When you’re selling gold items, it’s important to understand the difference between appraisers and assayers.
What Do Appraisers Do?
Appraisers are professionals that you hire to research the history of the items that you own. They are concerned with provenance, meaning that your gold items have an interesting or significant history. If your gold brooch once belonged to Queen Victoria or Marilyn Monroe, for example, it has collectible value that probably exceeds the value of the gold that it contains. If that small gold bee that you inherited turns out to have been made by Inca craftsmen 500 years ago, the same holds true. Or if the gold watch that you want to sell was once part of a museum collection, that can add to its value too.
So if you have older items that have interesting or important histories, or which you suspect might have, it is wise to find a professional appraiser who is qualified and certified to assess their value. The American Society of Appraisers (APA) is a good place to find one.
What Do Assayers Do?
Assayers are interested in value of a different kind. They are concerned with the metals that are contained in your gold and other items. For example, we are assayers here at GoldRefiners.com, part of Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners, Inc. When you send us an item for testing and evaluation, we apply the latest testing technology to determine its metallic content.
After testing your items, we can answer lots of different questions for you. What is the Karat rating of a gold item, for example? What other metals does it contain, and how do those metals affect the value? If you decide to have us reclaim the gold and other metals that we discover in your items, exactly how much money will you receive for it, and how quickly? We can answer those questions, and more.
No Gold Items Will Be Harmed in the Process of Testing...
It is not uncommon for customers to ask whether we will damage gold items that they send in for testing. (“Will you have to melt down this old gold bracelet before you can tell me what it is worth?”) The answer is, we will not harm any items that you send to us for testing – a simple, non-damaging metallic test is all that is needed. (In some cases, we may need to rub your item on a stone or special cloth to obtain a tiny sample of metal to test, but that sample is so small that it cannot be effectively measured; it will not diminish the value of any item that you submit to us for testing.)
So, What Is the Difference between an Appraiser and an Assayer?
We hope that today’s post has cleared up that question for you. If you have more questions, we are here to help. Do not hesitate to call us at 800-426-2344.