How to Sell Gold

We’ll give you some steps to follow before beginning a gold-selling transaction so that you get organized and are aware of the actual worth of what you’re selling.  Whether you are going to sell your gold locally or to a reputable online dealer, remember that all dealers are not created equal.  Investigate their business thoroughly by reading online reviews, checking their BBB rating, and asking any and all questions before transacting.

Determining the Value of your Gold

  1. Find all the pieces that you’re looking to sell, including any certificates and papers verifying their authenticity.  Some pieces can be very valuable because of their origin, rarity, or beauty, and it is important to present these in a case or in a jeweler’s velvet storage pouch.  Such valuable items include jewelry from Tiffany’s, rare and antique coins, or unique, intact pieces of jewelry.  If you do have rare or antique coins, do not try and clean them; by doing so, you may scratch or otherwise mar them and diminish their value.
  2. The next step is determining the carat value of your pieces and separating them accordingly.  For example, all your 12k pieces should be grouped together, all 18k put together, etc.  You can use a magnifying glass or a jeweler’s loupe to find their designations.  Some jewelry simply has a number designation instead of carat.  For example, a piece may state the number 375, and this means it contains 37.5% gold.  If you’re having trouble finding or reading the carat value, be sure to contact a local jeweler who can appraise the item(s).
  3. Gold bars, electronic gold, or dental scrap usually do not have carat designations, and determining their value requires some more work.  To find the best price for your item, you should consult at least three gold dealers.  It is prudent to consult multiple gold dealers for other pieces if the carat designation has been worn off or otherwise erased.
  4. While in their carat groups, weigh your gold pieces on a gram scale.  You can use an ounce scale, but be sure to convert the ounces to grams by multiplying by 28.35.  For example, 5 ounces=141.75 grams.
  5. Check online for the most current prices of gold per troy ounce.  A troy ounce equals 31.1 grams, and you can easily convert the units by dividing the number of grams by 31.1 (one troy ounce).  Using the above example, 141.75 ÷ 31.1 = 4.558 troy ounces.
  6. Calculate the price of gold per gram.  This can be accomplished by dividing today’s price per ounce  by 31.1 (one troy ounce).  If the price of gold per ounce is $1000, then $1000÷31.1 = $32.154 as the price per gram of pure gold.
  7. Take the carat piles that you have created and calculate the respective purities of those piles by dividing the carat amount by 24 (24 carat gold is pure).  Your 12k gold group would look like this:  12 ÷24 = 0.5
  8. Multiply the price per gram that you calculated in step 6 by the amount of gold in your respective carat piles.  Using the numbers from our examples, you would multiply $32.154 by 0.5 to get $16.08, the actual price of 12k gold per gram.
  9. Finally, multiply the actual price of 12k gold per gram by the weight of 12k gold that you have in your pile.  To continue with our example, $16.077 (price per 12k gram) x 141.75 grams = $2278.91.
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 for each carat  group you have in order to get accurate values.

Where to Sell Your Gold

There are probably a dozen local dealers near you who primarily focus on walk-in customers, and there are hundreds of reputable dealers buying or selling gold online.  Be sure to select a company that you have thoroughly vetted and trust your instincts.

Because you are the one in possession of the gold, you are in control of the transaction.  Shop around if you don’t think you’re getting a fair price or there seems to be fishy business.  It’s smart to look at online price-checking and review sites before sending any of your pieces out.

Offline Selling

There is a popular opinion among gold sellers that it’s best to work with local, offline buyers because personal interaction allows you the advantage in negotiations, and you don’t have to relinquish possession of the gold in order to receive a rate and check at some later point.  Regardless of your ultimate decision, it’s wise to check with some local jewelers or pawnshops to get a feel for the industry and possibly some appraisals of your items.

These businesses will probably be listed in the YellowPages under Gold, Silver, & Platinum Dealers, Jewelers – Retail, or Jewelry Buyers.  Such businesses may give you the best option for complete and intact jewelry items, such as working watches or a matching set of earrings, especially is they have an established reputation.  Although they don’t necessarily pay as much as online buyers, they will be aware of market prices, and you will receive a reasonable return immediately.

There may also be local scrap gold buyers for you to  consult listed under the same categories in the Yellow Pages.  These local scrap gold buyers can be a good option for mismatched or broken pieces that pawnshops or jewelers may not accept.

One of our recommendations would be to use Sell Your Gold Locations to locate local gold buyers if you want to sell offline.

Online Selling

There are advantages to selling locally, such as spurring local economic growth and having a personal interaction, but the gold market online is thriving and extremely competitive.  By selling gold online, you will probably get a much higher price for any pieces.

Intact pieces can be sold on auction sites, such as eBay.  eBay can be a good place to check on your piece’s rarity, for prices of comparable pieces, and current market values.  Be sure to describe your pieces well and in detail, as well as posting clear pictures.  Unfortunately, many of your pieces probably have more sentimental value for you than they have monetary value as collectibles, and it may be more prudent to seek out the best online gold buyers for rates.

There are many online gold buyers who give you cash for gold, and we’ve ranked some of those online buyers for you in our Review Buyers Section to review our comparisons and ratings.  We also allow users to give feedback, so you can see some recent seller feedback.  Use these and other resources to choose the company with which you want to work.

Before initiating a transaction, contact the online gold buyer to describe and include pictures of your items to get their best price.  Read and understand their terms and conditions, shipping requirements, method(s) of payment, and return policies.

The return policies are especially important because some online dealers have hidden costs or charges associated with returns of your pieces.  Find their contact phone number so that you can talk to a real person, and make sure they have an actual street address instead of only an email address.

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