5 Secrets to Finding Stunning Jewelry

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You and your partner have been together for several years now. You’ve shared countless fond memories and you look forward to creating many more in the years to come. You want to celebrate the special occasion with a stunning necklace or timeless bracelet, but you don’t know where to start.

Fortunately, you can find the perfect anniversary gift with the following tips.

1. Know Your Partner’s Favorite Style

Your partner has a unique style and personality, and your gift should reflect that! As you shop around for the perfect piece of jewelry, keep his or her style in mind and pay attention to what he or she regularly wears. For example, does she always wear gold or white gold? Does he prefer simple or fancy? Do you often see him or her wearing smaller, nostalgic items or bigger, eye-catching pieces?

If you don’t feel confident shopping alone, bring along his or her friend or mother to discuss options with you. If your partner seems particularly difficult to please, take him or her when you shop-this may spoil the surprise, but you’ll rest easy knowing you have the perfect present.

2. Think Outside the Box

Not everyone likes diamonds in their jewelry. In fact, some people prefer more colorful pieces or want jewelry that stands out in a crowd. If you think you partner would enjoy a more unique, one-of-a-kind bracelet or watch, consider the following alternatives:

  • Moissanite. Moissonate looks like diamond but it ranks slightly lower on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. This stone exhibits a different kind of brilliance, which many describe as “fiery.” Under certain lighting, moissanite may project a faint green or yellow hue.
  • Colored Gemstones. Different gemstones convey certain sentiments. Aquamarine, for example, indicates courage to overcome fears. Opal, on the other hand, symbolizes passion, love, and inspiration. Find a gemstone that describes your relationship.
  • Knots, Claddaghs, and Other Symbols. Gemstones and diamonds can look flashy and gaudy, which may seem a bit much for those with simple tastes. Knotted bands, claddaghs, and similar bands can represent your commitment to each other without spending a fortune in stones.

Once you’ve settled on a design, you can then pick the metal that supports your gemstones.

3. Select the Metal

The metal that surrounds your gemstones needs to complement the overall design. The most common types include:

  • Platinum. This white metal exhibits a cool luster. Its elegant sheen will not fade or change color over time, and it offers a secure setting for diamonds or gemstones. As a hypoallergenic metal, it remains a great choice for those with sensitive skin. White Gold. White gold is more contemporary than yellow gold. It achieves its silvery character from a combination of yellow gold and copper, zinc, or nickel. Most white gold jewelry comes plated with a hard element called rhodium, which resists scratches and tarnishing. But this plating may wear away over time.
  • Yellow Gold. Yellow gold has a warm patina from its mix of copper and silver. It’s the classic yet fashionable choice for most rings and chains.
  • Rose Gold. Rose gold has a warm, pink huge due to its combination of yellow gold and copper alloy. Its unique color makes for a more romantic and passionate stone setting.

But don’t stop there! If you have a vintage or heirloom piece in mind, you may end up with silver, copper, or brass.

4. Don’t Feel Obligated to Go to a Jeweler’s

Although you can find multiple brand names and options at your local jewelry store, don’t feel obligated to spend a fortune creating a custom-cut ring or necklace. Often times you can find one-of-a-kind pieces and high quality stones for a fraction of the price at a Pawn Shop or jewelry reseller. Just be sure to ask about any return policies in case your partner prefers a different stone or setting.

5. Look Out for Ugly Ducklings

Many rings, bracelets, and necklaces sit in pawn shop shelves because they have a poor setting or dated design. But if you looked closer, you’d see that many of these pieces feature high quality stones that your spouse or partner will love. Better still, they often come with a lower price tag because so many other customers have passed by these pieces. Don’t be afraid to purchase these hidden gems, as you can always take them to a professional jeweler for a new setting.

Just be sure to ask your jeweler for an estimate of stone removal. Some companies offer discounts for removing and reusing stones, while others may charge extra fees for their efforts. You may try to remove the stone yourself, but be aware that pliers, pins, and knives may scratch or even chip the gemstone.

With these 5 tips, you can find the perfect earrings, necklaces, or rings for that special occasion.

Everything You Need to Know About Selling Your Jewelry

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Losing a job. Getting sick. Getting a traffic ticket. Many unexpected scenarios can come into our lives and cut into our budgets.

If you need money quickly, you may have considered selling some of your old jewelry. This is a difficult decision, as this jewelry probably has sentimental value to you and your family. But does it have enough monetary value to merit selling?

We’ll answer this question and explain the basic process of selling your jewelry below.

Step One: Money or Loan?

