How to Sell Gold - A Guide to Finding the Best Gold Buyer
Does it ever cross your mind how you only wear certain jewelry pieces while others just lay around in your jewelry box? Most of us own one or two pairs of earrings or a brooch that has not been in fashion for decades. So much that we forgot that we own them.
In this case, a great idea is to sell these pieces of gold. But it doesn’t have to just be jewelry—if you happen to have coins, those can be sold as well, in addition to gold bullion.
When you decide to sell your gold, you will definitely find yourself wondering about the following:
- How can I be sure that the potential gold buyer is trustworthy?
- How will they decide on the price of my gold?
- Can I sell any type of gold?
These can be tricky to answer on your own, and being that The Estate Watch and Jewelry Co. is a reputable gold buyer in Scottsdale and Phoenix area (that's at least what over 600 satisfied customers say in their Yelp and Google reviews) we prepared a tailored guide just for you with everything you'll need to know when selling your gold.
If you want answers, you'll find all the details on how to find a reliable gold buyer and the relevant information you'll need for a smooth sale in our guide below.
Why Do People Sell Their Gold?
One of the most common reasons for selling gold is to exchange it for money. Additionally, gold prices are currently historically very high. This means it’s a good time to sell, no matter the reason.
You can use the extra cash
Like so many things in life, the motive to sell gold is the need for generating some extra money. Urgent or not, exchanging your (unwanted) gold jewelry pieces or coin collection you’re no longer in need of, can be a great way to generate some additional income.
More often than not, people sell gold items because they can use the money—it’s certainly a much better solution than taking out a loan or falling into additional debt.
Turn the gold into some (other) investment
Gold bars, coins, and jewelry pieces, too, are a form of investment. If at some point in the past, you or your older family members didn’t have a need for extra cash, you may have bought some gold. Money can lose value due to inflation and other circumstances, but the value of gold is often more stable.
That being said, when it’s time to change the form of investment, it’s natural to sell the gold bullion or coins and put that money into the stock market or another investment channel.
You don’t feel like wearing that jewelry piece anymore
Another very common reason why people sell their gold is that they simply don’t need it anymore. Jewelry is similar to clothes. If you don’t wear it, it’s just taking up space in the jewelry box, making clutter, and collecting dust.
But unlike the clothes, you can sell those pieces for a good amount of money. According to Statista, the demand for gold jewelry has always been high and in 2021 it reached one of its peaks in years.
Gold jewelry can bring back bad memories
Jewelry is often given as a symbol of love. Gold jewelry pieces, like necklaces and earrings are given on important dates to us by our loved ones.
Unfortunately, sometimes those loved ones are not in our life anymore. Jewelry pieces that we got from them can become just a reminder of something sad or negative in our life. Selling them in that case is great for both our wallets and our mental health.
3 Things You Should Know about Gold Before Selling It
As we mentioned, selling gold can be a complex process and you should do your homework and learn a thing or two before meeting with potential buyers. This way you will be able to avoid mistakes.
Here are three important things to know about gold:
The purity of gold is measured using karats. If you want to sell gold, karatage (number of karats) is something you want to know to be more aware of the possible price. That way, you'll also lower the possibility of being tricked.
Pure gold has 24 karat. And when we say pure, we mean that it has no other alloys present in the mixture. It really is just the said precious metal. If the karatage is lower, it means that other precious metals are added to the gold, generally to make a stronger and more durable metal.
For example, if it has 18k (karats), it’s 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metals. In other words, 18-karat gold contains 75 % gold and 25 % other metals. Those metals can be silver, copper, zinc, or palladium. They will determine the color of your gold.
In the chart below you can see some examples of the composition of various karatages of yellow gold:
Image credits: gold.org
If you are wondering what the minimum amount of karats is needed for something to be considered gold, it varies from country to country. The legal minimum in the USA is 10.
But how will I know what karats my gold has? It should be simple. If your gold originates from the US, it will have a stamp that says the karats. Because of the National Stamping Act from 1906, every piece of gold sold by vendors has to include such a stamp.
What factors affect the amount of cash for gold I get?
