One of the most common ways to make money selling gold or silver is through jewelry. It’s one of those items that accumulates over time. Sometimes, the jewelry goes out of fashion, or an earring gets lost. Whatever your reason for selling, if you want to get the most money for your jewelry, just follow these simple steps.
1. Research Your Jewelry
The first step in getting the most for your jewelry is knowing what it is that you have. Sometimes items are handed down to you with a colorful family tale. Your great aunt Beatrice may have been telling you what she thought was the truth when she said that was a genuine Art Deco white gold and diamond ring. Not to say anything bad about aunt Beatrice, but sometimes what one thinks is the truth, isn’t. Especially when it comes to family heirlooms.
So do your research. Test the metal to make sure it’s genuine gold. This can be done cheaply and easily. You can buy a metal test online for less than $20. In addition to testing, find out everything you can about the piece. You will typically find stamps on jewelry that indicate the brand, metal purity, and even the age. All of this will help you determine its value more accurately.
2. Find a Buyer
Many gold buyers have little experience properly evaluating jewelry, and will simply quote you the price of gold, not taking into consideration the value of the gemstones. A good buyer should weigh the jewelry in front of you. Then they should be able to explain how much gold or silver is in the piece by subtracting the estimated weight of the stones—or anything else not made of gold or silver. They should tell you how much the stones are worth, if anything. And finally, they should know if there is any intrinsic value or collectibility to the piece. Good buyers are well established and have a long history of buying jewelry.
3. Know the Price of Gold and Silver
The more precious metal in the jewelry, the more the piece is worth. The current price of gold or silver is known as the spot price. No gold buyer is going to pay you the spot gold price. They will pay you the melt price—what it costs to melt the precious metal down to its purest form. And each gold buyer will take a small percentage as a commission. This commission and their ability to accurately estimate the jewelry’s value is why you will see evaluations of the same piece vary from buyer to buyer. It’s why you should do your homework and research buyers.
4. Be Realistic
It’s important that you’re honest with yourself about your jewelry, especially if it has sentimental value to you. You need to understand that you’re not going to get retail value for your jewelry. If you’re unwilling to take anything less than retail for your jewelry, then maybe you’re not ready to let go of it yet. And that’s OK. It’s better to just be honest and wait until you are ready. Trying to shop around and get a price that’s not realistic will simply frustrate you.
5. How Buyers Make Money
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to get out there. Be sure to ask for a free evaluation and don’t let anyone pressure you into selling. Some businesses try to pay you more (and make less for themselves), but make up the difference in volume. Others will attempt to pay you less and make more on fewer transactions.