Gold in mouth, cash in hand?
September 1, 2012 9:30 PM   Subscribe

Gold dental work. Is it worth selling? If so, where do I go?

I came into possession of a dead relative's gold dental work. It is a couple pieces, and I have no information about them. I would like to sell them, as I have no sentimental feelings about this relative or their possessions. My question, in two parts:

1. Is this worth selling? I have no way of knowing the purity of the gold here, and how much would be involved in these pieces.
2. If so, can anybody recommend a trustworthy seller in New York for me to work with? (Evening and/or weekend hours are a plus.)

Thank you!
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The nominal price of gold is pretty much near historical highs -- as in more than it's ever been worth in your lifetime. People are selling gold -- including dental work -- like never before.

Purity aside, it's probably worth something and you won't know until you start getting offers from someone who's examined it. I think the risk of scams is high here so try to choose a reputable jeweler who's been around a while, rather than a CASH 4 GOLD pop-up.
posted by dhartung at 11:08 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

You might find this Reddit thread interesting.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:19 AM on September 2, 2012

Previously, it's not going to be a lot of money, but probably enough that you want to take a serious look at it.
posted by anaelith at 1:29 AM on September 2, 2012

1. Yes it is.

2. Do you know anyone who is an antiques dealer, or who yard sales at a professional level? Ask them who they use/trust for scrapping stuff, as most antique dealers will regularly scrap stuff they find at yard sale that has gold/silver, but isn't in good enough shape to bother re-selling.

You won't get a ton of money for it, but it's not unusual at all, and it is worth something.
posted by instead of three wishes at 7:23 AM on September 2, 2012

Just to emphasize: whatever you do, do not go to one of those Cash4Gold type places or do any kind of deal where you send them the goods, they weigh it and (hopefully!) send back a check: that's just asking to be ripped off. Start with a reputable jeweler; if they can't help, they could at least point you in the direction of honest dealers.
posted by easily confused at 8:38 AM on September 2, 2012

My advice is to find a dental lab in your area and see if they will give you any money. I manage a dental office and we have our own lab (which is very uncommon). We have used Pease and Curren for our scrap metal refining for over 30 years but Landis is another one. There is a minimum amount they will deal with (5 oz I think, which is at least 5 crowns). There is a flat processing fee ($100 last time I called) so you are better off sending a large amount at one time. Dental gold is an alloy and the platinum and palladium in the alloy can be worth as much or more than the gold. We use the most expensive alloy but your dentist may have used lesser alloys (base metal). Our lab has carpet which is full of the alloy dust. We send the vacuum bags along with the cut up carpet and ship it in cardboard barrels to Pease and Curren about every 10 years. We also send any old crowns, bridges, amalgam scraps (for the silver) we have saved up. We usually get back $10,000-$14,000 depending on the price of metals at the time. We get it back as gold coins like Krugerrands which you can sell to coin dealers and maybe jewelers. We have never tried to sell any of those actually.
posted by LiverOdor at 12:27 PM on September 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

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