Similar to many things in life, math is the basics, but it almost never shows you the whole picture. When you calculate the price of your gold as mentioned above, we could say that’s the price for pieces in a perfect world.
Since that’s not how it typically works, here are a couple more things that are considered when a piece of gold is evaluated.
The gold buyer is probably going to want to resell your piece. When they inspect your piece they'll have to take into consideration whether the gold item will sell quickly or not. If they can resell it easily, they may give you a better price.
They also should consider the condition. If you are offering them a broken or unpolished piece, they will have to clean it/fix it to sell it. Both of these things cost money, hence affecting the offer.
The spot price of gold is the price for which it can be bought or sold at this very moment. That’s the price we had in mind when we had suggested you check if you are calculating the possible price of your pieces. You can easily check the current spot price on websites such as this one.
The price you see is for the current 24 hours. If you don't visit your buyer the same day, it might be different and they will have to take that into consideration when giving you an offer.
Last but not least, if you are selling golden jewelry, it might have greater value if it’s a designer piece and branded with the mark of Tiffany, Cartier, Channel, Gucci or some other big brand.
What Type of Gold Can I Sell to Gold Buyers?
In most homes, gold can be found in the shape of jewelry and gold coins. Some also own gold bullion (bars or ingots). All these forms can be sold for cash.
As said many times, selling gold jewelry is probably the most common. It doesn’t matter if it's a gold ring, earrings or bracelets, or some other piece as long as you make sure it really is gold. It doesn’t hurt to know, as well, what type of gold jewelry it is, based on its age.
Most jewelry that is being sold to gold buyers is so-called “estate jewelry”. It’s a term that describes pieces that were pre-owned. These pieces are usually less than 30 years old.
Jewelry older than 30 years and up to 100 years old is called vintage. These pieces are often made by great names like Cartier, Tiffany, and Bvlgari. Keep in mind though, that in some cases jewelry from the 1980s can be called this way too because it’s fashionable again.
The oldest type of jewelry, anything with an age above 100 years is called antique. These of course are rare, expensive and more often found in museums and in the hands of collectors than in an average home.
If you need more details about selling jewelry, we suggest you check out our guide on that topic.
Gold bullion is a quantity of refined metallic gold. It can have any kind of shape. If, however, it’s shaped as a bar, it’s called, you guessed it, a gold bar. Gold bars are held as gold reserves by central banks. In case it’s a bit bigger in size, these are referred to as “ingots”.
Gold bullion shaped as gold ingots - Image credit by materlotteries.com.au
But that doesn’t mean they are not often owned by individuals, and as such, they can be sold too. They are a very common form of investment and the form of gold bullion that has the most value.
A gold bar in a protective casing - Image credit wikipedia.org
Gold coins are usually also seen as a form of investment. Also, they could be a family heirloom that have been passed on for generations. They are a little less pure than bars but are easier to store as well as sell eventually.
What do I need to bring with me when selling my gold
Your gold buyer shouldn’t require much when selling your gold. They may however ask for your ID, a signature, and maybe a thumbprint. No other papers should be asked from you.
Where Can I Sell My Gold for Cash?
Choosing the buyer for your gold might seem like the hardest part of this whole process. Because, your goal is to get as fair an offer for your gold as possible, of course, but you also need to find a place with a good reputation, that’s both reliable and safe.
So you are probably wondering how to select the proper gold buyer. Doing things right requires a bit of your time, but it can save you some money. And it won’t seem so hard once you know your options.
There are three main kinds of gold buyers. While you may have thought of pawn shops first, there are also jewelry stores and online buyers.
Let’s take a look at each of them:
Selling your gold to a local jewelry store is usually the safest option. You can easily check the rating of each place and make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company.
Also, in a jewelry store, you will be greeted by professionals with all the necessary certifications who'll be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with any explanations you might need.
You may have some questions about how the process works, but transacting with the gold buyer in person will help get those answered.
If you’re local to Arizona (or even visiting), we suggest you drop by our jewelry store located in Scottsdale, just a quick drive from downtown Phoenix. We will offer everything mentioned in the previous sections as our professional staff will help you with the process of selling your gold jewelry, ingots, bars, and coins—and offering you the safest way to do it with a fair price.
