Call for an appointment today! Winter Park, FL: (407) 218-5958    

Using A Spectrometer To Sell Gold: XRF Spectrometer Technology on Florida’s Space Coast   no comments

Customers Who Want to Sell Gold in Merritt Island, Titusville, and Rockledge, FL, Benefit From XRF Spectrometer Technology at Park Avenue Gold Exchange. Read Below To Learn More.

People who sell gold at Park Avenue Gold Exchange have come to see why Spectrometer testing ensures them of a fair deal, and the highest prices possible for their gold. Customers enjoy seeing the exact metallic composition of their items displayed right in front of them when their items are tested. A man comes to us with a watch band to sell gold from Rockledge, just up the highway, wanting to cash in on the record high gold prices seen in recent years. The spectrometer tells him exactly how much gold is in the watch band, and what other metals the gold has been combined with to make the band too. Just for fun, do you want to know how much iron, copper, or zinc are in the pendant that one of our friends who wants to sell gold on Merritt Island brings us? The spectrometer tells her the precise percentages of each metal in the pendant. Providing customer’s with this type of precision in testing, private consultations offered by appointment only, and taking the time to educate each customer about their sale, is collectively what has built Park Avenue Gold Exchange’s reputation for honesty, great customer service, and high prices.

But, how does a spectrometer actually work?

A customer recently came into the Space Coast location of Park Avenue Gold Exchange in Cocoa FL wanting to sell gold from Titusville. Specifically, this gentleman wanted to sell a gold ring that had been sitting in a closet for years and was now worth WAY more than he had paid for it. More than anything though, he had heard about the spectrometer and wanted to see the thing actually work! If you’re like me, you can hardly blame him. We’re curious, right? We want to know what’s under the hood. So, without getting too technical, we did a little research and what follows is a summary of what I learned.

There are different types of spectrometers that are used to measure the elements that make up items in our everyday world. There are spectrometers used for testing food for impurities, testing children’s toys to make sure that harmful elements like lead are not introduced to the toys during manufacturing, etc. We use a spectrometer to tell us how much gold, silver, and other precious metals, are present in a piece of jewelry or other valuable item. The specific type of spectrometer used to sell gold at Park Avenue Gold Exchange is an XRF Spectrometer that uses X-ray radiation to determine the elemental composition of items it is used to analyze. Some spectrometers measure the mass of molecules to determine elemental composition, but the XRF Spectrometer measures the fluorescence of objects after they’ve been exposed to a small amount of x-ray radiation. Let me explain more…

Fluorescence technology

When people think of fluorescence, most people think of something glowing and they think of fluorescent lights because we see them everywhere around us. Fluorescence doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with light though, it has to do with an element emitting energy after something has been exposed to energy. A fluorescent light bulb contains low pressure mercury vapor along with argon, xenon, neon, or krypton gas. When you expose the gas inside the fluorescent light bulb to energy via electricity, it emits short wave ultraviolet energy which then causes the phosphorous coating on the inside of the light bulb to fluoresce and give off visible light. Visible light is just one very specific type of energy though, and the combinations of gases, metals, and phosphor salts chosen to make fluorescent light bulbs are chosen because they emit interact to produce visible light when excited by electricity. It turns out though, that most if not all elements will emit energy of some type when “excited” by an energy source, even if the type of energy they emit doesn’t happen to be visible to the human eye.

The XRF Spectrometer would not function without this idea that when specific elements are exposed to radiation and absorb energy they fluoresce, meaning they emit back small amounts of energy themselves in a characteristic way that can be measured and used to determine what type of element the measured energy is coming back from. This happens because the X-ray radiation, as I understand it, excites atoms that absorb its energy and slightly destabilizes them, sometimes dislodging electrons from their orbits. Remember high school science class? Just barely? Me too. Anyway, when this happens, the effected atoms attempt to reorganize and re-balance themselves, and that process of reorganizing and re-balancing causes a release of energy that is a little different for every element because of its specific make up.

So, if you expose gold to sufficient x-ray radiation, it doesn’t glow like the components in a fluorescent light bulb, but it will emit back a little energy to you that you can measure with a proper device. If you expose iron to sufficient x-ray radiation, it will also emit back a little energy to you that you can measure, but if you’re a scientist who understands this stuff or a computer that has been programmed to tell the difference, you would see that the energy emitted back by the gold and the energy emitted back by the iron are a little different from one another and can be used to tell us that the iron is iron and the gold is gold.

