressed in four digits)
    • Marks should be stamped on the larger surface (normally the cast surface at the top of the mould) of the two main surfaces of the bar.
  4. Appearance
    • Bars should be of good appearance, free from surface cavities and other irregularities, layering and excessive shrinkage.
    • They must be easy to handle and convenient to stack.
    • Bar size, content and purity

The bar making process makes it difficult to produce bars of consistently accurate weight, so the LBMA does not impose a narrow range of bar weights and instead specifies the 350 to 430 ounce range described above. But most bars are much closer to 400 ounces than this range implies.

The specification is very demanding on purity and actual bar weight, because it is the fine gold content that is paid for - impurities come for free!  So a bar's weight - however far removed from 400 oz - is multiplied by the purity to give the actual fine gold content.



Calculating the Value of Your Scrap Gold

March 12, 2010 10:26

With the price of gold on the rise and holding fairly steady, consumers and business owners have been cashing in on their damaged or scrap gold.  To determine how much your scrap is worth, you will need to know the purity as well as the weight.  To calculate an approximate value, you will also need to know which market / prices your gold refinery is basing their payouts on.  Manhattan Gold & Silver calculates their scrap gold payout based on the London Fixings released twice daily by the London Bullion Market.   Hedging options are available in order to make spot trades throughout the day, limited to certain accounts.

Start by separating your gold into karat weight (10k, 14k, 18k, etc.).  As a reminder, 24 karat is 99.9% pure gold.   Jewelry is not normally made with this karat weight since it is so soft; it is more commonly found in gold bars and coins.  14 karat is 58.5% pure gold, and is the most popular choice for jewelry.  Use the following chart as a reference when determining the purity of your scrap gold.  Do keep in mind when calculating your scrap gold you want to leave a half karat room for error.  This is to account for solder and other impurities on jewelry.


Once you have separated your gold by purity, take the weight in pennywiehts divided 20 X assay X percentage return X gold price.  You can simply call for a pennyweight price; this is what we use for small quantties when tested by hand.  Higher percentages are paid for melts and assays.  The LBMA sets gold fixings per troy ounce, which is not a commonly used metric outside of the jewelry industry.  If your scales do not provide a troy ounce reading, consider keeping a troy ounce conversion chart or gold calculator handy for quick reference.

Payouts for scrap gold vary based on the size of your lot, purity of gold, and percentage your gold refinery keeps for their services.  Manhattan Gold & Silver is equipped with on-site furnaces, which allows for same day melt, assay, refining and payouts.  Calculate your estimated payout using the tools above or contact us today for a free quote.

Sell Your Lot

Sell Your Lot >

Get an instant payout quote for your precious metals, then choose from 2 ways to sell.

MGS Apps

MGS App >

Download our precious metals prices app and take advantage of a suite of unique tools, including historical charts, price alerts and more!