The high price of gold is creating a situation where a number of individuals are considering sending in their old jewelry for cash. The weakness in the economy has made things even worse. Seeing an opportunity, folks in the gold refining business are reaching out to get their share as well.
I cannot remember any previous time in my life when I have seen refiners openly advertising on television, but in recent months, there they are, urging folks to send in their jewelry and gold for cash. It hasn’t even been a one time occurrence – I have seen many such ads, and from several different refiners. You may well have seen some of the same ads.
So what should you do with your gold? It is not at all difficult to convert precious metals into cash, and the current high prices certainly are tempting. A number of refiners are out there and they are eager to have your business – a quick internet search will yield up a whole crop of them. Perhaps the best thing is to learn a bit more about refiners and the process of converting your gold into cash before you make an educated decision.
I’m not a gold buyer, and I am not in the refining business, so I am not trying to sell or promote any one or the other of these services, but like I noted, there are plenty of them out there. I’d just like to offer some advice based on my knowledge and experience with the process.
When considering cashing in your gold, you want to ask yourself is how much of an emergency this is. Are you in urgent need of cash? Or can you wait? Almost half the battle in getting the best price for gold is not being in a rush when it comes time to sell. A lot of guys save up their gold, but then a crisis hits and they are forced to sell at whatever price they can get. Unfortunately, the emergency “have to sell right now” price is not normally as good as the price you will get if you can be choosy and wait till the right buyer comes along. So I’d say that one of the most important things about getting the best price for your gold is good planning.
The first thing you need to know is that these “cash in on your jewelry” outfits will not be paying you a price that is similar to the price you might have paid in a jewelry store. They pay only for the value of the gold metal contained in the jewelry, and they don’t pay for all of that, as they hold back a percentage for their profit. Second, they don’t pay anything for the gemstones in your jewelry, in fact you may not even get the gems back – even if they are diamonds. So if you have nice rings with gemstones, either have the stones removed or sell the whole piece through ebay or some other venue where you can get something for the jewels as well as the gold.
Third, your gold jewelry is not pure gold – most solid gold jewelry is 14 Karat – or 58% gold. Jewelry marked as 18K is 75% gold. Some men’s jewelry is only 10K, which is only about 42% gold. At the current gold price of about $820 per ounce, you can expect to get paid about $425 per troy ounce for your gold jewelry or about $390 per avoirdupois ounce for your gold. These numbers will go up or down as the gold market fluctuates. Most scales are made to weigh avoirdupois, so if you use a scale made for postage or food to weigh your gold, use the $390 per ounce number. This means that for a simple gold wedding band you will be getting around $25 to $30. For a gold bracelet you should get somewhere around $120, depending on how heavy it is. If your jewelry is marked GF – that means gold filled and you wont get anything for it. GF means it is only gold plated.
So what are these services good for? Well, if you inherited a bunch of 14K gold jewelry from aunt Elsie, and you don’t like her taste and know you will never wear any of it, then these services might be a useful alternative to turn that gold into cash.
Remember it is important to carefully and safely store the gold you own until you sell it. It is not safe to have large amounts of gold – what may amount to many thousands of dollars – sitting around your house in a box or a drawer. Many folks have had their gold stolen because they failed to keep their gold in a safe location. Gold is valuable, and it attracts thieves. If you have more than an ounce or two of gold around the house, you really should purchase a safety deposit box in the vault of your local bank and make arrangements to keep your gold in the safety of their secure vault.