If you have trouble giving up your jewelry for good, take heart. Many pawn shops will give you a loan and hold your jewelry as collateral, but won’t sell it-yet. If you pay off the loan in time, you can take your jewelry home with you.

Beware though. This loan may come with anywhere from 6% to 25% interest. Only accept a loan if you know you will earn enough money in time to pay it off.

If you don’t anticipate getting extra funds in the future, consider selling your jewelry for cash. You’ll get more money this way.

Step Two: Get It Appraised

The best way to ensure a fair price is to get your jewelry appraised. As part of this appraisal, a jewelry expert can tell you:

  • Whether the gem is natural
  • The type of metal(s) in your jewelry
  • The karatage (measure of the purity of the gold)
  • The weight, grades, and measurements of the jewelry
  • The monetary value of the jewelry

Note that the appraisal tells you the retail value, and pawn shops will give you about 25% to 30% of the retail value. Why? Because a retail stores mark up their prices considerably. A pawn shop offers you a number closer to the base value-the money they could actually get for the item. So if your appraisal value is $2,000, a pawn shop might offer you around $600.

Now that you know your jewelry’s approximate selling price, consider whether want to sell your jewelry for that much money.

If you’re set on selling, consider getting a second appraisal at another jewelry store. Then take your results with you to the pawn shop. Don’t wait more than two years after an appraisal to sell your jewelry since diamond and gold values change over time.

Step Three: Clean Your Jewelry

Clean, sparkling jewelry will give you a better deal than jewelry that looks old, used, or disgusting. Follow these basic cleaning steps:

  1. Immerse the jewelry in a quality cleaning solution. You can obtain one from your jeweler.
  2. Use a small brush to clean around and under stones and prongs. Be gentle so you don’t accidentally pull them out.
  3. If your jewelry has a karat marking, clean it thoroughly so the pawn shop worker can see it and give you the best value. For rings, the karat marking is usually on the inside surface. On bracelets and necklaces, the marking is on the clasp or the end of the chain.

Step Four: Get a Good Offer

Take your jewelry to several different pawn shops to compare prices. When you get an offer you like, don’t hesitate to haggle with the pawn shop dealer. But if you haggle, you should do it right or you might lose a good deal entirely.

  1. Pick a starting price. At first, pick a price that’s higher than the price the pawn dealer offered-but not too much higher. Asking for 25% to 50% more is generally expected. So if they offer you $2000, try for $2800.
  2. Have a minimum price in mind. The starting price isn’t the price you and the dealer will settle on, so decide the minimum price you will accept for your jewelry. If the dealer will haggle, they’ll probably give you 10% to 25% more than the original asking price. If they offered $2000, they might end up giving you $2300 or so.
  3. Compare offers. Continue to negotiate with the seller until you agree on a price. If you’ve gotten higher offers from another pawn shop, say so. You can say, “Such and such pawn shop offered me $2200. Are you willing to make a better offer?”
  4. Be reasonable. Remember, the pawn shop dealer has seen hundreds of jewelry pieces, so they have a good idea of how much your jewelry is worth. Make sure you are familiar with the information from your appraisal to help you get a good offer. But don’t expect to get an offer way higher than your jewelry is worth. In the end, the pawn shop dealer has the final say.

 

When you have bills to pay, selling your jewelry represents a great way to get the extra funds. Educate yourself on the jewelry buying and selling process in the tips above, and you’ll be prepared to get a great deal on your jewelry.

12 Things to Do Before Selling Your Vehicle

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You have an old or superfluous vehicle sitting in your garage, and you’d like to trade it for some cash. However, if you want to receive the ultimate return on that vehicle, you have to make sure it runs smoothly and looks striking before you put it on the market.

We’ve given you a few pointers below to help you start.

1. Find service records, warranties, owners’ manuals, titles, and other documents.

Your buyers need documentation in case something goes wrong with the car. For example, service records show what repairs you’v already done on the car and from whom you received them. If those repairs fail later, your buyers can take the vehicle back to the same mechanic to take advantage of any labor or parts warranties.

You should also give buyers documentation of any manufacturer or dealer warranties that haven’t expired. Warranties show buyers that they’ve received a great deal on their new vehicle.

Additionally, you’ll need owners’ manuals, titles, bills of sale, and other documents to help the sale goes smoothly.

2. Prepare a bill of sale with all your information.

The bill of sale ensures that you receive payment for your vehicle. It also ensures that the title transfers without a hitch. As you prepare this bill, include information like your name, address, and phone number. Add your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), model, make, and year as well.

However, do not fill in the mileage section yet-unless you know you won’t drive the vehicle until after the sale. But if you will drive your vehicle, leave the mileage section blank and fill it in once you’ve completed the sale.

