How to Price a Gold Chain by the Gram: 9 Steps

«Give Me a For Instance»

What is the cost of gold jewelry? How does the cost of gold jewelry compare to the price per ounce of gold on the metals market?
Are rings more expensive by weight than chains? What is retail markup? What makes one type of gold jewelry more expensive than another?

Here at Calla Gold Jewelry we get asked and try to answer all kinds of jewelry questions. With help from my mathematically happening husband Jeremy, we take on these questions!

So let’s say a particular 14k gold chain weighs 20 grams. Remember, only 58% of the weight is pure gold. The other 42% is a conglomeration of other metals. (Called alloy metals). So: 58% of 20g = 11.6g.

But wait! In the store that 20 gram chain is selling for $1,500.00 What’s up with that?
1. Our calculations up to this point haven’t included the cost of the other metals.

2. We haven’t figured in the cost of labor to make the chain.

3. We haven’t bumped up the price to a retail level. So far, we’ve been figuring things out on a beginning level.

Blue Topaz bezel set necklace with snake chain

Snake Chain, Machine Made in Italy 14kt

What this means is that if the 20 gram chain is selling for $1,500.00 and $484.88 is the cost of the gold, the other $1015.12 ($1500.00 — $484.88 = $1015.12) includes the cost of the other metals, the labor, and the jeweler’s profit.

All I can tell you with certainty is that if pure gold is selling for $1300/oz. and the weight of the 14k chain is 20 grams, then the melt price of the  gold is worth $484.88. There is no way to know what the jeweler paid for the chain from the manufacturer.

How to Price a Gold Chain by the Gram: 9 Steps

Add Gemstones and it’s a Whole New Calculation

Finally, we’ve only talked about the gold. If there are gemstones in the piece… Yikes! So for that reason we’ll just speak to gold-only jewelry in seeking a rule of thumb.

To have a rule of thumb on what mark-up to expect, think a minimum of double. If the cost of a chain is $500.00 expect to pay $1,000.00 or more. A machine made chain will have a cost of the gold, plus alloyed metals, plus labor to make it.

How to Price a Gold Chain by the Gram: 9 Steps

I Use This to Illustrate That When Changing Metal, the Price Goes Up

Earrings, rings, bracelets, are all more complex to create than machine made gold chains. So the mark-up will be more just for that aspect of your jewelry.

Any retail mark-up of course takes into account rents, marketing, staffing and we just won’t go there. Just know that the reason you can’t get it at the price the jeweler does is because you aren’t buying a kilo at a time from a gold manufacturer.

A popular style of gold chain will be more reasonably priced than say a pair of earring as an earring takes more time and steps to make. Also a company might make 100 pair of earrings in one year, while they make 1,000 pieces of a frequently ordered chain style.

They can make that chain style again and again for years, but the styles of earrings change regularly, and the cost of designing and testing each earring style would increase the overall cost of the earrings as well.

How to Price a Gold Chain by the Gram: 9 Steps

He Wanted a Lego Ring. He Went Custom.

Where you’re getting the «only one» or » a style made just for you,» you are paying for a work of art, not something that was mass produced. The fame and popularity of the designer will also have an effect the price you’ll pay for their design work.

There really is no rule of thumb for figuring this stuff out, but now that you are armed with some information, I hope you feel more comfortable when shopping for jewelry and know what to expect.

Get something that is as unique as you are.

Calla Gold

This depends entirely on how big the ring is, and what karat of Gold was used.

A thin 14-Karat Gold wedding ring for a woman with very small fingers might only have 1–2 grams of Gold in it.

A ring the size of a Superbowl ring which is made with 22-Karat Gold might weigh 60 grams total, and could contain 50 grams of Gold.

