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When Fiat Calls: How To Sell Old Jewelry

Need money? Looking to sell old jewelry?

In a down economy, there can be no doubt that a great number of people will have to sell their prized possessions, including gold and silver. Be it your mother, father or a sibling, you will of course want them to get the best price for their used jewelry.

That’s why United Coin & Precious Metals put together this jewelry selling guide. We want fellow gold and silver bugs, and their family, to get the top dollar for their gold and silver jewelry.

These are typically the main types of jewelry sold on the open market in the US:

    • Diamond jewelry: There is much one should know about the four Cs (cut, carat, clarity and color) before selling diamond jewelry.

    • Precious metal jewelry: Platinum, gold and silver make up many jewelry settings and are popular with buyers and sellers.

    • Handcrafted, artisan, and ethnic jewelry: Jewelry sellers often come in with one-of-a-kind and hard to find pieces. United Coin & Precious Metals loves these pieces, as often times they come with a back-story from diverse and unique cultures.
    • Vintage and Antique Jewelry: United Coin & Precious Metals also buys men’s jewelry. Some of the popular men’s jewelry items we see are rings, bracelets, chains, belt buckles, cufflinks and tie tacks.

If you have the option, United Coin & Precious Metals recommends you hold onto the handcrafted and vintage jewelry, if you can. Because of their relative rarity, these can hold much value above-and-beyond the gold and silver price. At least sell these on eBay and try to get the added premium for yourself.

Once you have determined what you will sell, you must think about how much you think it is worth and what’s a fair offer. Perhaps, if you are selling a big gold lot, make a checklist of the items and your perceived value of them. Many aspects go into giving your gold jewelry and silver jewelry value: dimensions and sizes, original retial price, estimated value, information about the collection it belongs to, authentication, grades (cut and clarity), and other interesting features.

Do Your Research

If you don’t know much about your gold and silver jewelry, a limited amount of research can clue you into what you are selling, thus leading to higher returns. Examine your jewelry for signatures, markings, dates, engravings, or brands.

Learn about the company or maker that your pieces were made by. Learn about the materials used, production era, production company and rarity. All of these details will give you a better estimate of your item’s value, and educating your buyers can increase the attraction of your item.

When selling jewelry pieces that contain expensive stones or materials, or that are is potentially worth a lot, it may be worthwhile to get your item appraised and authenticated. This can be a process, but might save you money.

Some Americans go to gold parties. These are a fun trend, where you and your friends get together and have your jewelry appraised. You can earn cash on the spot.

But, don’t be so quick.

As stated, it is important to do your homework before selling your gold, silver, platinum and palladium jewelry.

1. Know the weight. 

Knowing the weight of your gold is of utmost importance.  Jewelers use troy ounces instead of ounces when weighing your precious metals. US scales measure 28 grams per ounce, but precious metals like gold and silver are weighed at 31.1 grams per Troy ounce.

Some dealers use a system of weights called pennyweights to measure a troy ounce, while other use grams. A pennyweight is equivalent of 1.555 grams.

What is the karat? Pure gold doesn’t work in jewelry because it is too soft. The Federal Trade Commission requires all jewelry sold in the US describe a karat fines of the alloy. One karat equals 1/24 of pure gold by weight. So 14 karats would mean the jewelry is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals. Anything below 10 karats is not considered “gold jewelry.”

2. Organize Your Karats

Know what is what. Because different jewelry pieces weigh different, it is important to know what is 14 karats and what is 18 karats. Separate your jewelry by karat before looking to sell your gold jewelry.

3.  Know the Value

Call a local jewelry store or check with an online source, such as www.goldprice.org, to verify the current market price for gold before you sell. Some dealers know people are just looking for quick cash to put in their pockets and will offer you money for your gold that is lower than the actual value.

4. Know Your Buyer

It might be best to get to know a local dealer. Coin shops often times offer very hospitable environments. You should deal with a frank operator who tells you what you have, has no problem showing scales or acid tests. The more educated a gold seller is, the better off they will be.

5. Know What You Are Selling

Some gold items may be worth more when sold as they are, rather than if they are melted down. If your gold necklace or bracelet comes from a well-known designer or maker, it may have a value to some buyers beyond the gold it’s made of.

Here are some more tips for knowing the value of your gold and silver jewelry.

  • With a magnifying glass or a loop find a marking which will give you the purity of your material.
    • Is the marking crisp and clear? Can you easily tell that your jewelry is 14k, 18k, 22k or 24k gold? That’s a good sign for your sterling silver or gold jewelry. If it is not so crisp, then maybe – just maybe – the karats were marked by an inexperienced jeweler, or even worse someone making fake jewelry.
    • If you’re worried about whether or not your jewelry is fake, United Coin & Precious Metals can test. If your jewelry sticks to a industrial strength magnet, then, sorry, it unfortunately has no valuable gold content.
    • Then there is the acid test, which involves scratching into your gold to determine its value. We can also handle this for you.  
  • Determine Gold’s Current Value
    • At United Coin & Precious Metals’ website, you can find the current price of gold, silver and platinum. These metals are weighed in troy ounces, which is the equivalent to 31.1 grams. This means, with a scale, you will have to weight your treasure.
  • Divide the gold price by the amount of grams per ounce, 31.1
    • If today’s gold price is USD$2,000, then today’s price per gram is USD $64.30.(USD$2,000/31.1)
  • Multiply the per gram. This is so you can find the purity.
    • 10k = 10/24 = .4167
    • 14k = 14/24 = .5833
    • 18k = 18/24 = .750
    • 22k = 22/24 = .9167
  • Multiply the price per gram by the weight in grams.

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