3. Get an appraisal.

If you would like to know your car’s ballpark asking price before putting it on the market, go to an expert for an appraisal. Websites, dealerships, and even pawn shops can help you appraise your vehicle. And if you plan to sell your vehicle to a company that buys used cars, that company can usually appraise it on the spot. However, give your vehicle a preliminary appraisal using Kelly Blue Book or other websites so you receive a fair offer.

4. Sell your vehicle at the right time.

Nobody wants to spend hours looking at used cars in wet or cold weather. For that reason, you should sell your vehicle during the summer, late spring, or early fall. These times feature warm, sunny weather, so you’ll keep your car cleaner, and you’ll have happier buyers. Gas prices also rise during this time, so if you have a compact, electric, hybrid, or otherwise fuel-efficient vehicle, it will sell quickly.

5. Replace the tires.

If your car doesn’t look attractive or run smoothly, it doesn’t matter when you sell it or what documentation you provide. Make you r vehicle more attractive to prospective buyers by replacing the tires. New tires increase the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and safety.

6. Repair dents, scratches, chips, and cracks.

As you boost your vehicle’s appearance, don’t forget to update its paint and windows. Buyers like a smooth, streamlined chassis and solid, gleaming windows. If rock chips or scratches ruin this aesthetic, take your car in for repairs.

7. Make sure lights work.

In many states, traffic police pull over people if their car lights don’t work. You don’t want your car to inconvenience anyone, especially in this way. Have a mechanic look at your lights and replace any blown-out bulbs as needed.

8. Tune the brakes.

Buyers appreciate safe vehicles, and safe vehicles have dependable brakes. Your car’s service records should show that you recently updated brake pads and other necessary components.

9. Top off fluids.

When you replenish the fluids in your vehicle, buyers see that as a gesture of goodwill. So give your car an oil change, replace the wiper fluid and antifreeze, and leave gas in the tank.

10. Clean and polish the exterior.

Clean cars look newer and more dependable than dirty cars, so buyers will often pay more for them. Wash your car’s exterior from top to bottom, and scrub every nook and cranny, even the detailing in the hubcaps. Once you’ve cleaned and dried your car, wax it for extra shine.

11. Clean and polish the interior.

Buyers don’t want to pay as much for cars covered in crumbs and stains. Remove any toys, cups, trash, and other items, and vacuum every inch of your car’s interior. Once you’ve vacuumed, take your car in to have the flooring and upholstery professionally cleaned. Dust the interior’s hard surfaces before buyers arrive.

12. Check the glove compartment, trunk, seat cushions, etc. for any debris.

People often shove things into glove compartments, seat cushions, and other hiding places without realizing it. Check every compartment and cushion in your car for wrappers and other items.

 

When your car looks attractive, runs well, and includes the necessary documentation, it often sells higher than it would otherwise. Use the tips above to make your car pristine and desirable before you sell it.

Need Fast Cash? Try These 7 Techniques

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Whether you live paycheck to paycheck or you carefully budget your income each month, you never know when an unexpected expense will come up.

Perhaps your cousin announced a last-minute wedding and you have to buy a present. Maybe your car picked up a nail and you need a replacement tire. Or perhaps your spouse contracted a bad case of strep throat and you must cover the extra trip to the doctor.

Although you can pull out your couch cushions or empty your car cup holder in a desperate search for a few spare coins, you likely need more than you can find in those long forgotten corners of your house.

If you could use a little extra cash, try the following techniques to see what works for you.

1. Monetize Your Hobby

Love imitating celebrity voices? Can’t wait to dress up as your favorite Pokémon and dance around the room? Do you Photoshop every picture you have to include Edward Cullen’s face?

Your hobby, however strange or unusual, can be the secret to fast cash. Websites like Fiverr.com allow you to offer your services at a price you set (usually $5). If you prefer to create custom crafts, consider selling them on Etsy or ArtFire. Or if you enjoy photography, you can offer up your stock photos on sites such as iStock or SmugMug.

2. Sell Your Junk Mail

Despite the ever-increasing use of smartphones and the internet, marketers still flood your mailbox with old fashioned coupons, credit card applications, and other advertisements. Most of the time, these unwanted flyers and handouts go straight to the trash.

But did you know that you could sell your junk mail?

The SBK Center is a marketing research company that will exchange your junk mail for Visa prepaid cards, which work like debit cards. All you have to do is sign up at their website, then forward your junk mail using self-addressed, stamped envelopes the company provides. Each piece of mail you send earns you points, which you can redeem for gift cards.

3. Cover Your Car in Advertisements

If you have a full-time job, you may spend a lot of time commuting to and from work each day, and you likely don’t receive payment for it.

