With gold selling for more than $1,600 an ounce in early 2012, a lot of people are selling their old jewelry. Sell your gold for quick easy cash! You’ve all seen the ads. It sounds like an easy way to turn your old jewelry into cash, but like any other business transaction, research and knowledge is the key to success. You need to learn how much your gold should be worth (as opposed to how much you value it) and what to look out for when choosing a vendor.
First, you need to determine what your gold is worth. There are several variables here. When you take it to a dealer and they offer you a price for it, you need to know if that is a fair price. Finding a vendor you trust is important, but going in with knowledge can keep you from getting ripped off. Before going any further with the process, you need to evaluate any sentimental value you attach to the piece(s). This isn’t going to carry any weight with the buyer, so unless you really need the cash, you should pull those pieces aside.
Next, you need to evaluate the value as a piece of jewelry against the price of scrap gold. An antique, unique or well-crafted piece of jewelry may bring more than simply selling it for its gold content. If you think you have pieces in this category, get them appraised by a reputable dealer before going any further.
Okay, you’ve pulled out grandpas pocket watch and custom gold bracelet, and you’re left with a pile of plain gold you want to sell for as much as you can. The first thing you need to do is separate the gold according to how many karats it is. Pure gold is 24 karats. Gold jewelry can be anywhere from 10K to 24K. You should be able to find the karats inscribed somewhere on the piece. The gold will be worth progressively less for fewer karats. For instance, 14K is .58 of 24K, so 14 karat jewelry will be worth about 58% of the same weight in 24 karat jewelry.
Next, find out approximately how much it weights. Unless you have a jeweler’s or other high precision scale, you will only get a close guess, but that will get you in the ballpark. Place each piece on a kitchen or postal scale and note the weight in ounces. Gold is sold in troy ounces, so you will then need to do a conversion using one of the many online conversion calculators – OnlineConversions.com is a good one. Or do the math yourself. One ounce is equal to .9115 troy ounces.
Finally, compile a list of all of your pieces and the total value based on today’s price of gold. You can get this at Kitco.com. Using a spreadsheet or calculator, calculate the value of each piece based on gold price, weight and karat. As an example, let’s say you have a 14 karat necklace and gold today is at $1650 per troy ounce. You weigh the necklace and it weighs 5 ounces. You would calculate 5 x .9115 x .58 x 1650 or $4,361.53.
Armed with that knowledge you are ready to find a vendor. If you live in an area with several jewelry stores and/or pawn shops, you would be better off trying to find a local buyer. If you have to deal with an online vendor, research them carefully and find independent reviews before sending off your precious gold.
If you have local vendors, visit them with a few pieces and find out what they will pay. The calculation above is an approximation of what it is worth. Obviously, the vendor is going to pay you something less than that. Once you visit a few places you will get a feel for what the market value is. Even if you end up trading online, having this information will be valuable prior to negotiating with someone in another part of the country – or world.
At today’s prices, selling your old gold jewelry could be a profitable enterprise. Just be sure and do your homework first so you don’t get ripped off.