Gold is an amazing asset. You can buy it, wear it, enjoy it, and resell it at any time. It’s quite easy to know how to sell gold jewelry for cash. The purpose of this article is to give you the knowledge you’ll need to sell your gold jewelry at the best price with the most efficient approach. Time is money, so let’s get into it.
How to sell gold jewelry for cash (everything you need to know):
1. How to tell what karat your gold is.
Your gold jewelry’s karat number is important as it can greatly influence the resale value of your item—the purer the gold (the higher the karat), the more expensive it is. Therefore, you must know how many karats your gold jewelry has so you are not undervaluing it.
This is easy to figure out. Gold jewelry is branded with a karat number that signifies the gold purity.
The maximum is 24 karats. Only 24-karat gold gets the full price. 24-karat gold is essentially 100% pure gold. 18-karat gold is 75%. 12-karat is 50%, and so on.
If your jewelry says GP that means it’s gold plated and you likely won’t be able to sell it.
If you aren’t sure how pure it is, and you can’t find the karat number, a quick test to see if it is real is to put it to a magnet. Gold won’t stick to a magnet. If it does stick to the magnet, it likely doesn’t contain much gold.
2. Current Gold Scrap Value.
Gold has been outperforming virtually all other classes of assets. Nonetheless, fluctuations do occur. Make sure you are keeping an eye on its value. This way you can sell it at your most favorable time…and smile all the way to the bank with cash in hand. A smart tactic is to keep tabs on what investors are doing.
Follow the prices of gold. Remember, the price listed on the site is just for reference when comparing multiple offers. You are not going to receive the full price for your gold as it is listed on the site. It’s similar to trading currency at the airport. The bank or exchange window buys lower and sells higher than what see if you check the current exchange rate online.
Also, be sure to specify the correct karat number when checking prices.
3. How to weigh gold at home?
If your gold isn’t 24 karats, it means that it contains other metals such as copper, zinc, and nickel. When making your own estimates you need to factor in these other materials, this also includes stones, as these don’t count towards the weight of the gold. The price of gold is for pure gold.
Pure gold is very soft, so to make it more durable for jewelry, gold is combined with alloy metals like silver, nickel or copper. That’s where karats come in. The ratio of pure gold to alloy metal is the gold’s karat. Again, 24 karat is pure gold, so 18-karat gold is 18/24 (3/4th gold).
When you measure the weight of your gold yourself, measure it in grams. Although, gold buyers will use a special weight system call Troy ounce. So, don’t be put off or surprised… just figure out the conversion – there are 31.103grams in a Troy Ounce of gold.
If you don’t have a scale, you can go to your local post office and ask them to use theirs (most post offices have a scale).
4. How much is my gold jewelry worth.
A common misconception regarding reselling gold jewelry is the thought that you will receive a similar amount to what you paid. In actuality, you will most likely only earn back a percentage of your gold ’s original retail value. It’s uncommon for gold jewelry to resell at a premium price, unless it’s vintage and antique or a trending piece from a top designer. With that being said, it really depends on the current market value for your specific piece and the weight of pure gold your item contains. To be sure, you will need to take it to a professional to have your gold appraised.
A common question we’d like to address before moving on is “What is the difference between yellow gold and white gold: Which is better?”
The quick answer is white gold. Here is why…If you take an in-depth look at the way white gold is made, you will see that it is in fact just yellow gold mixed with different metals.
Yellow gold jewelry is created in the same way as white, the only difference is the mixture of additional metals. White gold contains more zinc; yellow gold normally has more nickel. The actual purity of the gold is still measured the same way.
However, here is the point of difference in terms of pricing. White gold has a different plating. It is plated with rhodium. Rhodium is a white metal and is what actually gives white gold its color, and rhodium is expensive. This is why white gold is worth more than yellow gold.
5. Find out if your gold jewelry is Scrap–or History.
Before you go to sell your gold jewelry for it’s melted down scrap value, be sure it’s not worth more intact. The actual piece of jewelry itself could be worth more than just the intrinsic value of the gold it contains.
Brian Witherell, an antique dealer gives an example here: “A seller brought him an antique item—a small gold watch fob made in the shape of a railroad spike. It was a little thing. It would not have brought much value as scrap. Upon inspection, the fob turned out to be fashioned out of gold left over from making the famous full-sized golden spike used in 1869 to commemorate the completion of the transcontinental railroad. At auction, it sold for $20,000.”
Another example could be an unusual gold coin, possibly be worth more than its gold content, or a trending collector watch that was limited edition from a high valued watch brand or designer. Even an antique pocket watch that doesn’t work anymore may get you a much higher cash value when sold as-is. Always do your research!
Ask a professional!
If you can’t find out any information and you have a feeling that it could be worth more intact, have your item evaluated by a trusted jeweler.
With that being said, most pieces of jewelry are melted down and sold for their gold content, so don’t get your expectations too high.
Also, a point to mention is that you can’t ask for more if the jewelry has a meaningful value that only applies to you (e.g. passed down from great-grandparent). Jewelers won’t place a value on that, to them, it’s just another piece of jewelry to make a profit off of, which is perfectly acceptable as business is business.
Note: if there are any other materials besides gold in it, make sure you know their worth as well.
6. Jewelry appraisal vs selling price.
If you have a gold item that might be worth a lot of money, it’s smart to get it appraised.
