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How to Find the Best Place to Sell Your Gold Jewelry

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We Buy GoldIf you pay attention to financial markets, you are probably aware that the price of gold has been skyrocketing. Not to long ago (the end of 2003), gold sold for $400 an ounce. Now, gold is above $1,400 an ounce. Gold has risen rapidly since the financial crisis, thanks to a number of factors. First of all, gold is seen as a safe haven. Many investors piled into gold for its “tangible” value in the wake of a financial crisis that had many uncertain over an economy based on fiat currency.

On top of that, gold is also seen as a hedge against inflation. With central banks around the world engaging in practices designed to kickstart inflation, gold seemed a good choice. And, of course, now many are worried about what happens to countries with large debt burdens. Debts left over from before the financial crisis, plus the new debt created to create economic stimulus, have some looking to gold. All of this means that gold prices are through the roof. Many, hit hard by the economy, are thinking that now might be a good time to sell their gold jewelry. After all, you can get $1,400 an ounce, right?

Not so fast. Chances are you won’t be getting $1,400 an ounce at all.

What Can You Expect for Your Gold Jewelry?

When deciding where to sell your gold jewelry, it’s important to figure out what is a reasonable price to expect. You need to have your gold inspected, so take it to an independent jewelry store (stay away from chains). Get an estimate on the amount of pure gold in your jewelry. It’s not pure gold unless it is 24K. If you have 10K or 14K, or maybe 18K, gold then it’s only partially gold and partially “lesser metals.” The lower your karat amount, the less you will get because you have lesser metals mixed in.

Find out what the jeweler will offer for your piece. Make sure you remember the weight of the gold in your piece because that’s the valuable part of the jewelry. You can then take your jewelry to another independent shop to see how close the estimates are. Visit a pawn shop or two as well, just to get an idea of what seems reasonable at these various locations. A rule of thumb is that you should try to get at least 70% of the market price for gold, so around $980 per ounce of pure gold. If, for example, you have 3/4 of an ounce, you probably can’t expect much more than $735 from someone who claims to want to melt it down. They need to make a profit too.

Where to Sell Your Gold

Shop around and see what others are offering. You may decide that one of the jewelers or pawn shops you visited gave you a good enough offer that you’d consider selling it to them. If not, you can also look into web sites like Cash4Gold and others but they don’t have great track records according to reviews and customer reports. Also, be wary of mail-order gold buyers, which many of these sites are, because there’s no guarantee you’ll ever see your jewelry again. Check online reviews and do research at the Better Business Bureau before you commit to a web site or mail-order gold buyer.

Other options for selling your gold match that of selling anything else you don’t want like that local pawnshop or independent jeweler, eBay and Craigslist. One of the things you can do to maybe get a little more for your jewelry is highlight the artistry of the piece, or its uniqueness. You might be able to get as much as 90% of the price of gold — or more — if you can convince someone of the value of your gold as jewelry, rather than something to be melted down. eBay and Craigslist buyers will probably want to know the karat weight, and possibly some of the history behind the piece, so make sure you know this information. Unfortunately, something mass-produced or bought at a popular chain store is unlikely to provide you much in the way of individuality and craftsmanship.

In the end, desperation may force you to accept what you can get. However, if you have the time to look for a better deal, it’s worth waiting.

Do you have tips for selling gold jewelry?

(Photo: niznoz)

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “How to Find the Best Place to Sell Your Gold Jewelry”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Good tips!

    I wrote an article a while back on selling jewelry, and an expert warned me that unless the item is broken or damaged you’re usually better off selling it as a piece of jewelry rather than for the raw materials (which is what you’re essentially doing if you’re focussing on the weight, purity, etc). Part of the worth of jewelry is in its design.

    He suggested talking to jewelry stores that sell estate/consignment jewelry or consignment shops that do a proper appraisal. You can sell through them or trade it in against a future purchase, or get an idea what its worth and try to sell it yourself.

    • thunderthighs says:

      Thanks for the cautionary tips, both of you. Elizabeth – that is particularly interesting; I had wondered whether some broken jewelry can still worth more than its melt value.

  2. JT McGee says:

    Going with what Elizabeth said above, I wonder how many pieces of quality jewelry have been sold at bullion prices then resold by the gold sellers.

    I mean, just imagine how much jewelry was shipped to Cash4Gold, and sold for $50 when it might have been worth as much as $500 to someone as a piece of jewelry. Surely they sorted it…

    • Strebkr says:

      I have heard and read some pretty nasty stories about Cash4Gold. They are pretty shady. You basically send you gold to them and they offer you a price. You either take it or you don’t. If you don’t like the price they are supposed to ship it back to you. In reality, they have already melted it down and tell you that you only had 5 days to get back to them. What they don’t tell you is that it took 4 days to mail you your price so you had no way of getting your stuff back.

  3. zapeta says:

    Once you have an idea the amount of gold in a piece of jewelry, I always use ebay as a check of the true metal value because it seems to be close to the max you’ll get. At the minimum, it gives you an idea without having to drive all over town. Jewelry is tricky though, if you have something that someone loves you can get a much higher price than the melt value.

  4. Soifa says:

    I would like to sell my old gold. My neighbor told me about a buyer who buy per “penny way” or 1.5 gr. He give price per this “penny way” $40.00.
    Does it sound GOOD?
    I have never know about this “penny way”.
    Is this is legitimated practices?
    Thank you for your help

    • Anonymous says:

      its called penny weight it was a way to get a deal back in the days in new york didnt think anyone bought or sold gold this way anymore funny to hear you basically take the total weight of the piece and divide it by the wieght of a penny and pay for it that way

  5. elad gold says:

    A good place to start is the Better Business Bureau.

    In regards to pennyweights also known as DWT – there are 20 penny weights in one Troy ounce of gold. If you prefer grams there are 31.1 grams in one Troy ounce. If your dealing with a professional buyer they will be able to use DWT or Grams without issues. Just don’t let them use both as that may lead to confusion.

  6. Cash For Gold Los Angeles says:

    If you are looking at the “scap” value of the jewelry (the value of the precious metal such as gold) then getting a good price on that – based on the current spot price of the metal- is very east today. You can simply call around different cash for gold providers and they will tell you what they are paying. The good ones will even have satisfaction policies in place. Always, always, talk to the gold buyer first and if you do not like what they have to say, move to the next.

    Now, if you have jewelry that you think has value as a jewelry piece – not just the scrap value – you should be getting it appraised by a certified jeweler before you do anything else. An expert will tell you the value of the metals and the gems and if the pieces are worth selling as a jewelry item. Again, you can use some of the cash for gold companies (and simply send them your items for appraisal) if you do not have a reputable jeweler near by. And, as with selling for scrap, if you use a cash for gold company call and talk to them so they know exactly what you expect and you can get your self informed about what services they offer and if they really are certified jewelers.

    If you sell to a local jeweler make sure they appraise for free and do get two different appraisals if you believe you pieces are worth more as pieces and not scrap.

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