If you have a ring and you want to get an idea how much Gold is in it, first you need to look on the inside and find the mark that says how many Karats the Gold is. Next, weigh the ring. Then look at the chart below, and multiply the weight of the ring by the % of Gold in it…

To have a rough idea of the weight of your own jewellery pieces, here is the average weight of the different types of jewellery items:

Jewellery item Average weight
Small ring / Women’s ring 2 grams
Big ring/ Men’s ring 4 grams
Chevalière 8 grammes
Thin mesh bracelet 5 grams
Medium and rigid mesh bracelet 15 grams
Big mesh bracelet 20 grams
Thin mesh necklace 10 grams
Thick mesh necklace 30 grams
Small pendant 1 gram
Big pendant 4 grams
Pair of earrings 6 grams

If you have a food scale at home, you can use it to weigh your jewellery.

Here is an example of a food scale and a link to a store offering the sale:


Food scale ACCUWEIGHT AW-KS001 5kg

Be careful though because the accuracy is not necessarily great. With the above scale, you can weigh up to 5 kg. The scales dedicated to the weighing of jewellery have a much lower weigh limit but a much higher precision.

This is the simplest solution. And then, if you have decided to sell your jewellery, it seems pretty coherent.

To be certain that the profesional does not tell you any nonsense, you are free to visit a second one.

The risk of this approach is that once you enter the shop, you may not have the will to refuse the offer he will make even if there is a better one somewhere else (whether you know it or not).

The term “purity” when used in reference to gold jewelry denotes the proportion of pure gold that it contains relative to the amount of other metals in the gold alloy.

Apart from gold, such alloys contain one or more additional metals such as zinc, silver, copper, and nickel, which make the material harder and more durable.

To find out the purity of a scrap gold necklace, first look closely at it, and see if you can spot any karat marks, such as 10K, 14K, 18K, or 20K.

If you can’t see any karat stamps, you will need to have the necklace tested for purity. Most jewelers can do that for you.

You can also test your scrap gold necklace for karats at home – you will just need to buy a gold testing kit. (Click here to browse through a selection of gold testing kits.)

After you’ve figured out the karat number of the gold necklace, you can convert that value to a percentage. Simply divide the karats by24 and multiply the result by 100.

For example, a 20-karat gold chain contains 83.3% pure gold (calculated as 20/24 x 100).

If the marks on the chain are not the standard 2-digit numbers but instead have 3 digits, then its purity is most likely expressed as parts per thousand. To convert such a number to a percentage, simply divide by 10.

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Thus, a mark that reads “833” means that the chain contains 83.3% gold. The most common parts-per-thousand numbers you are likely to see are 417, 583, 750, 833, and 917.

Related: Check out these women’s gold chains as well as men’s gold chains.

After you have determined the percentage of gold content in your necklace, you can find out how much pure gold it contains in grams or ounces. All you need to do is weigh the necklace on a precise scale.

Be sure to remove any parts that are not gold so that you don’t include their weight, e.g. pendants made of another material or gemstones.

When you know the weight of the scrap gold necklace, simply multiply that number by the purity of the gold alloy.

As an example, let’s assume that you have a necklace that weighs 10 grams, and you have determined that it is 18 karats pure.

We know that 18 karats translates to 75% gold content, so we can calculate that out of the 10 grams gold alloy the necklace is made of, 7.5 grams is pure gold.

Gold dealers often use troy ounces and pennyweights instead of grams to measure gold. Here is how grams are converted to these units:

1 gram is equal to approximately 0.0322 troy ounces.

1 gram is equal to approximately 0.643 pennyweights (dwt).

1 troy ounce is equal to 20 pennyweights (dwt).

Now that you know how much pure gold there is in your necklace, you can estimate its value.

Dealers that buy scrap gold will quote you a price per gram or ounce, and you can look up their quotes on some of their websites to calculate how much you can get for your gold.

Alternatively, you can estimate the value of your scrap gold necklace based on current gold market prices.

You can assume that a gold dealer will pay a price per gram of pure gold that will be about 80% of the price the metal sells for on commodity exchanges.

The first thing you want to learn is how much does it weigh. That is the starting point for setting a price. The next thing you want to know is: for what purpose is the person who is buying it. Ok then what condition is it in, broken or in pieces.

