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This is from an Ebayer, might be helpful:

"I buy/sell gold items every day,and I frequently have to help people understand what it is that they have,so they can understand its value (or lack of value...) People see the gold market going up and get all excited about the value of their scrap gold items going up as well,and the two markets are very closely related,but vastly different.

Let's say gold is $500 per ounce and you have a scrap gold wedding band that is marked 10k....The $500 per ounce price is for FINE gold which is .999 fine,or 99.9% pure.To estimate the value of your piece take the karat marking of your piece (10) and make into a fraction over 32..or 10/32 pure...or about 1/3 (this formula is accurate REGARDLESS of the karat marking of your piece ,14k will be 14/32 18k will be 18/32,etc.) .999 fine gold will be 32/32. There are 31 grams in a troy ounce which is the standard for gold silver,and platinum.Lets say your ring weighs 3.1 grams...That means your ring contains $50 worth of gold.Then consider the fact that your ring must be melted to recover the fine gold.Fine gold is too soft to make jewelry out of,so copper and other materials are added for hardness and durability.Whoever buys your ring has to make a profit,and so does the refiner he sells it to....But it at least gives you an idea of it's value,so you can shop it around for the highest price without unrealistic expectations."


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