Need to convert gold to cash at the best rate.
August 15, 2009 7:49 PM   Subscribe

How can someone sell gold and or jewelry for the best price?

I'm asking this question on behalf of a friend.

She's down on her luck and is looking to sell some of her jewelry, especially gold jewelry. Of course, there are myriads of places that buy gold, including local jewelers and "cash for gold" places. But are they the best place to go? How do you know if you're getting a fair price? How does one research the going rate? Is it better to sell jewelry as jewelry, or as scrap?

Thank you for any advice.
posted by Vorteks to Work & Money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Whatever she does, she should avoid cash4gold at all costs.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:26 PM on August 15, 2009

I recommend Hoover & Strong. They are a very important vendor of mine and, we sell the scrap/filings back to them. They have always treated me fairly and waaaaaay better than the pawnshops 15% on the dollar.
posted by winks007 at 8:35 PM on August 15, 2009

Scrap value is calculated from the weight, karat and the gold spot price.

Example: If a US quarter (weight 5.67 grams ) was 14K gold and gold spot is $940.00 then scrap would be about $100.

Google found some calculators:

Here's one dealer's current buying prices:

If she has nice designer, vintage or antique jewelry it can be worth substantially more; look for an estate jeweler or antique dealer. Some costume jewelry can be worth good money as well.
posted by Fins at 9:52 PM on August 15, 2009

Recently a friend was selling an unwanted diamond ring; he went to the nearest town, went into three different places that brought jewellery, and asked them all what they would give him for it.

The first shop he went to, 'cash converters', wasn't a jewellers - they brought all sorts of things like consumer electronics and suchlike. The person behind the counter was a store clerk, rather than a professional jeweller; They offered him $200.

Then he went into two jewellery shops, both of whom said "Well, I could sell you a new one for $200, so I'll offer to buy it for $150", and when told he had been offered $200 said "I'd take that if I were you".

My friend didn't look at online places, as they offer prices for gold by weight but had no way to value the diamond.

Anyway, my suggestion would be to get prices at a few different buyers, and sell the thing to whoever offers you the best price.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:54 AM on August 16, 2009

I recently tried to sell a ring - it's gold with diamonds, so I didn't want to sell it to a 'cash for gold' place. (I have sold plain gold to Goldman's in the past.) I took it to both a regular pawn shop and a 'jewelry exchange' (more upscale). Both of them offered around $200 (the ring cost over $1100 new), and both of them said that they only way to get more for it would be to sell it privately, preferably through Craigslist. I listed it twice, and both times got ridiculously low offers ($100), money order scammers, and people sending me referral links to online cash-for-gold kits. I did have one seemingly-serious potential buyer, but she flaked out on me before we could meet up and stopped responding to my e-mails.

If your friend's jewelry merits it, I'd second Fins' suggestion to go the estate/antique route. Craigslist might work out, but be prepared for the type of responses the listing will generate. I specified local sale and cash only, but that didn't stop the scammers. And I'm still stuck with the ring.
posted by candyland at 5:42 AM on August 16, 2009

Okay, there's two ways to sell your jewelry. The first, if it's a good/valuable enough piece of jewelry (not just an old band or chain) is to sell it as used/estate jewelry. If this is what your friend wants to do, then the most money s/he will get out of it is to sell it directly to another person to wear. What's it worth? Get an appraisal, and estimate roughly half of that. You can arrange to meet on neutral, secure ground (your bank is good for this) to minimize risk -- you certainly don't want them knowing where you live.

You can also sell on consignment through a jeweler, but he'll get probably about 30% of the selling price. The upside is he does all the work for you, polishes and cleans it up, and applies his expertise to selling it.

If your friend is selling for scrap, you've got two options. First is find a local, reputable jeweler who's been in the community for a long time and is buying (most of them are -- the way the economy is now, they're doing what they can to get people in the door). Short of that you'll want to research reputable corporate companies that buy. winks007 recommended Hoover & Strong, and they are indeed a great company. I didn't know they dealt directly with the public, but if they do, they're a safe bet.

If you like, feel free to MeMail me and I can get you in touch with my father -- I come from a very, very long line of manufacturing jewelers and he can likely direct you to reputable buyers. It's important to him to keep honest people from getting screwed by the scumbag minority of dealers.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:12 AM on August 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

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