“Gold jewelry isn’t always very heavy, so the price that something was purchased for will not be the same as what you sell it back for,” Gizzi said. “Remember, the retailer that buys the gold, has to process it, clean it, and oftentimes melt it down to make it into something else before they can resell it.”
Another important variable that will affect price is the gold’s purity, measured in karats. Pure gold — think bullion bars — is 24 karat. But pure gold is soft, so it’s usually mixed with other metals to make it harder and more durable such as when used in jewelry.
The karat measurement tells you how much pure gold is in the piece. The proportions of pure gold and other metals will add up to 24. So, if your jewelry is 18K, or 18 karats, that means it has 18 parts of gold plus six parts of other kinds of metal. A 10K piece of gold is 10 parts gold with 14 parts of other metals.
Like with almost every other business transaction, the internet is an option for selling your gold. Ebay, for example, has a marketplace where sellers can send a photograph of their item and receive a quote — without sending in their item. Notably, their buyback partner, APMEX, only accepts bars, coins and rounds.
If you have coins or bullion, Smith said, selling the items on eBay is “better than a pawn shop.” But he prefers local in-person transactions to online sales. “Basically you know who you are dealing with,” he explained. “I guess I’m old school inasmuch as I like to deal face to face. If I don’t get that ‘warm fuzzy vibe of trust’ I go elsewhere.”
Special caution is warranted, though, if you elect to mail your items to a potential purchaser as part of an online sale. Make sure to take photographs of your items and make a list before mailing them out. Also, you should insure the package before mailing it.
And as long as we’re discussing precautions, with potentially significant amounts of money changing hands, you want to do at least as much due diligence as if you were, say, trading in a car. In addition to professional associations and recommendations, you can check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if there are complaints against a business you’re considering, and if so, how they were resolved.
It’s smart to weigh your gold before taking it to a buyer — a kitchen or postal scale should give you a reasonable idea of the weight of your items. And make sure that when the buyer is weighing the gold, you pay attention to the procedure.
Is now the right time to sell? Should you wait for the price to go up, or will waiting risk losing money if the price goes down?
“Selling gold now is a good idea for those who need cash or want to use the gold to reinvest in a newer piece of jewelry,” Gizzi said. “Outdated jewelry that is broken or single earrings also make great items to sell.”
That being said, it’s possible to have regrets. “Always remember that once the piece is gone, you can rarely get it back,” Gizzi explained. “Just because a piece of jewelry is outdated, doesn’t mean that it won’t come back.”
This content was originally published here.
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