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Sell ​​your gold securely at a fair price

You have gold that you want to sell. Some of your late aunt’s jewelry, maybe. Or your grandfather’s coin collection. Old earrings that no longer have partners. Or a really hideous bracelet that you never wear. You could use the silver more than the knotted piece of old chains in your jewelry box. But selling gold can be intimidating.

We’re sure you’ve seen the signs promising quick cash for gold. What about an online shopper? You may have received a solicitation by mail. Authorities warn against scams, and knowing how to get a fair price in a volatile market is a challenge. But if you have gold jewelry, coins, or other gold coins that you prefer to cash in, there are ways to sell them safely and at the best price.

The key to this transaction is your comfort level and the trust that the person you are selling to is trustworthy. One of the first rules, then, is to do your research and shop around.

More and more consumers are looking to sell gold items, according to Gary Smith, former international president of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), even though gold prices aren’t particularly high right now. Part of the reason for the increased interest in selling? It’s a bit grim: The high death toll from COVID-19 has left survivors selling property belonging to their deceased loved ones, Smith said.

In addition, people facing financial hardship due to the pandemic are looking to sell gold and other items. “People actually walked into our facility with very low value jewelry,” said Smith, owner of PA Gem Lab in Montoursville, Pa. “They need the money and they are ready to sell Grandpa’s class ring. It is a sad state of affairs and people are suffering.

With all that need, scams abound, according to Smith. So it is wise to be careful when selling your gold and jewelry. As with most things, knowledge is the key to success.

The first step, said Smith, is to talk to an appraiser. Smith named the ASA, as well as the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers and the Appraisers Association of America as the leading organizations in this area. In addition, he said that there is an organization for retailers called the American Gem Society.

Evaluators who belong to any of these organizations must adhere to strict codes of conduct and ethics, Smith said. All three establishments maintain databases on their websites where you can find an assessor near you. For a small fee – maybe as low as $ 20 – one of these independent appraisers can give you a quick appraisal of what you have and what it should be looking for, as well as whether a piece of jewelry is worth it. intrinsic beyond the weight of the gold and whether the gemstones are real.

That should be enough, Smith said, to give consumers what they need to sell their items for a fair price. A seller shouldn’t need an expensive written appraisal, as might be required for insurance coverage.

“Most reviewers are pretty forgiving this way,” Smith said. “We’re here to help and from ASA’s point of view, we’re here to educate the general public. Evaluators, he said, “want people to get their money’s worth.”

Amanda Gizzi, spokesperson for the Jewelers of America trade organization, says getting more than one offer and selling to a reputable buyer are important steps in selling gold and jewelry safely to a company. fair price.

“Shopping is a good way to understand the average price you can expect,” Gizzi said. “If you can find a jeweler that you like to buy jewelry from, you might get a higher amount if you use the money for another jewelry purchase. “
Kate Mars, who lives in Arlington, Va., Relied on recommendations from people she trusted when she sold jewelry and a collection of coins from a safe left behind at the death of his father.

Through the estate attorney, she found a coins merchant near Frederick, MD, where the merchant gave Mars a “sense of security” as he perused his coin books. and told him what was of value.

The jewelry had been valued for the estate and none of it was particularly valuable, Mars said. She took him to a recommended jewelry store – which had been in business for a long time. “People were nice,” she says. “They looked for everything … Even though I could have made a few more dollars (going elsewhere), I’m happy with the experience.”

They also helped her by providing her with the documents she needed as the executor of her father’s estate. And note that for anyone who sells gold or jewelry, getting a good receipt should be part of the process. It should include all the details of the transaction, including the buyer’s name and address, the date of the sale and the weight, title, prices and names of all precious metals involved.

Various online sources, such as, will give you the spot price of gold. Don’t expect to get this amount, however, for old jewelry or coins. On the one hand, these are wholesale values, and you are selling to a middleman, who will have to make a profit when they resell your property.
Smith, the former international president of the American Society of Appraisers, said some places that display signs offering to buy gold pay only 40-45% of the value. Pawn shops may only pay 20%. So what is fair value? Consumers should sell to someone who will pay 65 to 88 percent of an item’s value, according to Smith.

Why can’t you have more? There are several reasons. For one thing, companies that buy gold are generally required by state law to hold items for a certain number of days before selling them, Smith said. This can be a gamble due to the volatility of gold prices. The buyer of your gold will also likely sell to a refiner or a middleman who will sell to refiners. Gold will go through two or three sets of hands before it is finally sold for its value.

“Gold jewelry is not always very heavy, so the price that something was bought will not be the same as the price you are reselling it for,” Gizzi said. “Remember that the retailer who buys the gold has to process it, clean it and often melt it into something else before it can be resold. “

Another important variable that will affect the price is the purity of gold, measured in karats. Pure gold – think gold bars – is 24 karats. But pure gold is soft, so it’s usually mixed with other metals to make it harder and more durable, like when used in jewelry.

The karat measurement tells you how much pure gold is in the coin. The proportions of pure gold and other metals will total 24. So if your jewelry is 18 karat, or 18 karat, it means that it contains 18 parts of gold plus six parts of other types of metal. A 10K gold coin is made up of 10 parts of gold with 14 parts of other metals.

As with almost all other business transactions, the Internet is an option for selling your gold. Ebay, for example, has a marketplace where sellers can submit a photo of their item and receive a quote, without submitting their item. Notably, their redemption partner, APMEX, only accepts bars, coins and rounds.
If you have coins or bullion, Smith said, selling the items on eBay is “better than a pawnshop.” But he prefers local face-to-face transactions to online sales. “Basically you know who you’re dealing with,” he explained. “I guess I’m old school as much as I like to face to face. If I don’t get that “warm, fuzzy vibe of trust,” I go elsewhere. “

Special care should be taken, however, if you choose to mail your items to a potential buyer as part of an online sale. Be sure to take photos of your items and make a list before you mail them. In addition, you must insure the package before shipping it out.

And as long as we’re discussing precautions, with potentially large sums of money changing hands, you want to do at least as much due diligence as if you were doing, say, swapping a car. In addition to business associations and recommendations, you can check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if there are any complaints against a business you are considering, and if so, how they were resolved.

It’s a good idea to weigh your gold before bringing it to a buyer – a kitchen or mailing scale should give you a reasonable idea of ​​the weight of your items. And make sure that when the buyer weighs the gold, you pay attention to the procedure.

Is it a good time to sell? Should we wait for the price to go up, or do we risk losing money if the price goes down?

“Selling gold now is a good idea for those who need the money or want to use the gold to reinvest in a new piece of jewelry,” Gizzi said. “Obsolete jewelry that is broken or simple earrings also make great items for sale.”

That being said, it is possible to have regrets. “Always remember that once the part is gone, you can rarely get it back,” Gizzi explained. “Just because a piece of jewelry is obsolete doesn’t mean it won’t come back.”

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