Putting it all together to sell gold

So, how does this help us accurately measure the value of items when you come to sell gold? The Spectrometer hits your item with an X-Ray beam, which doesn’t harm your item and is completely safe to you because it is on the other side of a protective barrier built into the testing container. The X-ray radiation excites the atoms in your item and causes them to emit fluorescent energy back to our device. The device then interprets the fluorescent energy coming back to it from the interactions of the radiation with individual atoms and molecules in the metal, interprets from which type of element each characteristic energy signal must have come from, and mathematically uses all of the data samples it collects to determine the percentages of each element in the elemental composition of the item being analyzed. Oh, and by the way, this all happens in a matter of seconds. Impressive huh?

Why do we do it? Why should you?

Is it necessary to understand exactly how the Spectrometer works in order to understand why it benefits you when you come to Park Avenue Gold Exchange to sell gold? No, of course not. At Park Avenue Gold Exchange though, we believe in educating our customers and giving the customer the information they need to get the highest possible prices for their valuables. Our investment in this technology is proof of this philosophy. I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief overview of XRF Spectrometer technology and fluorescent energy, and I hope you’ll keep Park Avenue Gold Exchange in mind the next time you want to sell gold.

Increases in Gold Buying Competition in Lee County   no comments

Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, and Bonita Springs: competition increases offers of “We Buy Gold” and “Sell Gold”

We’ve all seen them, and in recent times we’ve all been seeing more and more of them – signs and advertisements everywhere proclaiming: “We buy gold,” and “Sell gold here, highest price!” Are you ever shocked by how the number of those businesses has exploded the way it has? Statistics on the website of the Florida Department of Revenue show that the number of licenses for Registered Secondhand Dealers in precious metals have increased statewide by 196% between 2008 and 2012, and by over 86% in Lee County where Park Avenue Gold Exchange’s Fort Myers location serves “sell gold” customers in communities like Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, and Bonita Springs, as well as Fort Myers itself.

The reason for these shops popping up everywhere, not just at home in Lee County, is that gold has become an even hotter commodity in recent years than it has been throughout history, and has experienced tremendous price increases. This has become pretty common knowledge. Speaking in rounded numbers, the price per ounce of gold has increased in the last five years by something like 160% from about $650 per ounce in January of 2007 to over $1700 per ounce now. In the summer of 2011, when gold prices got as high as $1800 per ounce, that increase was over 175%. By contrast, in the previous five years the price of gold had increased something like a modest 115% between January of 2002 and January of 2007.

“Hey, Cape Coral, We’re Right Across The Bridge!”

In a recent conversation with Doug Mitchell, the manager of the Fort Myers location of the Park Avenue Gold Exchange, Doug said that people in Cape Coral, for example, who live right across the bridge from his location on College Parkway near Highway 41 in Fort Myers, are subjected to incredible amounts of this kind of competition and advertising for their “sell gold” business. Yet, very few of the competitors he sees offer their customers the same experience that Park Avenue Gold Exchange does. Read on to learn why.

The “Sell Gold” Mistake You Can’t Afford To Make

The dramatic increases in the value of gold and the popularity of “sell gold” businesses have made it more important than ever that customers interested in selling gold do their research and make as informed of a decision as possible when they choose to accept an offer from a gold buyer for their valuables. Time and time again, Park Avenue Gold Exchange has demonstrated their superiority in this market because of the technology they use when testing a customer’s gold items. Yet, many customers remain unaware of the benefits of x-ray testing when selling gold.

The best way to achieve extreme accuracy when testing gold is using x-ray technology to find the exact metallic make-up of an item using a device called a spectrometer. This is the technology that Park Avenue Gold Exchange uses in its private in-office consultations with every customer who comes through their door, and it allows them to educate each customer about exactly what it is that they are selling before they make them an offer.

How Do Refiners and Gold Buyers Test Their Own Gold?

How do we, as customers, know that a spectrometer is the best way to test? We know because just like we sell our gold to a local gold buyer like Park Avenue Gold Exchange if we live in Cape Coral or wherever, that gold buyer takes their gold to a refinery to have it melted down, and they get paid for the weight of gold they deliver to the refiner just like we do. The difference is in how much gold trades hands in those transactions; and, not surprisingly, the dollar values can be pretty high when so much gold is involved. In those situations, being exact about precisely how much gold is involved in the deal becomes incredibly important to the livelihoods of both the refiner and the gold buyer. And, take a guess: How would you guess the refinery tests the gold before making a deal? Yup. With a spectrometer.

