At California Gold & Silver Exchange, we want to educate the public about gold and silver, so they do not get taken advantage of when selling their gold and silver. In the next few paragraphs we will explain how some companies are giving you less for your gold and/or silver items.

Penny Weight vs Grams

There are two methods of how small amounts (less then one ounce) of precious metals are weighed in this industry.  First, there is the standard gram measurement.  Second, the measurement of pennyweight may also be used. Some gold buyers will buy precious metals by the gram (g), while others use a weight measurement called pennyweight (dwt). Knowing how these two weight measurements differ can be the difference of many dollars, sometimes even hundreds. Below shows the conversion of grams (g) to pennyweight (dwt) and pennyweight (dwt) to grams (g). As you can see from the conversion there is around a 36% difference between the two measurements.


1dwt = .64301g

scale for gold in dwt

Gold weighed in penny weight (dwt 33.5)

1g = 1.555dwt

scale for gold in grams

Same amount of gold weighed in grams (52.2 g)

Some buyers will say they are paying a certain amount per gram but are really paying that amount in pennyweight. Others will say they are buying it by the gram but they are weighing it in pennyweight. Either way they are deceiving the client. At CGSE we buy it by the gram and we weigh it by the gram. We play no games. We will gladly show you what your precious metals weigh on our scale. Our Scales are certified by the County of San Bernardino Weights & Measures and are re-certified yearly. We use grams because we know most people have a food scale or some other type of scale that weighs in grams so they can have an good idea of how much their precious metals weigh and have a good idea how much money they will get. If a business is being honest they should have no problem showing you the scale, so you can see whether your precious metals is being weighed in grams (g) or Pennyweight (dwt).

Coins in Bezels

If you have a gold coin in a jewelry pendant piece called a bezel, or in a ring you likely have a coin that is 22 Karat. Since most jewelry is 14 Karat, beware of buyers figuring your gold coin as 14k as well. Since 14K is 58.5% Percent gold & 22K is 91.6% gold it can make a sizable difference in your payout. California Gold & Silver Exchange has World Coin Books that will be able to identify the amount of gold in your coin so you will be able to get the most for your gold. We actually have to do two calculations for a coin or bar in a bezel piece, one for the 14k gold bezel and one for the coin or bar.  If another buyer is only weighing your item and figuring 14k gold, than they are not paying you for the higher karat gold coin or bar.  And remember the higher the karat of gold, the higher the value.

gold with a bezelgold liberty coin in a bezel

Don’t Clean Coins

Under no circumstance should you clean your coins. Over the years we have seen it many times where someone comes in with a coin that has been cleaned or buffed. Coins actually lose value when they are cleaned. Once a young man came into our store not knowing that cleaning his coin would devalue it. The coin uncleaned would have fetched him around $300. Seeing that it was buffed we were not even able to offer him a tenth of the value of the coin because it was cleaned. So please under no circumstance should you clean your coins.

If you have any questions please feel free to come on in or give us a call, we will be glad to help you in any way possible.


Whenever possible, we will inform the public about scams to watch out for.

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