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Flea market Gold?

Happy New Years everyone,

Recently I have been considering the possibility of finding gold for discount prices at flea markets. I was wondering if, as long as it hallmarked I can be fairly certain it is what it claims to be, that is if it is marked for example, 14K that it actually is 14K. To avoid plating, I can take advantage of the fact that gold is much denser than brass, (even 14K gold) and so I can weigh it in my hand to see if it is lighter than what it should be. I imagine I would have to be careful about just melting and pouring an ingot from chains due to solder. Even if I have to get it refined, it will likely be less expensive than buying gold from the bullion dealer. What do you all think about this, do you think I can find gold for cheap at flea market? Interested in hearing everyone thoughts,


If you “buy” gold from a flea- market…Ouch!
If the price IS cheaper, why would it be? Is it really 14kt or maybe 12.5 or 13 karat? They have to buy it themselves and might sell you reduced karat…”buyer beware”.

“If it’s too good to be true, turn 360 degrees and run away!” Agree with me?


Gerry, On my iPhone!

Yes, that does make sense. If I get it refined though, could I still end up paying less?

Gold is still gold, much better to get it refined! Let’s get more input from other Ganoksin jewellers! I’d be very wary of other ‘gold’ resellers!


Gerry, On my iPhone!

This is always a fascinating subject; some years ago I bought a portable Niton XRF (x-ray florescence) analyzer; with that, and some observation, you can usually, not always, determine the metal content of what you are looking at. I have had some great stories to tell from it, like the time an 84 pound block of metal analyzed as pure gold (it was tungsten), the time I threw away a bracelet that I was absolutely sure was brass, then retrieved out of the trash to analyze (it was 19k rose gold), and the time I was going to purchase a piece I was absolutely was 18 k solid gold (it was rose brass), AND it was marked as 18kt.

Stories aside, what I have learned: everyone is pretty smart, and has sharp eyes. Especially in a flea market. So, you are not likely to find a piece that is gold, and everyone else has missed. It can happen, but even with my portable analyzer, they are very few and far between. If I do it every weekend, I will have a good find perhaps once every third month.

I have seen cheap metal silver plated being sold as sterling - if people will do that, they will certainly take a chance on selling gold plated as gold. Much higher reward.

I hear horror stories from all the gold buyers out there. Every kind of scam you can imagine. There is a whole set of industries set up around the world making fake gold, jewelry, watches, some of which is so good it fools the experts many times. As stated above, buyer beware. There are gold testers and other tools for id that the pawn shops and gold buyers use, but even they make bad buys because the fakery can be so good.

I’ve done a bit of gold buying, generally the public bring you OK material if they come to you. Test, test, test. Since I mostly buy it to send to the refinery we get to a point where I explain the next step is going to damage their piece, I cut into it and acid test the cut (I don’t have an XRF machine) 90 percent of the time if it passes this it is gold. I’ve picked up a few pieces at yard sales (usually 10k) but I don’t know that I would trust a flea market.