There are things that affect the price if someone is wanting it for resale or for recycle into scrap. So they start with Weighing the item and all pricing is based on that starting point. Don’t be expecting the same price you paid. The percent of mark-up the jeweler added when selling it for retail is likely gone the minute you paid the jeweler’s m…

Article Summary

To price a gold chain by the gram, inspect the chain to see if the weight in grams is printed on it. If you’re shopping in a jewelry store, ask for a jeweler’s scale to weigh the chain. If you’re shopping online, the gram weight will be listed in the necklace’s description. Next, determine the karat of the item, which is usually 14K, 18K, or 24K. Then, look up the current market price of gold in ounces online. Once you know all of that, you can use a simple formula to get your answer. Divide the cost of gold per ounce by the weight of the chain in grams. Then, divide your answer by 24, since 24K is pure gold, and multiply that answer by your chain’s karat to find the price by the gram. For example, let’s say you have a 14K gold chain that weighs 31.1 grams and the current market price of gold per ounce is $1,200. $1,200 / 31.1 / 24 X 14 = $22.50 per gram.

Kalyan Jewellers has the best and exclusive designs in traditional gold necklace designs in 10 grams. Shop online for expertly crafted traditional necklaces at fair prices.

Shop Online

It depends upon your choice. The design {amp}amp; weight will be decided by customer because chains are available from even 3 gms to 100 gms and more. So it will not be the right question to ask. You can decide chain weight according to your budget.

If u ask for normal weight range then weight between 10 gm to 40 gm is sufficient for men’s jewellery.

«How Do Designer Jewelry and Custom Jewelry Prices  Get Figured Out?»

Is there a rule of thumb a person can use to calculate the cost of a 14k piece of jewelry? I wish it were that easy. Let’s break it down in to what we can figure out.

Sapphire and diamond engagement ring by Calla Gold Jewelry

Custom Made Engagement Ring

If you have a one-of-a-kind custom-made ring created for you, your price to be paid will be greater, than a ring of similar weight and style that was factory made. The cost of a custom made ring includes the time of t he designer to create it, as well as the wax carving or CAD/CAM creation, casting, polishing, setting and adding the special finishes or textures plus any engraving that make your ring unique.

A custom wedding or engagement ring has no economy of scale because it is one of a kind. So expect to pay more for the singular care that goes into its making.

This is the Melt Price

This value (the $484.88) is what is known as the “melt price” of this particular chain.  The “melt price” refers to the actual price that your jeweler would receive from a refiner if they chose to melt it down and just be paid for the value of the gold.

The melt price, like the gold price, changes on a daily basis, but as long as gold stays stable in price, it will pretty much remain the same for any given period of time.  Keep in mind that the melt price does not take into consideration any other factors, such as labor to create the piece, any stones that may be set into the piece, or any margin for profit that will be added on at the point of sale.  We’ll discuss these points below.

The more multiples of that piece of jewelry that are out there in the marketplace, the less you pay by weight for the design and initial set up to make it. That cost has been absorbed by the many pieces made.


Another solution is to put your items in an envelope (for more privacy) to weigh on the scales at your nearest post office. The accuracy is usually better than a food scale and you are sure that the scale is not rigged.

However, this requires an additional trip to a post office which is not necessary.

24kt vs. 14kt.

24k gold is 100% gold. Why the number “24”? All you need to know is it’s an ancient story having to do with kings and seed pods, best left for another time.
Do know this: 14k gold is 14 parts real gold and 10 parts other metals, or expressed as a percentage, 58% gold and 42% other stuff. 18k gold is 75% gold and 25% other junk.

Ounces vs. Grams

cost of gold jewelry

You Need to Figure the Difference Between Ounces and Grams

Unfortunately, pure gold is typically sold by the ounce while karat jewelry (kt.) is usually sold by the gram. Thus, we have to convert ounces to grams to find out the cost of the gold in a particular piece of jewelry.

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