It’s true that when you and I sell gold, living in Lehigh Acres or Bonita Springs or wherever, we may not have as much gold to sell as a gold buyer does when they visit a refiner. Isn’t the money we get from selling our gold just as important to us though? Shouldn’t we get the benefits of the best possible testing to ensure we are being paid fairly for what we sell?

The Park Avenue Gold Exchange Perspective on Competition

Continuing my conversation with Doug Mitchell at the Fort Myers location of Park Avenue Gold Exchange, Doug spoke about his perceptions of the other gold buyers in the area that compete for his clients’ business by saying, “Most of them don’t offer private consultations in an office like ours, most of them are doing acid or conductivity tests and not explaining to the customers what they have and explaining the whole transaction the way we do, and some of the prices that customers tell me they were quoted by another establishment before they came to me are just predatory. We pay so much better, and when people shop around they learn that.” He went on later to say that, “When I talk to customers who arrive at our offices from communities outside Fort Myers itself, people who sell gold from Cape Coral, and Bonita Springs, and Lehigh Acres for instance, what I’m hearing from people is that they just don’t have an option comparable to what we do at Park Ave Gold Exchange in their immediate areas, and to them it is worth a few minutes drive to the get the kind of service and prices they are looking for.”

The Future of “Sell Gold” Services In The Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, and Bonita Springs Communities

The future of gold prices is always uncertain. Some feel that the gold market is headed for major corrections to balance out the tremendous increases of recent years, which could lead to a drop in prices. Others feel that with instability in international economic conditions gold will continue to be what it has always been: a solid shelter and financial safe haven in difficult economic times. If so, that may mean continuing price increases in the market into the future.

One thing is certain, however, the competition for our gold business will continue, and as customers it should be obvious to all of us that the best deal will come from buyers who are willing to share information with us. With better information from more accurate testing and from dealing with those who give us the best customer experience, we as customers can make better decisions and receive the highest prices possible when we sell.

Park Avenue Gold Exchange offers private office consultations, the industry’s most accurate testing method available via an x-ray spectrometer, and customer service that will leave you knowing you were treated fairly and got the highest value for what you sold.

Gold Price Crash Course   no comments

Never be confused by gold prices again! Park Avenue Gold Exchange’s Gold Price Crash Course is here to help:

Park Avenue Gold Gold Price Crash Course

Introduction: Units of Measurement Used In Gold Pricing

   The first step in understanding gold pricing is understanding the units of measurement that are used in weighing and valuing gold. Gold prices are determined by the world’s gold markets, which generally post the current market prices for one Troy Ounce of 24 Karat gold, meaning metal that is 99.9% pure gold. A full ounce of pure gold is not something you usually see behind an ordinary jewelry counter though, so jewelry is typically weighed in smaller units of measurement like Pennyweight (1/20 of a Troy Ounce), which is abbreviated “DWT,” or Grams (1/31 of a Troy Ounce).

Converting Between Pennyweight (DWT), Grams, and Troy Ounces

   If a jeweler tells you the weight of a piece of jewelry in Pennyweight (DWT), and you know that there are 20 Pennyweight (DWT) in a Troy Ounce, you can simply divide the Pennyweight of the item by 20 to find its weight in Troy Ounces, the same unit of measurement used in the markets. Likewise, if you know the exact weight of a piece of jewelry in grams then you can divide the weight in grams by 31 to find its weight in Troy Ounces. If you have the weight in Troy Ounces and need to convert to DWT (Pennyweight), for instance to use the Current Price Chart that is updated daily on the Park Avenue Gold Exchange website in Pennyweight, then you simply need to multiply the weight in Troy Ounces by 20 to get the items DWT weight.

Follow so far? Kind of like being back in science class? Don’t worry, there’s no test at the end here.

So, now with what we’ve covered you can find the market value of the item by multiplying the weight by the gold price, right? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple, but we’re getting there!

