If 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 )