Have you read recently about how the price of gold is so high now that people are digging out their fillings (no, really!) to sell at the pawn shop? Well, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea if you tried to hunt for some old gold jewelry of yours to sell. But when you do that, you should be warned that you probably won’t get all the great full market prices that you go in expecting.
The thing is, when you buy gold jewelry new, you don’t pay just for the metal; you also pay for the design and workmanship that goes into it. When you go back to sell it years later, you don’t get anything for all that fancy work because the buyers are just going to melt it down for the metal it contains. Gold jewelry isn’t made of pure gold. It’s an alloy of gold and other metals like copper. Gold by itself, is far too soft a material to last long as jewelry. That’s what the whole karat measure is all about. The karat scale that they use to measure gold goes up to 24. The lower the number on the scale that your jewelry scores, the less gold it has. Gold that is 12 karat for instance is half gold and half copper. You need to take that into account. And then, the workers who melt the jewelry and separate the gold from the copper actually ask to be paid a quarter of the value of the gold in it. Basically, selling gold jewelry to make some money, you need to be realistic.
So now that you know what to expect, how do you sell your gold jewelry? The as-seen-on-TV gold buying companies with names like GoldPaq and Cash4Gold happen to be very convenient. You register with them, they send you a secure prepaid envelope to send them your gold in. A week later, they send you your check and the receipt. If you don’t like what they’ve offered you, you can send the check back and you get the jewelry back. It’s an expensive way to sell gold though. You only get about 20% of the meltdown value.
How about the advertisements you see on TV about how some gold buying company will take up a hotel room near you and buy gold from everyone who walks in? Well, these are somewhat better than the companies above, but they still only give you about 40% of the meltdown value.
At your local jewelers, you’ll usually get the best price for your gold jewelry. Usually, you’ll get 75% of the meltdown value of your gold. Sometimes, if they really like your jewelry, they’ll even pay for the design and not just the gold. Usually, these are the best deals possible.