Karat Value (K) % of Gold
24K 99.9% Gold
22K 91.6% Gold
21K 87.5% Gold
20K 83.3% Gold
18K 75% Gold
14K 58.5% Gold
10K 41.7% Gold
Table: Percentage of Gold by Karat

Most Gold Items Are Not 100% Gold, And That Affects Their Value

   Next, you need to account for the fact that most gold items are not pure 24K gold. When jewelry is made, gold is blended together with other metals into an alloy that is no longer pure gold, and therefore less valuable than pure gold, but which has other benefits like being more durable. The Karat (K) value of an item tells us how much actual gold is in an item and how much of the item’s composition is made up of metals other than gold. 1 Karat represents 1/24 of 100% purity, or to visualize it another way picture a pot of melted gold on your stove like you’re making a recipe (I hope it goes without saying that it takes a lot more heat than your stove can muster to melt gold – so don’t try this literally at home – it’s a metaphor.) The Karat value of a piece of gold can be thought of like the recipe of how to make it. This recipe always has 24 parts. If, for instance, we wanted to make 4 Karat (4K) gold, we’d add 4 equal helpings of pure gold and 20 equal helpings that are a mix of other metals. If we wanted to make 18 Karat Gold we’d add 18 equal helpings of gold and 6 helpings made of other metals. Make sense?

The Karat Value Table And Determining Karat Value Of An Item

The table on the left shows us some common Karat values and the % of actual gold in each. If you’re not sure what the Karat value of an item is, it is usually “stamped” in small lettering on the piece by the jeweler who made the item. Be cautious though, because it is not uncommon for jewelry items to be stamped incorrectly, meaning that the Karat value that shows up on the item may not be the actual Karat value of the metal. Any jeweler can test a gold item for you and verify its Karat value. However, the most accurate way of testing a gold item is a Spectrometer like the one Park Avenue Gold Exchange uses. You can watch this video for a demonstration!

Stones, Clasps, Pins, Etc., Add Weight But Are Often Not Gold

You also need to account for any part of the item that is not gold but that adds to the item’s measured weight, for instance gemstones, non-gold clasps, etc. When a jeweler calculates the value of an item, they make small weight deductions for these non-gold elements.

Setting Our Price Expectations

From the information we now have, we can calculate the approximate market value of the gold contained within a piece of gold jewelry, but before we do it will be important to understand why it is almost never possible to sell a piece of jewelry for the actual market value of the gold contained within it, and to set our price expectations accordingly.

In order to understand this we must understand the difference between investment grade gold and gold jewelry. An investment grade block of gold, known as an ingot, is worth whatever the going rate in the gold markets is, minus a commission or service fee to a broker or dealer, usually. However, a piece of gold jewelry is different. Yes, it is gold, but it’s not in a form that most investors want to pay market price for. When you go to buy a gift of gold for a loved one, do you look for it new or used? Probably new, right? And, if you do look for it used, why? You probably expect to obtain it at a discount because it’s used, right? There are exceptions, of course. Some gold jewelry accumulates value greater than the mere content of the gold it’s made of due to its history or craftsmanship, but the truth is that most doesn’t. Most second-hand gold chains, for example, are just second hand gold chains that will have to be melted down to regain the value of their weight in gold.

How Pawn Shops And Similar Businesses Price Jewelry And Payouts For Gold

So, why is this important to getting the best deal when selling gold? Simple. If you take your gold to a pawn shop to sell it, for instance, the pawn shop is going to look at it in the form its in and calculate its value based on that. It costs money to melt down gold into investment quality gold, a process called refining, especially if they aren’t in the business of doing that regularly and have to re-sell the gold to a refiner or make other special arrangements to melt it down. So, they have to either re-sell your gold in its current form at a discount from its actual value, meaning they have to pay you even less than that in order to make a profit, or they have to assume the cost of melting down the gold. In either case, you lose value.

Furthermore, many gold buyers and especially pawn shops, will make assumptions about you when they make you an offer. Do you know the value of what you’ve really got? How badly do you want to sell it? In short: Can they get away with offering you less than they ought to for what you’ve got?! These are all reasons to do business with a reputable gold buyer, broker, or dealer, who specializes in the kind of transaction you’re looking for and who lists their prices upfront, even before inspecting your gold jewelry. Understanding what you have and removing middlemen and outside influences from the transaction helps you to get the highest price for your gold. The price you receive will still only be a percentage of the market price we calculate, but you want to make your piece of the pie as big as possible, right? That’s obvious.

Let’s Do The Calculations!

Alright, we’re ready to do a quick gold pricing example: Let’s say that we’ve got a 14 Karat (14K) gold ring with no gemstones or any other non-gold elements to complicate our example case, ok? We look at the markets on the day of our transaction (Park Avenue Gold Exchange uses the London PM Fix Market, but the New York Spot Rate would work just as well), and find that gold is trading at $1,169 per ounce like it was at the writing of this article. We have our ring weighed and tested and find out that it has a Pennyweight of 5.2 DWT. So, let’s make our calculations.

