Guardian Gold Logo Understanding Gold Melt Loss: Everything You Need to Know

As somebody looking to sell their scrap gold, it’s important to understand the concept of melt loss. Melt loss is defined as any weight discrepancy between the scrap gold when it is initially weighed, and the final weight of the bar after the gold is melted. In simpler terms, it is the weight of the material that is lost during the melting process.

Red-hot melted gold being poured from a crucible into a mold

In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of gold melt loss and how it can affect the value of your scrap gold. We’ll also provide you with some tips on how to minimize melt loss and get the most accurate value for your scrap gold.

Causes of Gold Melt Loss in Scrap

Gold melt loss can be caused by a variety of factors, but most of them come down to what else is in your scrap gold. Here are some of the most common causes of melt loss:

1. Impurities

Impurities in gold is a significant factor in why scrap can cause a discrepancy with post melt weight. Alloys combined with gold during the casting process of the jewelry can be burned off during the melting process. It is important to note that gold itself can never be burned or destroyed. When heated to the proper temperature to achieve a homogeneous melt, some base metals, such as zinc have a boiling temperature lower than gold and silver melting temperature, and as such burn themselves off during the process. This burn-off may account for a more significant mass loss.

Scrap gold bars with varying purities

2. Stones and Other Attachments

The structure of the scrap material that holds stones in place, when melted, releases the stones, and thus the weight of those stones is no longer part of the total after the melt as they are lost or destroyed. Clients typically remove stones they wish to keep from their jewellery before handing them to the buyer for the melting process. Removal of stones is not a requirement here at Guardian Gold, we will accept jewellery in any condition. If you want to keep the stones in your jewellery, it is strongly advised to remove them before your visit. In some cases, the labor required to remove the stones may be greater than the value of the stones themselves; fractional carat stones, for example, are usually not worth the effort to remove.

Indent where small stone was imbedded into a scrap bar

3. Steel Springs or Wires

Melt losses can also occur from the steel springs or wires within the clasps of your jewellery. These springs can add up in large chain lots and represent significant melt loss. These wires are typically lost in the crucible or pulled out of the final bar that is poured. Many jewellers cut off the clasps and reuse them in their retail operations, eliminating the inevitable contamination in their refining lots.

Scrap gold chain lot

4. Dirty or Filled Metal

The last significant reason that gold melts may experience loss of weight is that the metal is dirty or has some kind of fill inside of it. Organic material is quickly burned off during the melting process and causes some loss – especially for dental gold. While we do not typically melt gold fill, it is known that there are occasions when gold-fill items slip into a melt lot and must be either removed or let to burn.

Scrap gold melt burning off impurities and organic matter

How to Minimize Gold Melt Loss in Scrap

While some amount of melt loss is inevitable, there are some things you can do to minimize it:

1. Remove Stones and Attachments

As mentioned earlier, removing stones and attachments before selling your scrap gold is highly recommended. This will ensure that the weight of the stones and other materials does not affect the final weight of the gold.

2. Choose a Reputable Buyer

It is essential to choose a reputable buyer like Guardian Gold. As a trusted buyer of scrap gold, we have the necessary expertise and equipment to ensure that the melting process is done correctly, resulting in minimal melt loss.

3. Keep Your Metal Clean

Keeping your scrap gold clean can help reduce melt loss. Remove any dirt or debris that may be present before handing over your scrap gold to the buyer.


Melt loss is a natural occurrence when it comes to melting scrap gold. Understanding the causes of melt loss and taking steps to minimize it can help you get the most accurate value for your scrap gold and ensure that you choose a reputable buyer who can ensure the melting process is done correctly. At Guardian Gold, we pride ourselves on providing full transparency to our clients, allowing them to observe the entire melt process from beginning to end via our lobby’s viewing window. We do not require any minimum amounts or charge service fees, and you are under no obligation to sell us your scrap gold bar.

In summary, melt loss is a crucial factor to consider when selling your scrap gold. Knowing the causes of melt loss and taking steps to minimize it can help you get the best value for your scrap gold. When selling your scrap gold, it is essential to choose a reputable buyer like Guardian Gold who has the necessary expertise and equipment to ensure the melting process is done correctly. With full transparency and no hidden fees, you can be confident that you are getting a fair price for your scrap gold.

If you would like to learn more about precious metals: selling, buying, markets, how to value, history, investment, and more – check out the posts on our blog. If you have any questions pertaining to this post, or wish to talk with one of our experts, feel free to Contact Us.

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