What to expect when selling gold jewelry
July 27, 2012 8:08 AM   Subscribe

What to expect when selling gold jewelry? Details inside.

I recently had a gold charm bracelet I inherited appraised at a very well-regarded local jeweler, and have since come to the realization that (1) I don't love it and (2) I don't want to pay to insure it if I don't love it.

The bracelet was appraised at around $3,000 including the charms (most of which I'll keep to use as pendants), but the appraisal notes that the bracelet is in "poor condition, with stretched and broken wires throughout." The weight was 43.34 dwt for 14k yellow gold.

Coincidentally, the jeweler is having a buying event next week. I realize I probably won't get the full $3k value, but can anyone give me a ballpark idea of what price I could expect ("melt value?" - not sure exactly what that means) and any advice on what to do or not do during the process?

Thanks for your help!
posted by Sweetie Darling to Shopping (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here is a link to a scrap gold calculator.

Based upon the calculator, 43.34 dwt times $1617. (price per ounce today), you'd get $2043. I suspect that's high. I doubt a dealer is going to give you 100% of the exchange. Is half of that worth it?

You can negotiate a bit, but you'll be shocked at how little you'll be offered. I sold my scrap at a jewelry store and it was okay, but not earthshakingly great.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:14 AM on July 27, 2012

I cannot even begin to guess what you'd get for the gold, for a number of reasons. Most important being that I don't appraise jewelry for a living, second most important is that nobody here can weigh your bracelet. You say it was "The weight was 43.34 dwt for 14k yellow gold, but was that with the charms?

Appraised value is an interesting beast, and here is a link that discusses it. I found this link through google, and am not affiliated with the site in any way.

The basics are: for melt value or resale, it is worth what the market will bear, and unfortunately the jewelry market is pretty opaque. Gold buyers* (like buyers of most things) will try to pay as little as you will take, and negotiations with some will go better than with others. Your appearance and attitude will play a huge part in their ability willingness to negotiate with you. However, they will not pay you anywhere near the resale value of a piece of jewelry. They can't, because they have to either do all the work of melting and casting it into something new, or they have to hang onto it to sell.

*There was also an essay online somewhere by a guy who traveled around doing gold buying events out of hotel rooms. I can't find it right now and am getting ready to go out.
posted by bilabial at 8:22 AM on July 27, 2012

Check Yelp reviews for gold buyers in your area, don't necessarily go with the place you had it appraised.
posted by thrasher at 8:28 AM on July 27, 2012

I got some really good answers on this thread from a couple of months ago. You might find something helpful there.

I will say that my friend did not get as much as we were hoping for. As I recall, we figured that a fair price for what she had was around $360 (it was worth more, we were factoring in a profit for the buyer) and she only got around $295.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:45 AM on July 27, 2012

This thread, I mean.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:46 AM on July 27, 2012

Something to consider: Many coin dealers will buy scrap metal, and may offer better rates.
posted by gnomeloaf at 9:03 AM on July 27, 2012

A reputable gold buyer will tell you what percentage of spot price they're paying.

Remember that spot price is for 24 karat gold, so you can calculate the spot value of 14 karat gold by multiplying spot times .5833.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:22 AM on July 27, 2012

Ruthless bunny is right. If you get around $1950 or so, you should be getting the right amount. Keep in mind the solder points have weight and are not full 14K so there is a small amount that will be deducted for solder metal in your bracelet. Also, if there are stones and such in the bracelet, they will break those items and the gold weight will be minus the stone weights. It's a very small percentage, but it will matter.

Watch the price of gold, today is $1621 per troy ounce.
posted by Yellow at 10:29 AM on July 27, 2012

Selling gold is not a quick process. The buyer will need to obtain information from you such as your name and contact information, as well as your identification, and may scan that into a computer system connected with or overseen by the local police department. This is done to avoid selling stolen items. You will also probably get a check, not cash--again, to try to prevent theives from quickly selling stolen gold. When I went to sell some very old, inherited bits and pieces of gold, it was about a 45-minute process. This was at a very fine jeweler in my town.

If you know the weight, call around and see who is offering the best price for the purity of gold you have.
posted by FergieBelle at 10:50 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

I was offered $800 for the bracelet, one charm, and a gold men's ring (with 3 small diamonds) I also brought in. I passed, but I guess it was a good learning experience. I may go to another jeweler that friends have recommended, just to compare. My other plan is to use the gold and diamonds someday to make something for my daughter.

Thanks so much for the advice!
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:17 PM on July 31, 2012

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