We remember that there are 20 DWT in an ounce, so we divide 5.2 (DWT) by 20 (DWT/Troy Ounce) and get .26 Troy Ounces. Then, having verified through testing (preferably using an x-ray spectrometer like the ones Park Avenue Gold Exchange uses) that our ring really is 14K gold, we look at the table above and see that 14K gold is 58.5% actual gold. So, we take .26 Ounces, the weight of all the metal in the ring and multiply it by .585, the percentage of actual gold in the ring’s metal and find that there is .1521 of a Troy Ounce of pure gold in our ring. Then, we multiply .1521 (Troy Ounces) by the market value we found of $1,169 (Dollars/Troy Ounce), and arrive at a market value of $177.80 for the gold in our ring, as of today.

The Park Avenue Gold Exchange Difference

Experience tells us that the overwhelming majority of pawnshops you would take that ring to would probably make you an offer of less than $50 for it. Decent offers for it for it might be in the vicinity of $85. Park Avenue Gold Exchange would test the ring in front of you using an x-ray spectrometer that would show you the exact percentages of every metal that was included in the making of your ring, including its gold content, weigh the item in front of you, and then make you an offer based upon those calculations that you could do right alongside the representative there in the office. Park Avenue Gold would then make you and offer which, at the given market price at the time of the writing of this article would have been $96.30, even if that was all the gold you had to sell. That is 13% better than even the best offer from another buyer in our example.

We’re Here To Help

I sincerely hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have questions about the valuation of gold or are interested in setting up a consultation with Park Avenue Gold Exchange because you have items you’re interested in selling, please call us at 407-218-5958 or fill out the form on the right side of this page to schedule and appointment.

The Choice Is Clear   no comments

Learn more about Park Avenue Gold Exchange

Jeweler working at a desk in the Park Avenue Gold Exchange office valuing gold items for a customer.

What is a gold exchange service?

   Park Avenue Gold Exchange is a precious metals broker that helps people to exchange old, unwanted, or broken gold jewelry for cash or for investment grade gold. Unlike a pawnshop, or even an upscale jewelry store, we don’t have the high overhead costs of a pawn or retail business so can offer exceptionally good prices for the types of gold transactions we specialize in
(often more then DOUBLE what a pawnshop pays and 20% more than local jewelers on average). We don’t make offers for your jewelry based on things like whether or not we think you know what your items are actually worth or how low of an offer we think you’ll accept, and you won’t have to haggle with us for a fair price. We assist you by valuing your items right in front of you during a private consultation, and if you choose to sell gold to us we will pay a set percentage of the London PM Fix price for gold at the time of your appointment. For more information on the prices we pay, visit the Our Prices page.

Why do people exchange gold jewelry?

   A piece of jewelry is, literally, not worth its weight in gold – as the old expression goes. People keep gold in the form of jewelry because they want to wear it or because the items of jewelry have sentimental value to them. If they ever go to sell their jewelry, however, it will always sell at a discount to the value of the gold contained within it. Or, to put it another way, there is always a cost to changing gold from one form to another, for instance from jewelry to cash or jewelry to pure investment gold, and vice versa. So, when items of jewelry are not being worn or have little sentimental value to their owners, obviously the goal should be to exchange that gold jewelry for either investment grade gold which is a wonderful investment and sells at market values without the discounts mentioned above, or for cash you can invest elsewhere. Furthermore, in order for this exchange to make sense, it must be done at the best possible price – and that is where Park Avenue
Gold Exchange comes in.

Safety & Convenience

   Price isn’t the only reason that Park Avenue Gold Exchange is an industry leader though. It’s hard to argue against the fact that sitting in a private consultation in our office and having your gold tested and valued so that you know exactly what it’s worth before selling it is a far more comfortable experience than standing in public at a jewelry or pawn counter haggling with someone determined to pay you as little as possible. Park Avenue Gold Exchange tests your items with an XRF Spectrometer, an x-ray device that tell you the exact metallic composition of the items tested – not just the purity of gold in the item – but also the exact amounts of all other metals in the item as well! This technology makes our testing far more accurate than the acid and conductivity tests used by most jewelers and pawn shops. Finally, Park Avenue Gold Exchange staff and management have over fifteen years of experience in the jewelry business and are licensed, insured, and bonded. Park Avenue Gold is a division of International Gold Brokers LLC, a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business. The choice is clear. Schedule an appointment today and let us help you get good value out of your old gold jewelry.