It’s important to note that your jewelry may very well be appraised close to the amount you purchased it for, but that doesn’t mean that you will be able to resell it for that exact amount. Appraisals are used for insurance purposes and they use the retail value, which doesn’t consider the buyer of your gold, who will want to make a profit when selling it at retail value. So the math on your appraisal can be as such:
Appraisal (retail value) – buyers (who you are selling it to) profit margins – any fees = what you will be paid.
When it comes to the retail and resale value, the figures are drawn up from a few variables, which includes its condition, rarity, age, brand, and the demand in the market. Your gold is only really worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
7. Prepare to sell your gold.
If you have a large collection of gold jewelry and you are looking to sell many items, organize your gold by its karats. Also, make sure to remove any imitation gold, which can be determined easily with the magnet test (if it sticks, it’s likely not gold).
This will save the gold buyer’s time. An honest broker of gold will appreciate this and they will likely pay you more since you saved them time. It will also show buyers that you understand the value and it will make them less likely to try to scam you – knowledge is power.
You should also restore your jewelry’s lustrous shine if possible. This will make your gold jewelry more attractive to the buyer, especially if you are trying to sell it intact.
To clean gold jewelry, all you have to do is dip your jewelry in a bowl of lukewarm water with dish soap and lightly clean it using a soft-bristle toothbrush. To give it a deeper cleaning or to clean gold jewelry that also has precious stones, we recommend taking it to a jeweler to ensure it’s polished safely and effectively.
8. Best place to sell gold.
Without a doubt, jewelry stores are your best option. You should always try to sell your gold jewelry to a jeweler first, especially well-known reputable jewelry stores. Put simply, they won’t rip you off.
Some reputable jewelers have a system in place to buy peoples gold online too. If they are a reputable jeweler and you understand the value of your item (approximately), this is a good option. Just make sure to ask the right questions, such as: What if I don’t agree to the price you want to pay me? When will you return it to me if we don’t come to an agreement? Etc.
Try to avoid selling your gold at a pawnshop. A pawnshops’ goal is to pay the least amount of money possible for something that they believe they can sell. They deal with many different types of products and most don’t specialize in gold or jewelry, they know a little about a lot of things.
Most pawnshops won’t recognize premium, high-quality jewelry, and they are inherently manipulative. Even though it is understandable as that is their business model, it’s best to stay away. Pawnshops are a last resort type option.
Tip: If a buyer/dealer holds up your bag of gold jewelry and makes you a quick offer, get out of there. An honest buyer will take the time to examine, weigh and evaluate the resale value to determine how much to pay you.
Pop-up Gold Buyers
Also, you should steer clear of gold buyers. The ones that pop up in a new location every so often and do a bunch of advertising – “SELL YOUR GOLD JEWELRY FOR CASH NOW” – are either scams or they are looking to take advantage of people in need of cash. They won’t pay anything close to what you should be getting.
Most of these pop-up gold buyers are known for unsavory practices. If you can, avoid these gold buyers altogether, which means don’t even bother getting a quote from them. They may try to manipulate you somehow to sell on the spot instead of letting you see other options elsewhere.
9. Get quotes before you choose where to sell your gold jewelry.
Now that we have established that jewelers are the right place to sell your gold jewelry, always get multiple quotes before selling. Some stores may offer higher prices than others, depending on their margins and if they can recognize special jewelry that will sell for more.
We recommend getting at least three quotes. Phone quotes are ok too. If you give them an adequate description of what you have and they won’t give you a quote over the phone, they are probably not revealing their prices because their payouts is terrible and it will be easier to hook you into selling in person. Be sure to also ask about fees associated with selling your jewelry.
Ask more questions – It is a good sign if you feel the jeweler is being transparent about how they determine the value of your gold jewelry. Find out what they know about any other materials or stones inside it.
10. Check reviews on the jeweler before you sell your gold jewelry to them.
Firstly, you should always sell your gold to a jeweler with a permanent location.
Secondly, you should always check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see the company’s reputation. You’d be surprised how many people report bad deals to the BBB. Also, check them out on Yelp for reviews of their company. Plus, you can type the company name with the word ‘scam’ into Google to see what pulls up.
Thirdly, check their credentials. If they are legitimate, they will have a license by the state to buy gold. They will also be required by law to ask you to show them a driver’s license, passport or another form of government-issued identification. If your buyer doesn’t require you to show your ID, don’t do business with them.
Lastly, check up on their policies. Make sure you read the fine print. We advise you to check terms and conditions carefully. If online, check on shipping and reimbursement if they lose your gold. Some online buyers only offer limited liability.
Now that you know what you need to know, make sure you check off everything on this list when selling your gold.
As a seller, you can set yourself up for success with this knowledge. You will thank yourself later as the potential to increase the amount of cash you receive for your gold jewelry can be great by simply knowing the process and market.
We buy Gold:
Raymond Lee Jewelers:
We are located in southern Florida in the city of Boca Raton. We proudly serve Boca Raton and the surrounding following areas: Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Broward County. Stop by and talk to one of our experts about selling your gold today. We are happy to do a gold jewelry appraisal in Boca Rotan too!
Not local? No worries – Sell gold online to us!
If you’re not local, we also facilitate online sales of gold.