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.
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.
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.
The value of a gold piece depends on three main factors:
- Market Value: Market value depends on gold’s daily spot price on the stock market.
- 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).
- 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.
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.