What You Need to Know about Recycling Gold Chains

Last year a man made an interesting discovery when he was poking around in a defunct old jewelry factory. He pulled open a few drawers and found that they contained about two pounds of old gold-toned chains.

His discovery was a real “mixed bag.” Some of the chains were wound up on cardboard spools so they could be cut to length for bracelets and necklaces. Other chains had already been cut to length and had clasps installed, which sometimes displayed karat markings. Those marks made it easier to understand which chains contained real, recyclable gold. But what about the spaghetti-like tangle of short end pieces of chain, scraps of chain with clasps attached and a mixed bag of other stuff that included unused clasps and other findings in little plastic bags? How was he supposed to figure out what all that stuff was worth?

 Listen to Grandma: Talk to Gold Refiners about recycling your gold chains and other bling. Credit: Christopher Robbins/DigitalVision.

Listen to Grandma: Talk to Gold Refiners about recycling your gold chains and other bling. Credit: Christopher Robbins/DigitalVision.

Puzzling Questions about Chains

If you make a discovery like that, here are some things you should know about recycling them profitably:

  • Chains can be gold plated. Some people mistakenly assume that gold chains must be made of pure karat gold. How, they wonder, could it be possible to plate gold onto chains, which are made up of lots of little interconnected pieces? The fact is, it is possible to plate gold onto chains. It was possible in the old days, when chains could be plated with gold during plating processes that were performed in tanks. (Note that it is still possible to plate gold onto chains in just that same way.) In those processes, chains were immersed in tanks and plated with gold. In addition, very thin layers of gold can now be applied to chains through modern electroplating technologies that use sputtering targets.
  • The value of gold chains can be determined in our labs. Another misconception is that it is extremely difficult to determine the value of gold chains. Granted, it is difficult to determine the value of a pile of old gold and gold-toned chains – certainly not as easy as it is to test a solid chunk of metal. But chains can be tested, thanks to modern analytical methods. If you have a quantity of gold chains and would like to know what they are worth, call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more.
  • We can recycle chains – both gold and gold-plated – in our state-of-the-art gold refinery. Even though chains are made up of a lot of moving pieces, the gold they contain can be reclaimed in our labs. The process is not much more difficult than reclaiming the gold from larger gold-plated items. If you call us, we can explain the process to you.

Ask about Free or Discounted Shipping Costs when Sending Your Chains to Us for Testing

When you call us to talk about your chains, please mention this blog post and ask about the free and discounted shipping costs that we offer. Remember, you could have more gold tied up in chains than you realize, and we are the lab with the expertise to process them for you.

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Can You Accurately Test Gold at Home? 
Selling Your Gold: What’s the Difference Between an Appraiser and an Assayer? 
Karat Gold: A Quick Review  
Make Money by Recycling Gold Buttons, Buckles and Cufflinks