Online gold buyers
You can also sell your gold online. You can look for an online gold buyer using good old Google. But we don’t think selling something as valuable as gold online is a good option for the following reasons.
1. How can you know if you’ve been given a fair price?
When you find a buyer for your gold online, you can’t be sure who they are and what they know about gold. This gives you no reason to trust that they are offering you a fair price.
2. How can you be sure you will get your money in the end?
When selling your gold online, you might end up being a victim of fraud and losing your gold without getting anything in return. When you make a deal with an online buyer and ship your pieces to them, you no longer have control of what is going to happen. Due to risks of dealing with an unknown internet buyer, they (or your pieces) can disappear without a trace.
3. Is your personal information safe?
The FTC has reported fraud losses increased more than 70% over 2020. So, selling your gold online means you need to be careful.
Financial losses suffered by victims of online scams-image credits by statista.com
Selling gold can sometimes bring in a significant amount of money and it’s our opinion that you’re better off avoiding shipping gold to an unknown buyer online.
These types of transactions are best done in person where you’ll be paid instantly. You should be especially careful with great offers given online as they can be misleading. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Many people will make a mistake and take their gold to a pawn shop, especially if the need for cash is urgent. Oftentimes, this is simply because they’re not aware of other options.
First of all, it’s not just pawn shops that offer instant payment. A jewelry store will offer you quick payment when buying your gold, too (among other advantages you can expect, which we will discuss later in the text).
Secondly, when taking a quick loan from the pawn shop, you could be forgetting the interest rates they will charge you. And you might end up losing your gold if you don’t pay the loan on time, typically in 30 to 60 days, as the pawnbroker will sell it. The latter is extremely important and unfortunately forgotten by many.
And, while pawn shops also offer the option to buy your gold, they don’t always offer fair prices. It is wrong to believe that pawn shops will give you a wholesale or retail price. It is usually 25% to 60% of the item's resale value.
Why the Local Jeweler Might be the Best Choice
As mentioned, we’d like to highlight a few more reasons to sell your gold to a local jewelry store.
In case you’re still considering options, we hope the following will help:
There’s no middleman
A sale with a “middleman” means a lower price for you. This is because they can’t sell it directly to a consumer for higher profit margins. They have to resell your gold to another company who then resells it to someone else.
This is why the best choice is to go straight to a jewelry store. They can pay more compared to other buyers mainly because they have the ability to resell the jewelry directly in their store.
They are gold jewelry professionals
When doing something as important as selling your gold, you can (and should) do research on the process. But even with all that research, nothing can substitute for picking the right buyer that has years of experience in buying and selling gold.
This is why we strongly recommend finding a jewelry professional that will guide you through the process of selling your gold. It’s not just the certificates you will see on their walls, it’s their ability to explain to you every step of the process and make sure you’re satisfied.
One of the biggest differences between jewelry stores and other buyers is that with jewelry stores, you are in good hands: in a face-to-face conversation with the staff you can tell how much they know about gold, how wide their experience is and you can probably see the necessary certifications on their walls.
It’s easy to check their reputation
As we pointed out in the previous paragraphs, we definitely recommend checking the online reputation of the buyer you’re considering.
Google reviews are a great way to verify the credibility of your local jeweler and will tell you a lot based on what previous customers have said.
We are proud to say that The Estate Watch and Jewelry Co. has been rated by more than 500 happy customers, which resulted in a 4.9 rating on Google.
You can check out some of those reviews below to see why our customers have chosen us as their trustworthy gold buyer:
Similarly, Yelp reviews can tell you a lot about the reputation of a jewelry store. That's why we're glad to say that 95 satisfied customers left reviews there as well, giving us a 4.5 star rating. Below is an example of such a review:
Hopefully, after reading our simple guide on selling your gold, the process is clear to you and you are ready to sell.
When you decide who you want to go to buy your gold, make sure they’re reputable, you get a fair price and receive immediate payment.
If our team of certified professionals can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to visit our jewelry store in Old Town Scottsdale (just a short drive from Phoenix).
We’d be happy to assist and answer any questions you might have.