Why not use your driving time to earn extra income?

Many companies offer “paid to drive” promotions that involve wrapping cars in advertisements. The more you drive, the more you earn, and the more exposure the company receives in return. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

4. Pawn or Sell Your Stuff

If you have a closet full of clothes you never wear, or a shelf packed with discarded electronics, cut the clutter and sell or pawn these items for cash.

Many resale stores and pawn shops will gladly accept your gently used items, so long as they look good and function well. Some shops will even accept scrap jewelry if it contains gold, silver, or other precious metals.

5. Rent Out Your Parking Spot

People attending school events, watching local football games, or commuting to work all need a place to park. Sometimes they can find a designated spot, while other times they have to drive around town before they can pull into an available space.

If you have an extra parking space, you can rent it out to visitors. Some driveways can rent for as high as $15 or more per day, while others can pull in an extra $200 a month depending on location and use.

Websites like JustPark and ParkingSpotter will allow you to list your space as well as help you find spaces should you need short- or long-term parking.

6. Tweet About Products

Social media has become one of the best ways for advertisers to reach their target audiences. If you have a large following on Twitter, these businesses may pay you to tweet.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You sign up at a website such as Sponsored Tweets or Ad Dynamo
  2. You give companies access to your Twitter stream
  3. Companies email you about a new product or advertising campaign
  4. You tweet the message to your followers
  5. The companies pay you for your tweet

Of course, payment depends on how many followers you have and how much influence you have on your audience. But it’s not a bad way to earn a few dollars for something you may already be doing.

7. Try a Collateral Loan

For more immediate and serious emergencies, you might want to try a collateral loan. Unlike other loans, you don’t have to have a stellar credit score, and you don’t need to have a steady job.

You simply bring in a personal item to a pawn and loan shop, and your lender will then give you a loan based on the item’s value. When you earn enough money to pay your loan, you’ll receive your item once again. No hassle. No fuss. And no need to wait for approval.

 

With any of these tips and techniques, you can quickly acquire the money you need to cover your financial emergency.

5 Questions to Ask Before Pawning Your Electronics

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New smartphones, headphones, TVs, and iPads come out on a regular basis. Just when you save up enough money for the latest model, the manufacturers usually advertise a newer, better version on the horizon.

If you have a collection of old electronics gathering dust on your shelf, you can earn some extra cash by pawning them at your local pawn and loan shop. You can then use the money to help pay for your next upgrade.

However, not all electronics will sell for a good price. Just because you paid $400 for your first iPod doesn’t mean you’ll pull in the same price when you sell it with a cracked screen years later. To ensure your electronics give you the most bang for your buck, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Does It Look Good?

When you walk into a local pawn shop, do you ever glance at the beat-up items? The ones with cracked cases, missing buttons, or crusted ports? Of course not. You head straight to the clean, like-new pieces in hopes that you’ll find a steal of a deal.

The same thinking applies to pawning an item. Shop owners want treasure, not junk, and they’ll pay more for electronics that look like new. Although some shops will clean the electronics before they resell them, your total price will drop to compensate for their extra efforts.

Before you step foot in the shop, take the time to carefully clean your device. Use an aerosol dusting spray to remove years of dust from your keyboard. Wipe with a microfiber cloth to hide fingerprints and smudges on your monitor or screen. Grab a magic eraser to eliminate the grimy debris from your mouse.

2. Does It Turn On?

Now that your electronics look good, you’ll want to check that they turn on and still perform well, despite months or even years of disuse. Although some shops will take items to resell for parts, most will give you a better price for products that work.

Take the time to recharge your device, and then explore all the options and features that a working device should have. For example, if you want to sell an old DVD player, make sure the recording option can still archive home videos or photos. If you want to pawn a radio, test the tuner to see if it picks up a clear signal.

If everything works as it should, you’ll want to point this out to the pawn shop owner. Take the time to demonstrate the functional features rather than simply hitting the power button.

3. Does It Have Its Accessories?

Some electronics don’t work without their accessories. Charging cables, batteries, remotes, and instruction manuals should be part of the deal.

Buyers don’t want to hunt down separate parts to enjoy their new TV, so including these crucial pieces will guarantee a better price than if you simply sell the device as is. If you can find the original packaging, that can also help you bump up the price.

But keep in mind that you don’t have to include accessories that you picked up on your own. For example, if you bought a tripod for your camera that wasn’t part of the original purchase, you might want to sell that item separately.

4. Did You Remove Your Personal Data?

Although you can trust many pawn shop owners with your personal information, you should always be careful when selling electronics. A busy employee might forget to wipe your drive, and a new buyer might not hesitate to use your saved credit card information from your laptop.

