Gram weight of pocket watch cases

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by NickB, Jan 17, 2008.

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  1. NickB

    NickB Registered User

    Jan 8, 2007
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    I was wondering if anyone had a "rule of thumb" they use to approximate the gram weight in a solid gold pocket watch case for the different sizes without removing the movement and actually weighing it.

    I did some research on the web and the only thing I could find was a reference to a 14KT 12S case that weighed in at 22.8 grams.

    I know it would never be exact because some cases of the same size may be heavier then others, just looking for a rough estimate.
     
  2. Kent

    Kent Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    NickB:

    I believe that there is a chart in the book:
    Complete Price Guide to Watches, No 27, C. Shugart, T. Engle and R. Gilbert, Tinderbox Press, Mount Pleasant, SC, 2007 (a new edition comes out each year in February. This book is available at libraries, most major bookstores and online at the [colour=red]NAWCC Gift Shop[/colour] - ask for the latest edition)
    [edit=36=1200581693][/edit]
     
  3. NickB

    NickB Registered User

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Thanks Kent, it was first place I looked. It does have a page that gives you a value of the case based on size, material it is made of (exp 14KT, 18KT) and condition. I don't believe it actually provides weight, unless I missed it.

    With gold around $900 per oz, I doubt the prices, even in the latest edition, reflect that run up.
     
  4. StanJS

    StanJS Registered User

    Sep 20, 2006
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    Nick,

    It is in No. 25. I doubt it was removed. Look near the tables you mentioned. It is in that vicinity (at the bottom of a page, as I remember).

    Cheers,
    Stan
     
  5. NickB

    NickB Registered User

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Thanks Stan, I'll look for it tonight, appreciate the reply
     
  6. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    My recollection is that the tables that have been published generally have the current value of gold listed. In the Ehrhardt & Meggers book, it was gold at $400.
     
  7. Danwatch

    Danwatch Registered User

    Aug 15, 2004
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    Ehrhardt's book "Trade Marks" (1976) has a good section on estimating case weights. In addition to rules of thumb, Ehrhardt shows pictures of common cases along with their weights. The book is out of print, but you can find copies on occasion at Marts, or the Library can loan you a copy.
     
  8. ronwatch

    ronwatch Registered User

    Feb 2, 2007
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    If you look in the No.25 Complete Guide to Watches there is a watch scraper G.F. Specialties Ltd. who will as it says, “Turn Gold Into Green”. I’m sure if you call they can quote you the latest price to assist in destroying any type of gold or silver watch one has. Buy the way they advertise, or should we say promote the scraping of watches in each edition of the Guide.
    If your looking for information as to how much you should pay for a gold PW, because now the gold is worth more than most PW’s, that’s one thing. If your going to scrap one, than you should go in the furnace with the gold.
    There is no rule of thumb. The scrapers reduce a watch down to only gold. They start with the crystal, rip out the movement, remove the stem, cut out the sleeve, rip off the covers, rip out the springs on the hunters, then as a finally pull the steel hinge pins. Not a pleasant sight because by the time they get done. All the Kings horses and all the Kings men can’t put that case back together again

    Ron.
     
  9. NickB

    NickB Registered User

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Not looking to scrap these watches, more interested in establishing a new value for them based on the run up on gold. If you figure the value on a 16S 14KT watch that weighs in at maybe 26 grams was $350 when gold was at $400 per oz. With no appreciation in the value of the movement at $900 per oz with a per gram melt value of $16.85 for 14KT and at $400 the per gram melt value is $7.50 per gram the inherit value of the watch has increased $243 just in gold value
     
  10. ronwatch

    ronwatch Registered User

    Feb 2, 2007
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    OK no furnace for you.
    The scrapers figure by penny weight. For grams they figure this way.
    Gold @ $900 divided by 31.1 to grams = $28.93
    14K @ .52 (not ,585) $ 28.93 X .52 = $15.04
    Scraper to the smelter averages ..93 to .94% - $15.04 X .93 = $ 13.98/gram
    So 26 grams X 13.98 = $ 363.48
     
  11. NickB

    NickB Registered User

    Jan 8, 2007
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    I used a little different formula...

    $900 divided by 31.1 = $28.93
    $28.93 divided by 24 (pure gold) = $1.20
    $1.20 times 14 (14kt) = $16.80

    Your formula is probably more correct for melt value, this formula is what jewelers use for pricing gold bracelets, rings, etc.

    And as I type this I'm thinking to myself "Self...you have too much time on your hands to be worrying about this"!! :?|
     
  12. ronwatch

    ronwatch Registered User

    Feb 2, 2007
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    Hi Nick

    Most reputable jewelers will not use that method and if they do it’s just to screw the public when you buy jewelry.

    To arrive at % of gold is simple.

    !4 K is as follows 14/24= .585
    18 K 18/24= .75
    22K 22/24= .91

    The 14 K (all gold) has some impurities so for example 14K gold is figured @ .52/gram etc.
    Using the full 14 does not allow for the alloys that make up the balance of weight.

    Ron
     
  13. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User

    Aug 24, 2000
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  14. NickB

    NickB Registered User

    Jan 8, 2007
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    thanks Ron, i appreciate the clarification
     
  15. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User

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    Add, many scrappers use 55% for 14k (for example) due to the impurities, as a "safer" number!
     
  16. ronwatch

    ronwatch Registered User

    Feb 2, 2007
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    You welcome

    Now for the real world: To get $15.04 from a jeweler, precious metal dealer, or pawn shop, on the $15.04 you, on a good day may get $9 to $10/gram. And that’s a GOOD DAY !.

    Ron
     
  17. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User

    Aug 24, 2000
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    Some of the honest guys weigh accurately and give 90% of spot.
     
  18. ronwatch

    ronwatch Registered User

    Feb 2, 2007
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    Jon
    The problem is the same as General Custer had. Tooooooo many Indians

    Ron
     
  19. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
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    A caveat as regards old gold cases, especially ones from before 1900.

    14K "plumb" cases made by the reputable large case makers were generally made at 13.5K (13.5 rounds up to 14K...get it?). Many other so-called 14K (as advertised, sold and marked) cases were in the 12K-12.5K range (or even as low as 10K). 18K cases were often 15-17K ("plumb" cases would generally be 17.5K). With a lack of standards and without an enforcement mechanism for spurious markings, a Company could stamp almost anything they wanted on a case. There was a big stink about all of this in the trade journals of the time.

    Later cases (certainly by the 1920s) marked .585 fine or 14K are almost certainly the quality indicated, as by this time there were laws in place to control things (someone out there can no doubt gives us all the relevant citation). The "impurities" or alloy metals make up the other 41.5%.

    But a further complicating factor for gold cases is their weight. The obvious non-gold things are case springs, but sometimes the dust cover, bezel, bow, etc., weren't gold. Even on later cases, the mvt might be held in a base metal ring with only the outer cover and bezel being gold.

    All FWIW. I'm no authority on this stuff.

    Greg
     
  20. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User

    Aug 24, 2000
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    SCRAP EXPERTS and gold buyers know all the angles; otherwise, they could go broke very easily. IT IS THE AMATUER THAN PAYS TOO MUCH OR FIGURES WRONG....AND THEY CERTAINLY KNOW GOLD CARAT.
     
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