Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/14K gold necklace


QUESTION: I was given an 18 inch gold Omega chain by my mother before her death.  I haven't had it weighed, but was reading some information you wrote here regarding gold chains.  I am interested in knowing more info about this type of necklace regarding its value, as I am interested in selling it for cash.  I do not know how these necklaces are made or anything about its value.  Please advise.

Thank you in advance!

ANSWER: Melody, anytime you want to sell a jewelry item the price will be notoriously lower than the retail price.  An omega style is valued first by weight of gold and secondly by condition, which includes manufacturing quality.  Omega styles are among the more costly necklace and bracelet items which are all metal(without priced inflated by gemstones).  

Without the necklace in hand, there is no way I can honestly give a value.  You can get ballpark retail pricing by comparison wiht similar necklaces from on-line sellers and possibly visiting a few jewelers who might have a similar necklace in stock.  You need to handle the compsarison necklace if at a jewelers to see if both have the same feel, smooth and flexiblde or catchy and stiff.

An appraisal for replacement value might help in selling for a slightly better price than an individual will normally allow. A small with necklace of 10k might not justify that while a wider higher karat necklace( such as your 14k)  might be surprisingly costly and justify the paperwork.

Second action is to go to a gold buyer and get a quote for scrap value.  Compare this to about 1/3 of retail, which is about what you might get from an individual who wants to buy it directly as jewelry.  You might decide to sell as scrap is quicker and easier than trying to find a buyer otherwise.

The necklaces are a gold mesh wires interior from one end to the other, encased with strips of gold on the outside, formed to the domed "u" shape to form the linked surface. If weighed, the entire weight is gold, interior and exterior.

I wish there was more to give you on this. God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.

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QUESTION: Thanks!  The necklace is 18" in length, and right about 1/4" wide.  Didn't think about that dimension before, sorry...  I took it to a jeweler and he said it was a very nice piece and worth about $2000, replacement value.  He also said I could expect about a quarter of that if I scrapped it.  But, I was figuring that is what HE would give me for it.  Based on what you are telling me, there isn't much extra alloy in that piece?  I can expect the entire weight of the piece to be the actual gold weight?

Dear Melody,

As for gold content, I meant the entire necklace is 14k gold, not some other metal hiding under the surface. 14k is not pure gold but contains other metal in the gold alloy. That means it is likely 0.585 or 0.583 pure gold in the necklace.  The amount of pure gold depends on the karat.  14k is 14 parts gold compared to 24k for pure gold. This give 14/24 = 0.583, or you could call it 58.3% pure gold.  Why the 585 number? This started as a European standard and is slightly over 14k, 14.04k to be exact. When the newer gold standards were set in the USA around 1980, the idea of "plumb" gold came about. The Fed recognized manufacturers did not need the tolerance in gold product they enjoyed. Prior to then, the 14k stamp was almost a guarantee of 13 1/2 karat, since there was a 1/2 karat tolerance.  The new standards brought gold close to the actual percent the number 14k represents. Europe beat the USA to adoption of higher standards and went one better with 14k slightly over 14k, thus the 585 stamp you see commonly.

If of the 583 variety, the necklace is 58.3% pure gold, the scrap amount.  If the 585 variety, the scrap weight is slightly more at 58.5% of the total weight.  As is, it is a valuable necklace. The replacement value does not surprise me at the high gold prices nowadays.

I said you might get about 1/3 of retail from an individual buying it as jewelry. That might go up to 1/2 but not much higher unless the buyer really was taken by the necklace.  If you plan to try selling it as jewelry and not scrap, spend a few dollars to have it professionally buffed and cleaned.

Best Wishes with the necklace. God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.

When the item is nice and in good condition, some "gold buyers" will pay scrap for it and then resell the item at a higher price.  That is to keep in mind.  

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Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.


I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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