Before you sell your device, do everything you can to remove your data and to restore it to its original factory settings. If selling an old Mac, delete your iTunes account. If selling an old phone, unlock it from your carrier. If you’re not sure how to delete your personal data from a device, ask an IT technician to help you.

5. How Old Is It?

Your item’s age will affect its resale value. New items and vintage original items often have the greatest cash value.

For example, if you want to sell last year’s iPad in favor of this year’s upgrade, you can likely obtain a good price for your item. Similarly, if you own an original or discontinued edition iPod in excellent condition, you can usually sell it for a great deal.

However, if you want to sell a model that’s two or three generations behind, but it’s not old enough to fit the vintage category, your pawn shop might have a harder time finding a buyer. And if the item sits on the shelves for longer, it takes up space that more valuable items could have used. This means you’ll likely receive less cash for your item.

 

If you ask these questions before you stop into the shop, you can rest assured that you’ll find the best price for your used electronics.

5 Misconceptions About Pawn and Loan Shops

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When you think of a pawn shop, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Do you envision an old man, smoking a cigarette and wearing a few too many watches behind a counter? What about shelves upon shelves of disused items? Perhaps a broken guitar in the corner or a cracked antique hidden behind crumbled books? Maybe you envision a mystery door and think it’s the perfect place for criminals to meet.

No doubt about it: pawn shops tend to have a poor reputation. Movies and TV shows portray pawn and loan shops as the last pit stop before bankruptcy. While certain aspects of this stereotype can be true for some older shops, it may surprise you to find out the truth about this unique industry.

Here are a few common misconceptions that you should stop believing.

1. Only People Down on Their Luck Go to a Pawn Shop

Despite stereotypes, the average pawn shop visitor is 36 years old, employed, and earning about $29,000 per year. People from all economic statuses visit pawn shops, and they reclaim their items about 80% of the time.

Additionally, many small business owners seek loans from pawn shops. This is because pawn and loan shops often approve businesses that banks and other credit unions would decline. And if the borrower fails to repay the loan, it doesn’t negatively impact credit, as personal items act as collateral. These people are not down on their luck-it’s just smart business.

2. Pawn Shops Are Full of Stolen Goods

In the movie Men in Black, Agents Jay (Will Smith) and Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) go to a hole-in-the-wall pawn shop. While there, they meet Jeebs (Tony Shalhoub), a friendly yet shady pawn shop owner. In addition to selling questionably obtained items, he also dealt in alien firearms.

This example is but one of many movies that portray pawn shops as an integral part of the criminal underbelly. But in reality, less than 1% of items in pawn shops are stolen merchandise.

Most pawn shops carefully record every transaction by serial number. Some pawn shops fingerprint and photograph every customer who brings in their items. Customers may also have to fill out careful documentation to ensure the item rightfully belongs to them. From there, the owner forwards that information to the local police department, and they even work with the police department to ensure stolen goods return to the original owner.

3.  You Can Only Find Run-Down Items at Pawn Shops

Many people mistakenly assume that only poor people bring in their used items for cash. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

A majority of people who pawn items simply need a little extra cash on hand, and often they want to clear away clutter in their home. If they want to get the most money for their items, they bring in little-used items in great condition.

Some pawn shops hire staff who specialize in item repair. Even if the item came into the shop with some damage, the staff member can repair the item and ensure it works in like-new condition.

4. Pawn Shops Take Only Gold, Jewels, and Family Heirlooms

Some pawn shops do specialize in high-ticket items like gold, jewels, family heirlooms, and antiques-but this doesn’t mean that every shop you come across will have the same policy.

A majority of pawn shops also accept home improvement tools, musical instruments, video games and electronics, even vehicles and boats.

Because retail stores often mark up their stock, and pawn shops often sell at market value, you can find amazing deals for everyday items.

5. Pawn Shops Lack Regulation-They Will Take Advantage of You

When you sell an item, you understandably want to receive the most money in exchange. You want every cent’s worth of value out of that wedding ring, watch, or coin collection.

Naturally, it’s easy to assume that the pawn shop owner wants the same thing. To make the most profit, he or she may try to undercut you, jack up the rates on a loan, or sell you goods for more than they’re worth.

Yet once again, this gives pawn shop owners an unfair name.

Many pawnbrokers research each item’s market value to ensure you receive a fair price. Additionally, pawn shops must adhere to local, state, and federal laws for each transaction and loan. Pawn shops that deal with firearms must follow regulations established by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). And federal laws such as the Patriot Act, Truth in Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Data Privacy and Safeguard all keep pawn shops in check.

