How to Refine 10K Gold

By Elizabeth Hannigan
You can refine unwanted jewelry.
gold image by Pali A from

Somehow, you have acquired a mass of unwanted ten karat gold. In all likelihood, this gold came to you in the form of unwanted jewelry. If you have no intention of ever wearing this jewelry and you do not want to give it away as gifts, there is no reason to keep it sitting in your drawer collecting dust. Refine ten karat jewelry into pure twenty-four karat gold bars. Sell these bars, or keep them if you feel the price of gold will rise.

Remove any piece from the scrap jewelry that is not gold. In many cases, old jewelry will be set with gems. If these gems are valuable, take your old jewelry to a professional jeweler and have them removed so that you do not damage them yourself. Most jewelers will do this for a small fee.

Buy a digital scale and weigh your gold. You should always weigh your gold yourself, rather than trusting a dealer or refiner. While many are honest and will not try to cheat you, it is worth the small investment in a scale to ensure that you are treated fairly.

Amass at least an ounce of gold. Most refineries charge 2.5% of the finished product or a minimum of $100 to refine gold. If you have less than an ounce of ten karat gold, refinery charges surpass the worth of the gold.

Locate a local refinery and take the gold in to have it refined. Call ahead first and compare the costs of refining. Most refineries take ten karat jewelry and present you with a twenty-four karat bar in exchange. If you do not have enough gold to make a bar, opt for a button instead. Some refineries pour the gold into a cast of choice, such as a prospector or an animal, if you ask them to. Another option includes mailing the gold to a refinery, such as Doral Refining, Midwest Refineries or Republic Metals. These refineries also buy gold (see Resources).

Sell the twenty-four karat gold. Some refineries will buy it from you. If you want to keep the twenty-four karat gold, choose a safe place to store it. Remember, twenty-four karat gold is too too soft to make jewelry out of. It is likely to get damaged or lost during normal wear.