Want to Know More?

These are just a few common misconceptions about local pawn shops. If you want to know more about how pawn shops can help you and those in your community, stop by your local pawn shop and see what it has to offer.

Silver Lining: The Basics of Selling Silver

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Now that you’ve learned about gold selling standards from our blog All That Glitters: The Basics of Selling Gold, you might be wondering what else you can turn over for a profit. Silver seems the next logical choice. Maybe you have a small silver coin collection or an antique flatware set that looks like it could have high monetary value.

In this blog, we cover how the silver selling process works, including how it differs from the gold selling process.

Why Silver?

Like gold, silver’s value went up in recent years. While it’s still not at the value level of gold, silver reached a 31-year price high back in 2011 when appraisers estimated its value at $49.21 per ounce.

Unlike some other metals, silver offers myriad options for selling. Some silver items command a much higher price intact rather than melted down, which is the fate of many other metals when sold.

How Does Silver Selling Work?

When you sell gold, you can think of it almost like a currency exchange, since gold has a monetary demand. However, silver isn’t used as currency in most places in the world. This doesn’t mean it has no value-just that you have to think of the exchange differently than you would with gold.

Silver has value according to either 1) the object it’s used in, or 2) the way a buyer can use it.

1. How your objects use silver

How you sell your silver directly depends on the types of silver pieces you have. As mentioned above, coins sell differently than, say, antique tea sets. Here are some of the common item types:

  • Bullion: Most people don’t have bullion just lying around–if you have it, you’ll recognize it easily. Bullion comes in bars, ingots, rounds, and other standard measurements. Bullion has a set worth that fluctuates according to the market value. Bullion’s limitation comes when you sell it, since you have to sell the entire measurement.
  • Coins: Collectable coins’ values change according to age and coin type. If you want to sell your silver coins, contact a numismatics (collectible coins) expert. In most cases, the numismatics industry stands separately from other types of silver selling.
    Do not alter your coins in any way without a numismatics expert’s recommendation. This includes cleaning the coins.
  • Flatware: Some silver flatware qualifies as an antique, which may enhance its value. Full sets hold more value w
  • Flatware: Some silver flatware qualifies as an antique, which may enhance its value. Full sets hold more value w
    hen you sell to a collector or dealer. But you may still get a good sum selling mismatched pieces to a pawn shop, smelter, or other silver buyer.
  • Jewelry: Silver jewelry’s value varies according to the amount and quality of silver it contains. If you intend to sell to another type of buyer, you may still want to have a jeweler appraise the pieces beforehand.
  • Other Silver Objects: The value of antique and fine art silver varies according to time period and preservation. Often, antique silver bears markings indicating the maker, date of creation, and metallic makeup. If your silver doesn’t bear such a seal, it may still have value. Have an antiques dealer or other silver expert appraise the item. These experts can also help you interpret the markings on your pieces if they lost legibility over time.
  • Scrap Silver: Scrap silver, such as single earrings and broken charms, won’t hold the interest of a jeweler or antiques dealer. However, a metal broker or smelter may offer a sum for these pieces as well.

2. How the buyer uses silver

While most of the silver listed above resells completely intact, silver also has several other uses. Mismatched flatware and other kinds of scrap silver may go toward these uses.

Industrial workers and manufacturers use silver in myriad ways. In fact, most newly mined silver goes directly to industrial purposes. About 35% of this silver goes into electronics. 10% of silver functions as part of the modern photography process. Another 24% goes to other industrial uses, such as the manufacturing of silver oxide batteries.

Since newly mined silver is a finite resource, smelters and metal brokers occasionally trade their collected silver directly to industrial workers and manufacturers.

Who Should You Sell Silver To?

As with gold, you should do your research before selecting a silver buyer. Always get an appraisal or price estimate from at least one trusted source, if not from multiple buyers. In many cases, pawning your silver represents the best, most profitable option.

When this is not the case, a pawnbroker can direct you to one of the following types of buyers:

  • Metal broker
  • Numismatics expert
  • Road show dealer
  • Silver matching service
  • Smelter

Always consider an object’s sentimental and emotional value before you sell it. If you sell to a pawn shop or jeweler, the pieces remain intact, should you ever wish to buy them back. If you sell to a smelter or metal broker, you cannot retrieve the pieces. Thinking carefully about an object’s sentimental value ensures that you finalize your transactions without any regrets.

For more information about valuables, pawning, and collateral loans, read our other blogs.

All That Glitters: The Basics of Selling Gold

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You’ve seen the ads on the backs of benches, the sides of buses, and the tops of taxis. They promise instant cash in return for that ring of unknown origin or your gold necklace with a broken clasp you’ll probably never fix.

Your anniversary is coming up or your last paycheck was low, and you could really use a little extra cash. In this blog, we give you the information you need to decide what gold items you want to sell, how much you should expect to receive, and who you should sell to.

Why Gold?

While most precious metals retain some resell value, gold’s value has fewer and smaller fluctuations than almost any other. And, in t he recent past, gold’s price has only risen. In fact, in February 2015, experts reported that the price has climbed steadily for 11 years. At the time of this report, gold was worth more per ounce than either platinum or rhodium.

How Does Gold Selling Work?

Some companies let you mail your gold in and they mail a check back. But, if you want the most for your gold, take some time with this process.

Item Selection

The return on your sell depends entirely on what you have to sell. Most pawn shops, exclusive gold buyers, and jewelry shops accept the following pieces:

  • Bracelets: bangles, watches, cuffs, tennis bracelets, etc.
  • Brooches: pins, annular brooches, hat pins, etc.
  • Charms: miniatures, crosses, necklace pendants, bracelet charms, etc.
  • Earrings: hoops, chandelier earrings, studs, etc.
  • Miscellaneous Gold Pieces: dental gold, coins, cuff links, money clips, etc.
  • Necklaces: chains, lockets, lariats, etc.
  • Rings: class rings, wedding bands, men’s rings, etc.

When choosing what you’d like to sell, consider both appraisal and sentimental value. If you sell to a gold buyer, they will melt down the jewelry, making it irretrievable. If you sell to a pawn shop or jewelry store, you may have options to re-buy or structure a loan around the pieces.

Appraisal

The value of a gold piece depends on three main factors:

  1. Market Value: Market value depends on gold’s daily spot price on the stock market.
  2. Purity: Pure gold is 24 karats. But, because pure gold is soft and malleable, any gold you have is likely fewer karats (often 10 or 14 karats).
  3. Weight: Gold sells in troy ounces, though an appraiser may also measure in terms of grams or pennyweights.

When you take your gold to an appraiser, he or she runs a series of basic tests to determine how your gold measures up in the categories listed above. Common testing methods include the following:

  • Acid Test: A certified tester collects trace samples from the piece in question. He or she exposes these samples to acid solutions to get an accurate karat content measurement. This does not damage the piece.
  • Loupe Viewing: Using a loupe, or jeweler’s magnifier, the tester looks for any defects or markings that reveal karat content.
  • Magnet Test: Gold is not magnetic. So, if a piece reacts to the presence of a magnet, it may be gold plated, but it is not gold or gold alloy.
  • Weighing: After a tester determines karat content, he or she uses a digital scale to calculate the amount of gold present in the piece.

Buyer Selection

Rely on more than advertising to decide on a gold buyer. Consider the buyer’s reputation and history. Before selling, you may choose to subject your gold to multiple value estimates.

Maybe you’ve already started mentally sorting your jewelry, picking out the pieces you are ready to part with. Maybe you’re still on t he fence. If you still have questions, address them with a reputable jewelry buyer.

3 Major Examples of Pawning Helping People Rise

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

Once the History Channel’s Pawn Stars hit the scene, the business of pawning exploded into the minds and imaginations of many Americans. It almost seems like the business didn’t even exist until that show aired. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

The practice of pawning items to brokers has existed for thousands of years. The very term “pawn” comes from the Latin word “pannum,” which means “cloth” as in “a piece of clothing.” Because medieval peasants often pawned their clothing-the most valuable thing they had-when times were tight, that word for clothing came to have the meaning it has today.

The fact that the word itself probably came from a dead, ancient language goes to show that the practice came from long ago too.

Throughout thousands of years, pawning a possession has enabled many people to accomplish their goals. Many of these moments in history show that people can overcome great need through pawning.

To learn about some of these historical examples, read the stories below.

The Forming of the Band of Brothers

You may have heard of the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” You may even know that the title phrase comes from Shakespeare’s  Henry V, where King Henry famously rouses his troops to fight against five to one odds and defeat the French at Agincourt, which they do.

You may not know that King Henry V, who fought in a number of wars, pawned his crown to help fund them.

For 100,000 marks, King Henry pawned the crown of England to the Bishop of Winchester. Obviously, the crown didn’t include the kingdom, but it still seems rather shocking that the king would pawn the greatest symbol of his kingship.

Fortunately for King Henry, things worked out. He won some wars, won glory “from this day to the ending of the world,” and won his crown back in the end.

Inspiring a More Modern Band of Brothers

Interestingly enough, the “Band of Brothers” HBO miniseries mentioned before might owe additional inspiration to the practice of pawning. The heroes of the show, an American division in WWII (the 101st Airborne), likely listened to the Glenn Miller Orchestra, possibly the most popular band of the era.

As The Glenn Miller Story (1954) shows, Glenn Miller experienced such financial hardship that more than once he had to pawn his very trombone. From that level, he rose to the very top. As someone famously said, “Next to a letter from home,the Glenn Miller Orchestra was the greatest morale booster in the European theater of operations.”

Tragically, on his way to play for American troops in Paris, the plane carrying Glenn Miller and his 50 piece band ran into a storm above the English Channel. The plane never made it to land, but his legacy lives on.

Saving an American Icon

Speaking of American icons, Ford once pawned the original, famous Blue Oval itself–a symbol of assembly lines, innovation, and American industrial might. Yes, even the colossal Ford company became so low on funds that it had to pawn some of its most precious possessions in order to stay afloat.

In 2006, desperately in debt and hounded by creditors, Ford secured a loan worth $23.4 billion. The company had to pawn many symbols of its identity to do so, including (in addition to the Blue Oval itself) its headquarters, some factories, and even the rights to its iconic Mustang and F-150.

Yet this loan kept Ford afloat when other major car corporations needed federal bailouts a few years later. And, as you know, Ford earned back its symbol in the end anyway. The company showed character and brilliance by making such a comeback.

Don’t Give Up in Hard Times

If you need to pawn items to save your finances, feel confident when you do so. Prominent people and companies have needed help from pawnbrokers before. If you need some extra money, pawn some of your belongings. You’ll build yourself back up to financial wellbeing before you know it.

What Are Collateral Loans and How Do I Get One?

Written by sol-jewel on . Posted in Uncategorized

Life is busy, messy, and unpredictable. Just when you finally pay off your student loan, medical bills, or credit cards, you suddenly find yourself in need of extra cash. Leveraging personal assets to take out a collateral loan is one way to secure extra money.

What Is a Collateral Loan?
Before we dive into the definition of a collateral loan, let’s break it down into two words. The word “collateral” refers to something of value that you own. This can be property or an asset, such as jewelry, coins, electronics, firearms, cars, or musical instruments. The word “loan” means to borrow with the intention of returning or repaying.

A collateral loan is one type of loan. Borrowers pledge collateral in exchange for money. Borrowers also agree to repay that money so they can regain possession of the collateral. This type of loan can also is also known as a secured loan because the loan is secured by an asset you own.

When you, the borrower, take out a collateral loan, you hand over your asset in exchange for cash. The amount of cash you receive depends on the value of the asset. The more money the item is worth, the more money the lender will give you for the exchange.

You and the lender must agree on a date the full payment is due. When you borrow from a pawnshop, payment is often due in a short amount of time, such as 120 days. During this time, interest accumulates at a prearranged rate, such as 10% per month. Once the loan and interest are fully paid, you get your collateral back. If the loan is not paid back in the allotted time, the lender has the right to keep, sell, and earn money on your collateral.

A collateral loan is a great way to get a small amount of cash fast, especially if you plan on repaying it in a short amount of time. When you take out a collateral loan, make sure you understand the terms of your contract.

How to Get a Collateral Loan

Are you curious about how to obtain a collateral loan? Here is a short list of steps you can follow to secure a collateral loan:

  1. Determine how much money you need. If you plan on taking out a collateral loan for something in particular, for example to pay off a bill, you should know the exact amount of money you need. If you borrow an excessive amount, you’ll end up paying interest on money you didn’t need in the first place.
  2. Decide what asset you will use as collateral. Make a list of things you own that are worth roughly the same amount of cash you need. This list may include jewelry, electronics, instruments, or other items you own.
  3. Compare loans. Visit several pawnshops or similar businesses that offer collateral loans. See which of your items is worth the amount of cash you need. You will also need to figure out what each vendor is willing to pay in exchange for your collateral, what the interest rate is, and when payment is due. Ask if you can pay off your loan early and what happens if you miss a payment.
  4. Calculate your monthly payment. Take all the information you gathered in step three and calculate the monthly payment each vendor requires.
  5. Select a lender. After comparing vendors and calculating monthly loan payments, determine which lender is right for you. The ideal lender will give you the most amount of money for your collateral with the lowest interest rate.

Secured loans are less risky than unsecured loans, and they are a fast way to get spendable cash. Follow the steps above to take advantage of lower interest rates and secure a collateral loan.

SOL'S JEWELRY & LOAN
2906 N 72nd St.
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Omaha, NE 68102
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SOL'S JEWELRY & LOAN
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Omaha, NE 68107
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Omaha, NE 68137
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